Harriman defeats Jellico in battle of Blue Devils

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By The Staff

After opening the high school football season with four straight games decided by seven points or less, the Harriman Blue Devils finally had a breather Monday night as Travis Tapp’s squad picked up a 33-0 victory over the Jellico Blue Devils at Wallace Black Field.

Harriman (4-1 overall) was dominant on both sides of the ball Monday, amassing 404 yards of total offense on 61 plays while allowing Jellico (1-4 overall) only 46 total yards. About the only thing that stood between Harriman and a perfect night was three fumbles inside Jellico territory.

“I thought the kids played hard and our defense played really well tonight,” Tapp said. “Offensively, our guys did a good job with all the different sets we ran tonight, but we had way too many turnovers.”

Most of Harriman’s 404 yards of offense came on the ground as the team rolled up 379 yards rushing on 56 attempts.

Brandon Williams led Harriman’s ground attack with 91 yards and one touchdown on eight attempts while Brian Phillips added 77 yards on seven carries. Mark Cruze and Cole McAbee rushed for 60 yards each and one touchdown.

Harriman started strong Monday and took the ball first and marched 58 yards in three plays with Williams scoring from 17 yards out. Williams also set up the score with a 27-yard run.

Chris Gibbs added the PAT to give Harriman a 7-0 lead with 11:03 left in the first quarter.

Harriman appeared heading for a touchdown on their second possession as well when a second down shotgun snap from the Jellico 22-yard line sailed over QB Mark Chesser’s head with Jellico recovering at the Harriman 38.

Jellico used a pair of runs from Ryan Irwin covering 17 yards to pick up a first down and reach the Harriman 45, but the drive ended three plays later with a punt. As it turned out, Jellico would not pick up another first down the rest of the half, and the visitors would not cross midfield the rest of the night.

Harriman started to pull away with two touchdowns in the second quarter.

Harriman’s first score came on the first play of the second period when Dimitrique Inman capped an eight-play, 75-yard drive with a nine-yard run.

McAbee had the big play in the drive with a 26-yard run.

Harriman’s conversion attempt failed, leaving the score 13-0 with 11:52 left in the first half.

Harriman finished the half with a 10-play, 82-yard scoring drive that ended in a two-yard run from McAbee with 48.2 seconds left in the first half.

Harriman’s two-point attempt failed, leaving the score 19-0 at halftime.

Turnovers killed Harriman early in the second half as the home team coughed up the football twice in the third period inside the Jellico 20 yard line.

Jellico, however, couldn’t take advantage of the turnovers as the visitors from Campbell County picked up just three first downs in the second half of play and they never had more than one first down in any drive on the evening.

Harriman put the game away with their final possession of the third period and first possession of the final period.

Harriman first scoring drive of the second half was a five-play, 32-yard drive that was set up by a good punt return from Inman.

Inman also scored the touchdown after taking a screen pass from Chesser 21 yards into the end zone.

Gibbs added the PAT to give Harriman a 26-0 lead with 2:40 left in the third period.

A bad punt snap from Jellico set up Harriman’s final score as Harriman needed only four plays before Cruze capped a 20-yard drive with a three-yard run with 9:04 left in the contest.

Gibbs finished off the scoring with his third PAT of the night.

Devin Oakes led Jellico on the night with 35 yards passing, completing five of 21. Ryan Morris was Jellico’s leading rusher with 13 yards on five carries.