Hamilton Southeastern’s 34-6 victory over Harrison at Rickard Field was not as much as a surprise Friday night as how close the Raiders were to making the play or two needed to scare the Royals.
The Royals didn’t break the game open until their first two drives of the third quarter resulted in touchdowns that doubled the lead to 28-0. The Raiders (0-8) continue to search for their first win since 2010.
“Winning my last football game here was something I really wanted,” said Harrison senior quarterback Jake Lasky, who went 10 of 24 passing for 170 yards, including a fourth-quarter touchdown to Drezden Johnson.
“It just didn’t happen. But we’ll have a lot of confidence going into sectionals knowing that we can move the ball against good football teams. As a leader, I have to try to bring the team together.”
The biggest series of the game came on Harrison’s last drive before halftime. Trailing 14-0, the Raiders drove to the Royals’ 6 with less than a minute left. But on fourth down, Harrison could not get the 4 yardsneeded for a first down or the two extra yards for the touchdown.
“We didn’t have the momentum we wanted at halftime without the score,” Harrison coach Tony Martin said. “Instead of being excited, we had a taste of disappointment. There’s no doubt that the kids believe in themselves, but it’s just a matter of executing when we have that opportunity.”
Hamilton Southeastern coach Scott May said preventing the Raiders from scoring in the first half was a turning point.
“They were giving us a different look that we hadn’t seen before, and it took us a little bit of time to get adjusted,” May said.
The Royals churned out 495 yards in total offense, and 281 of those came on the ground, including Aaron Matio’s 64-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Harrison walked away from the red zone twice without points that could have put pressure on Hamilton Southeastern.
“We are improving each and every week,” Martin said. “We get asked a lot about when we’re going to pick up that elusive win. I think we’re going to get it done, and it’s going to happen.”
Martin said he was pleased to see Johnson, normally a defensive standout, catch some long passes for the Raiders. Before his touchdown catch from Lasky, he had a 30-yard catch in the third quarter to spark a Harrison drive that ended at the Royals 11.
“He’s been going both ways for us,” Martin said. “I think it shows that he’s starting to feel more comfortable with what he’s doing on offense, and that will be a good thing for us.”