By Ethan Richards
As Harrison (0-2) prepared to square off against the Sanford Meridian Mustangs (2-0), the home opener for the Hornets seemed to be a lopsided matchup. This notion proved to be true, as a close 21-14 ball game turned into a 49-21 dominating victory for the Mustangs.
Meridian started the game out on a bad note, as their first play from scrimmage would result in a fumble for a turnover. New starting quarterback Beau Niezguski and the Hornets started from their own 35 yard line, looking to take advantage. Cody Rodgers would start the drive, a run of six yards. Adam Rulapaugh would pick up another three yards, giving Harrison a manageable 3rd and 1. Rulapaugh got the call again, picking up another three yards. The drive would continue at this pace, with Jake Walraven picking up an eight yard touchdown, and an early 7-0 lead. The mustangs wouldn’t take long to respond, as they drove back down the field, on their own 6 play running drive. The Hornets, trying to keep pace and momentum, would score right back on runs of 43 and 25 yards by Walraven and Niezguski respectively.
Down 14-7 entering the second quarter, the Mustangs would give Harrison a taste of their ground attack medicine, with a dominating 10 play, 66 yard drive, evening the score again. With the score swinging back and forth like a pendulum, it was inevitable that one of these teams would falter. Unfortunately, it was Harrison, as they would go three and out, allowing Sanford Meridian to take their first lead of the game going into halftime, 21-14.
The second half left much to be desired for Harrison, as they would score on their opening drive, with back to back Walraven runs, for gains of 57 and 3 yards. This would be the last time Harrison would score, as Meridian went on to tighten up on defense, and score 28 unanswered points, running up and down the middle of the field and making the Hornet defense look second tier. Falling to 0-3, Harrison will look to turn their season around against the Beaverton Beavers, who also find themselves at 0-3.