A self-described ‘very young’ team to start the season, Harper Creek has done a lot of growing up during the season.
And, after the Beavers knocked off their city rival on Friday, they don’t see themselves as young any more.
Harper Creek rolled over Pennfield, 34-12, in this Interstate 8 football game on Friday at Harper Creek.
“We were inexperienced in the beginning of the season. We are not anymore. These kids are getting experience quickly and responding and playing good football right now,” said first-year Harper Creek head coach Mike Seedorff.
A big win, with a big crowd with city bragging rights on the line had to feel good for Harper Creek as the Beavers have now climbed over .500 on the season to improve to 3-2. Pennfield falls to 1-4.
“I am thrilled to win a game like this with our cross-town rivals coming over. The kids played hard. This team has improved every game, every week, so this is a nice team victory for us,” Seedorff said.
Harper Creek started fast and didn’t let up.
The Beavers were first to get on the board after a 17-yard touchdown pass from David Thompson to JaCory McNutt to make it 7-0 with 2:06 left in the game.
The next time Harper Creek touched the ball, it scored on the first play from scrimmage on an 83-yard sweep for a touchdown by Dawson Bartlett to make it 13-0 with 11:07 left in the half.
The Beavers would score once more before halftime on an another long run as Brennen Habelitz scampered 45 yards for a touchdown for a 20-0 Harper Creek lead with 3:01 before intermission.
“We wanted to be able to run the ball, throw some short passes here and there, and that worked well. Our offensive line played well. A lot of things were working for us tonight,” Seedorff said.
Habelitz added another touchdown run from a yard out to start the second half as the Beavers took control of the contest at 27-0.
Thompson scored on a quarterback sneak for Harper Creek for its final score.
Habelitz led the Beavers with 139 yards on nine carries with Caleb Hayes adding 100 yards on 14 carries.
Habelitz also led the Harper Creek defense with seven tackles with Dakota Walbeck adding five stops.
Pennfield had some bright spots, but couldn’t move the ball consistently. The Panthers’ Justin Lamb scored on a touchdown run from four yards out to get Pennfield on the board in the second half. Parris Bolden hit Grant Petersen for a 22-yard touchdown pass for the other Pennfield touchdown.
Bolden led Pennfield with 92 yards rushing with Carter Needham adding 50 yards.
Lamb led the Panther defense with seven tackles with Collin Prideaux and Needham each adding five stops.
“I liked how we came out and did some nice things here and there, but the penalties and some miscues at inopportune times really hurt us,” Pennfield coach Mike McGuire said. “We’d make a couple nice plays and then we’d do something that really set us back. You can’t beat a good team like Harper Creek by getting penalties and having turnovers.”