Friday night was the one that got away. The Harrison Hornets, playing a Jack Pine Conference football game in Roscommon, led most of the night but a late Buck comeback nipped the Hornets 24-22.
“We keep improving,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “Yes (it was a tough loss). (We had too many) mistakes. We fumbled five times.”
The Hornets scored the game’s first two touchdowns, getting a 10-yard touchdown pass from Justin Yager to Trenton Searight in the first quarter.
Yager bruised in from one yard away in the second quarter, and also ran in the two-point conversion to put Harrison up 14-0.
Brett Jobin put the Bucks on the board with a long touchdown run, though the two-point conversion was stopped to leave the score 14-6.
Ryan Johnson took his turn scoring for Harrison in the middle of the second, getting in from one yard out. Josh Wilson ran in the two-point conversion to put Harrison up 22-6.
Jobin ran in for another long score before the half, cutting the Hornet lead to 22-12 at the break.
Jobin continued his strong night with a 63-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, though Harrison once again stiffed the two-pointer to keep the Hornets up 22-18 at the third.
Harrison relinquished the lead with 7:43 to play, on another touchdown run by Jobin, this time from 34 yards out.
Zach Nowland led Harrison with 111 yards on eight carries, Wilson finished with six touches for 62 yards, Ryan Johnson ran 12 times for 47 yards and Yager ran seven times for 47 yards, and also was three-of-10 passing for 38 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Bret Coughlin had two catches for 28 yards and Searight had one catch for a 10-yard touchdown.
Coughlin and Nate Lipovsky had 10 tackles apiece to lead the Hornet defense, Yager and Clay Dennis both added seven.
Harrison (1-3 overall, 1-1 JPC) hosts Meridian (4-0, 2-0) tonight (Friday). The Mustangs are coming off a 34-0 win over Farwell last week. Meridian has won the last six meetings between the teams, including last year’s 48-13 win.
“Meridian is a very good team,” Petrongelli said. “We will have to keep improving, control the line of scrimmage, play better defense and stop the big play.”