Despite moving from the MSL-Cardinal Division to the more competitive MSL-Ohio, the Harvest Prep football team hasn’t missed a beat.
The Warriors locked up at least a share of the league title with a 29-27 victory over Whitehall on Oct. 25 at home. Harvest Prep had won the past five MSL-Cardinal titles.
The Warriors, who improved to 8-1 overall and 5-0 in the league, opened a 29-13 lead in the third quarter before holding off a late Whitehall rally.
The Rams made it 29-27 on quarterback Ni’Kai Cameron’s 16-yard touchdown passes to Christian Gordon and Juvaun Blackshear, but could not get any closer as they dropped to 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the league.
Whitehall’s pass attempt for a two-point conversion to tie the score after Blackshear’s touchdown was incomplete.
“The league is very tough, but we look forward to it,” Harvest Prep coach Milan Smith said. “Most teams predicted us to be 1-9 at the beginning of the season. We’ve seemed to prove them wrong. We lined up against a very good team. Coach (Rod) Lightfoot is an amazing coach and tonight we were on the good end of it. Our guys are tough.”
Harvest Prep, which is first in the playoff rankings in Division VII, Region 27, closes the regular season Nov. 1 against Liberty Union.
Whitehall, which competes in Division II, Region 8, finishes against Buckeye Valley on Nov. 1.
“This is a game where you can’t afford to turn the ball over, whether it’d be dropping the ball on the field or losing the ball on downs,” Lightfoot said. “This team is going to take advantage of that. I’m proud of our kids tonight. They fought hard. We had every opportunity to win this game and we just came up short.”
Quarterback Jalen Jennings led Harvest Prep by rushing for 86 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries.
His 2-yard touchdown run on the Warriors’ first possession made it 7-0 before Whitehall tied the game on Cameron’s 31-yard touchdown pass to Gordon early in the second quarter.
Jennings scored on a 14-yard run and added the two-point conversion for a 15-7 lead. The Rams cut the deficit to 15-13 on Cameron’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Gordon with 54 seconds left in the first half. The two-point pass failed, however, leaving the Warriors in front at halftime.
Cameron completed 19 of 26 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns, with three of them going to Gordon.
==========Team 1 2 3 4 Final WHITEHALL 0 13 0 14 27 HARVEST PREP
7 8 14 0 29
HP—Jennings 2 run (Mungia kick)
W—Gordon 31 pass from Cameron (Yunez kick)
HP—Jennings 14 run (Jennings run)
W—Gordon 5 pass from Cameron (pass failed)
HP—Jackson 3 run (Jackson run)
HP—Eggert 3 run (run failed)
W—Gordon 16 pass from Cameron (Ellis run)
W—Blackshear 16 pass from Cameron (pass failed)