No. 1 Goblins down Eagles 49-7

Tucker Bradley(2) celebrates with Kolton Reynolds after Reynolds caught a touchdown pass against Harrison. Riley Robinson (60) is also shown.

Harrison had too much fire power Friday as the Goblins downed Huntsville 49-7 in the 5A West Conference.

Harrison improved to 9-0 on the year and 6-0 in conference, while the Eagles fell to 1-8 and 0-6.

Huntsville will end the regular season this Friday with a trip to Alma (3-6, 3-3).

It was senior night for Huntsville, but the senior class from Harrison stood out the most with 23 athletes to 10 on the Eagles’ sideline.

Gabe Dasen and Layton Bennett did not dress out for the Eagles, who also lost junior running back and linebacker Slayter Watkins to an injury with 6:10 left in the second quarter.

The Goblins piled up 363 yards of offense in the first half compared to 63 for Huntsville.

Harrison nearly threw a touchdown pass on the game’s first play, but it was just out of the receiver’s reach. On the second play, tailback Gabe Husky took the hand-off over the right side, cut up field and raced 70 yards virtually untouched for the score. Max Payne added the extra-point kick and Harrison led 7-0 with 11:34 left in the first.

Husky had 98 yards on just seven carries in the game.

The Goblins, ranked number one in the state, then recovered a fumble and drove into Huntsville territory. With 9:40 left in the first, Husky scored from two yards out. Payne’s kick made it 14-0.

Senior quarterback Ben Johnson then took over, hitting Rilee Jones for a 48-yard touchdown, then Colton Shaver on a 52-yard strike.

Harrison led 28-0 early in the second quarter.

Johnson completed 8-of-10 passes for 221 yards in the game.

With 6:40 left in the first half, Trey Richardson tacked on a 16-yard touchdown run. Backup QB Logan Plumlee scored from four yards out with 1:34 left in the half, making the score 42-0 at intermission.

With 2:55 left in the third, Plumlee scored on a 2-yard run, making it 49-0.

Huntsville got on the board late in the game when Brooks Wiggins found Kolton Reynolds for an 11-yard scoring pass. Oscar Martinez added the kick for the 49-7 final.

Reynolds caught three passes for 36 yards and the score. He also had kickoff returns of 39, 15, 20 and 13 yards. Tucker Bradley had a return of 37 yards.

Huntsville coach Matt Williams said he was especially proud of his seniors.

“I’m really, really proud of these guys. Like I’ve told them all year and I’ve told them all week long, we really wish that we could have won more games with them ... but they don’t know how this year, how important it’s been for the program and to the future of the program,” Williams said.

“The commitment that they brought and the things that they’ve done to make sure this thing in the future moves  in the right direction,” he said. “These guys have done everything we’ve asked them to do. They’ve never wavered, they’ve never questioned, they came every day and worked their tails off.”

Williams added, “We’re going to miss every one of them. Anything we do in the future, next year or the year after that, is because of what they started this year.”

Two of the seniors, Bubba Rodden and Colby Shepherd, have been leaders for years.

“Bubba and Colby are staples of this place. I really think they could play for any team in this conference,” he said.

“I hate to think about going through next season without them. It’s going to be tough to fill their shoes, I know that. They should be proud of what they’ve done. Be proud of themselves, they never quit.”

Williams said everyone knew Harrison would be tough last week.

“Number one team in the state basically. They’re not weak anywhere. They’re good on both sides of the ball. They’ve got a really, really good tailback. The quarterback can throw it, receivers can catch it,” Williams said.

“They’re physical, they get after you on defense. They’ve got a chance to do well in the playoffs. I hope they win it all. They’ve got a great chance to do it.”

Williams said he wants to see a high level of play from the Eagles in Friday’s season finale.

“Just no quit. Just finish the season strong. Come to work and do the things they’ve been doing all year long,” he said. “We’re going to keep coaching them the way we’ve been coaching them. Finish on a high note. A high note doesn’t have to be a win, just keep your head up and be proud of what you’re doing here and be proud of what you’ve helped to push into the future.”

• • •

The junior Eagles played at Shiloh Christian last Thursday.

The seventh-grade team lost 22-6 while the junior high team fell 48-20.

The junior Eagles will host Gravette Thursday, beginning with the seventh-graders at 6 p.m.

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