It’s a good indicator you’re having a prosperous night when even a blocked field goal attempt goes your way.
Farmington Hills Harrison was leading, 21-0, in the first half Friday night over visiting West Bloomfield when the Hawks brought in kicker Carl Hanpeter to try a 50-yard field goal on the Hawks’ fourth drive of the game.
The attempt started out low and was blocked by the Lakers’ line, but the ball kept traveling well behind the line of scrimmage, where a West Bloomfield player tried to return it.
He fumbled on the tackle and, after a lengthy scrum, Harrison was awarded the recovery on the Lakers’ 12-yard line.
On the next play, Cam Cooley scampered around the left end for a touchdown and a 28-0 Harrison lead just halfway through the second quarter, making the Oakland Activities Association crossover outcome seem certain even without knowing the final score.
Well, turns out that was it.
After a very lackluster second half by both teams, nothing changed on the scoreboard except the clock.
“I was happy with the way the offense played early,” said Harrison coach John Herrington. “We got a little bit out of sync in the second half, but overall we played well.”
The Hawks’ defense set the standard, keeping a talented core of West Bloomfield wide receivers out of the end zone despite some big plays by quarterback Bryce Veasley.
The Lakers junior was 16-for-42 passing, but connected on big plays of 39, 32, 31 and 29 yards. He totaled 204 yards throwing, but the Hawks’ defensive backs kept everything in front of them.
“The defense was excellent all game,” said defensive back Trey Walker, who grabbed an interception on West Bloomfield’s final drive. “They were good with the pass, but we stopped them.
“I got beat deep, but my teammate, Cam Cooley, helped me out deep,” Walker said about the interception. “Then I saw the ball and reacted, caught it and just tried to keep my feet in bounds to seal the game.”
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Herrington had similar praise of the defensive unit, which held West Bloomfield (2-2) to minus-13 yards rushing.
“The defensive backs are good and when they make plays, and they played like it,” he said. “They stayed on some excellent receivers. We played East Kentwood and they had the same kind of receivers and they kept them down, too. I’m just proud of the way they played. And we only rushed three guys a lot of times, and they were able to put a little pressure on him (Veasley). Overall, a very good defensive effort.”
On the third play of the game, Harrison (323 yards total offense) scored on a 30-yard pass play from Jimmy O’Connor to Devon Pressley for a 7-0 edge.
Harrison (3-1) scored again on its second drive, when Brendann Brown rushed 9 yards for the score.
The Hawks’ third possession was capped by a 10-yard reception by Jeremy Cooper from Noah Hendricks, who replaced an injured O’Connor.