KENNESAW – Harrison got its Region 6AAAAAA schedule off to a strong start with a 49-0 victory over River Ridge on Friday at Cobleigh Stadium.
The fifth-ranked Hoyas (3-0, 1-0) gained 522 yards of total offense, with quarterback Gavin Hall 8-of-14 passing for 256 yards and two touchdowns, and David Roberts rushing for 129 yards on six carries and two scores.
The Harrison defense was especially dominant, allowing only 174 yards in producing the shutout. The Hoyas have outscored their opponents 131-10 in their first three games.
“We expect to have a champion-style defense, and that’s going to really help us and give us a chance to compete for the region title and go deep in the playoffs,” Harrison coach Matt Dickmann said.
Harrison got the scoring started when Hall threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to Mason Babay to give the Hoyas a 7-0 lead with 9:20 remaining in the first quarter.
Harrison then increased its lead in a big way when Hall connected with Marques Owens for an 82-yard scoring strike to make it 14-0 with 9:16 left in the first half.
After forcing River Ridge (0-2, 0-1) to punt on the ensuing series, Hall and Owens hooked up again for a long touchdown pass -- this time for 63 yards -- to increase the lead to 21-0 at the 5:00 mark of the second quarter.
The defense set up Harrison’s next score on the first play of the second half when Gavin Spratt intercepted a pass by River Ridge’s Chase Begin to give the Hoyas the ball at the Knights’ 45 with 11:51 remaining in the third quarter.
Roberts busted out for a 40-yard run on the first play from scrimmage to take the ball down to the River Ridge 5, then ran 5 more into the end zone for the score to push the Hoyas’ lead up to 35-0 with 11:34 left in the third quarter.
Harrison scored again on its next possession as Justin Lewis threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Babay with 8:47 remaining for a 42-0 advantage.
The Hoyas once again got back in the end zone in their following series as Roberts’ 38-yard run took the ball down to the River Ridge 13, setting up Jay Ziglor’s 1-yard touchdown run three plays later to give Harrison its final margin of victory.
“I think we’re doing a much better job of making adjustments,” Dickmann said. “Especially when you get on the sideline each week, you get to see how somebody’s going to play. Some weeks, people are trying to take away our running game. Some weeks, they’re dropping eight, so I like how the kids adjusted (Friday). Defensively, we’re very strong, and I think special teams have taken a step forward.”