Harrison Slips by Evart to Punch Playoff Ticket

November 4, 2019

by Ben Murphy
Sports Writer

The playoffs decidedly started a week early for the Harrison and Evart football teams. With both teams entering Friday’s non-league contest at 4-4, the winner would most likely earn enough points to get a spot in the post-season. Harrison was able build a two score lead late and hang on down the stretch, allowing the Hornets to pick up the 36-34 victory.

“It was a big win, we knew going in that Evart would pull out all the stops,” head coach Jamie Lipovsky said. “(They have) great coaches so we knew their game plan would be solid.”

The Hornets opened the scoring with a five-yard touchdown run by Ethan Vanantwerpt, with Vanantwerpt also running in the two point conversion to make it 8-0.

Evart followed with a 19-yard run to pull within 8-7, though the back-and-forth scoring continued the rest of the half.

Logan Yost broke free for a big 60-yard touchdown run, with Cam Ashcroft running in the two pointer to make it 16-7, with the Wildcats answering again to pull within 16-14.

The Hornets managed to score again before the end of the second, getting a one-yard plunge from Ashcroft and a two-pointer from Gavin Lawrence to make it 24-14 at the half.

Evart wouldn’t go away however, as it opened the third quarter with a 58-yard touchdown pass to pull within 24-20.

Harrison added touchdown runs of five and three yards by Ashcroft and Yost, with a score between those by Evart making it 36-27.

The Wildcats pulled within 36-34 on a 10-yard touchdown pass, but Harrison was able to run out the clock late; thanks in large part to a bit of gutsy play-calling.

“We went for it on fourth-and-four around our own 40-yard line with a few minutes left,” Lipovsky said. “That was huge; to get that first down and then be smart enough to not score when they let us go with just under two minutes left says a lot about the maturity of our team.”

The Hornets had another big night from Ashcroft as he ran 33 times for 186 yards and two touchdowns, Yost ran eight times for 108 yards and two touchdowns and Lawrence carried the ball 13 times and racked up 64 yards.

The defense saw Vanantwerpt get six tackles and Colin Dunn had five.

Harrison (5-4) heads to Clare (8-1) tonight to open up the division six playoffs. The Pioneers are coming off a 32-28 win last week over McBain and also topped the Hornets 42-40 earlier this season.

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