Harrison makes 300 mile trek to face Kingsford

October 30, 2015

By Ben Murphy

Harrison is just far enough north to keep getting scheduled against upper peninsula teams in its first round playoff games. Last year it was Calumet coming to Harrison. This year the Hornets make a trek north, as it plays at Kingsford on Saturday at 1 p.m. (noon central) for their division five pre-district game.

“We watched the selection show together at the high school, like we did the year before,” Harrison head coach Mike Petrongelli said. “Hopefully we can make that a tradition, we had some pizza and some pop and the kids really enjoyed it. We really didn’t care who we play, we’re just happy to be in the playoffs. We’ll go wherever they want us to go.”

The Hornets actually left for the game this morning (Friday) as they’ll be headed for the town that is about 330 miles away, likely six hour trip on a bus.
“We’re going to make the best of it,” Petrongelli said. “We’ll have a charter bus, have a hotel room Friday night. We’re even going to practice in Gladstone on the way up there. We’re going to make it a big event.”

While the Flivvers have more losses than the Hornets, they were able to rack up more playoff points, giving them home-field advantage by less than two-hundreths of a point. Kingsford’s three losses have all come to playoff teams (Menominee, DeWitt and Escanaba), much like Harrison’s losses were to playoff-bound teams in Lake City and Meridian.

“Kingsford is a good football team, they have good size and they have some really good backs and overall team speed,” Petrongelli said. “They’re very physical and very aggressive, a typical upper peninsula type football team. They want to run the ball and they want to play aggressive on defense. I think they’re kind of like Calumet was last year. That seems to be their style of play up there.”

The teams were not only close in playoff points, they were close in point-differential as well. Kingsford scored 252 points and gave up 171 points this year while Harrison scored 267 and gave up 168.

“They’re basically a power running team with some misdirection,” Petrongelli said. “We’re going to have to control the line of scrimmage and stop their running game. On the other hand, we are going to have to control the offensive line and give our backs the opportunity to run.”

The Hornets, now in the playoffs for the second year in a row, have enjoyed the 2015 season to this point, and hope that there’s still a bit more football to be played after this week.

“It has been a really good year for us to this point, this is a great group of kids to work with,” Petrongelli said. “The excitement this week in practice has been great, the kids are all fired up. They really seem to be enjoying this.”

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