HARPURSVILLE – A closer score than most would have thought at the half, Harpursville used a methodical attack to close out the 26-0 homecoming win over visiting division opponent, Oxford, this past Saturday.
Harpursville-Afton, now a Class D playoff bound team, punched their ticket in front of the Hornet crowd one last time – shutting out Oxford on Saturday, October 14.
“We haven’t won and that is extremely disappointing, but we’re not folding, we’re going to keep pushing forward and I truly believe good things will be coming. So, we’re just going to keep going,” said Oxford head coach Jon Carey. “Harpursville came out ready to play, they had a playoff spot on the line, and they executed and were able to have less mistakes than we did. There is a classy coach over there, he is one of the best in Section IV, in my opinion. He prepares his kids well.”
Oxford impressively held the Hornets to a 0-0 score in the opening quarter – but things unraveled in the second quarter after losing a two-way starter and watching the Harpursville-Afton rushing attack heat up.
“Our first quarter, we held them and had a very long sustaining first possession, we just couldn’t capitalize. Second quarter, our starting left guard and left outside linebacker, Aidian Ingraham, got hurt, and that really hurt us. We are taking a two-way starter out of the game, especially on the line, it is tough to overcome that. The guys that came in really did a nice job, but we really missed Aidian out there, he is a senior he is a leader, he was a captain yesterday. It was unfortunate that he went out, but he should be good to play next week,” said coach Carey. “They were running around the outside; our guys were just not fast enough. At one point, we switched so our strong safety just shadowed him, he was just too quick for him.”
The Hornets, Josh Wilson, carried the ball 11 times for 149 rushing yards and three touchdowns – claiming two in the second quarter with 5:52 left (12-yard TD run), and 1:28 left (40-yard TD run). Wilson also tacked on five catches for 92 yards – helping Harpursville-Afton outgain Oxford with 365 total yards to Oxford’s 120.
“He (Wilson) is a great athlete, we switched with three separate guys to try to stay with him,” said coach Carey. “This whole week we worked on our tackling, because when we played Greene we missed a whole lot of tackles, a lot of open field tackles. We did a lot of drills this week to try to correct that. They did a lot better this week with tackling, but when that number 7 (Wilson) gets around the outside, there is just no way to catch up to him.”
Up 13-0 at the half, Harpursville-Afton added two additional touchdowns in the next two quarters of play. Harpursville-Afton saw Greg Akulis punch his way in from one yard out to take the lead to 20-0 – Wilson added a late (1:28 left) fourth quarter 40-yard scamper to cap off his regular season and the game at 26-0.
Following Wilson, Tyler King finished with 10 carries for 53 rushing yards – while Akulis added four carries for eight rushing yards while throwing for 6-9 for 52 passing yards.
The Hornets committed no turnovers in the contest, while Oxford’s quarterback Darren Law completed just one of six passes for 13-yards and one interception.
In consolation, Mickerson Clune, led the Blackhawks in rushing in the game, carrying the ball 16 times for 58 rushing yards.
“It was a hard 58 yards. He was hit hard a lot. He is a big dude so there is a lot of surface area, they went low on him every time and he just kept pushing forward. He is a great kid,” said coach Carey.