Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me.
Yes, that’s not exactly how the saying goes, but that’s how it went for Houston County in its 28-7 Class AAAAAA state quarterfinal loss at Harrison Friday.
The Bears got beat on a 46-yard pass from quarterback Gavin Hall to Marques Owens, and then on the Hoyas’ next possession, got beat by the two again. This time it was on a 50-yard pass. The points after made it 14-0 midway through the second quarter.
Houston County did attempt a comeback – fought hard in fact.
First, after starting the game well by moving the ball deep into Harrison territory before turning it over on downs, but then having to punt twice after going nowhere, it went 80 yards to cut it to 14-7. The score came on Simeon Askew’s one-yard run. The drive went 14 plays. Two big runs by Isaia Harris of 20-plus aided it along the way.
Then, with less than a minute to go before halftime, they blocked a punt – actually one of the Hoyas’ own players blocked a punt as Houston County’s defense pushed a linesman backward into him.
The Bears recovered it on the 27. They ran seven plays, but on the last of those Askew was ruled not to have crossed the goal line on a run from the 1 as time ran out.
Two interceptions in the second half helped ensure that kind of luck would continue.
Harrison came out to start the third with a 72-yard, eight-play drive that ended when David Roberts ran 23 yards and into the endzone. (It only had 40 rushing yards in the first half, but put up 190 in the second.)
The Bears attempted to answer by going from their 20 to deep inside Hoyas’ territory. The first pick ended that threat.
Following a Harrison punt, Houston County moved it from its own 6 to the 5. There, it was picked off again. The Hoyas turned that one into a touchdown, another Roberts run, this one from the 5.
That made it 28-7 with about five minutes to play. The Bears had one more chance after that but were forced to turn it over on downs.
Harrison took over, picked up a couple of first downs – also got it to the Bears’ 3 – before taking a knee.
Houston County finished its remarkable run through the playoffs, and year, at 8-6. Harrison improved to 13-0 and moved on to the semifinals.