Three first half touchdowns leads FH Harrison past Oak Park in OAA White Division play, 24-0
Oak Park – Entering Friday night, Farmington Hills Harrison faced an Oak Park team, playing without starting quarterback Chauncey Lowman, in need of a win to prevent starting the season 0-3.
It was Harrison that came out of the gates quickly, jumping out to a 21-0 halftime lead en route to a 24-0 win in a key early season OAA White Division matchup.
Harrison coach John Herrington said that he was pleased with his team’s defensive effort it pressured the Oak Park offense early as it was without Lowman for a second straight week.
“I feel good about the way we played tonight,” he said. “They (Oak Park) didn’t have their quarterback, and I know what it’s like to not be able to play with your quarterback who started for three years, because it happened to us last year. But nonetheless, our defensive kids played well.”
Harrison’s defense set the tone early on as senior defensive back David Vinsky picked off an Oak Park pass on the first drive of the game and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown to give the Hawks a 7-0 lead with 10:12 left to play in the first quarter.
Later in the first quarter, Harrison found the end zone once again when junior quarterback Anthony Giovanni connected with Tommy Williams for a 35-yard touchdown to push the lead to 14-0 with 4:07 left.
Giovanni, who threw for two touchdowns in the game, said that to get out to an early two-score lead was big for he and his teammates to settle in early on and credited his offensive line for giving him and his receivers time to make plays in the first half.
“It’s really good, because it builds confidence first and foremost,” he said. “Once I get the reads down, I can keep hitting passes like that and the line did a great job, I could go through my reads and find the open man.”
Giovanni and Williams would connect for a second touchdown in the second quarter as the Hawks would hold a 21-0 lead going into halftime.
Just before halftime, Oak Park would have an opportunity to get on the scoreboard after driving inside the Harrison 10-yard line, but couldn’t score on a pair of pass attempts that were caught out of bounds.
After falling to 0-3 on the season, Oak Park coach Greg Carter said that simply the pressure is on his team and the Knights will have to play postseason-style football in order to keep their playoff hopes alive.
“It’s a playoff game every day now,” he said. “Every week, there’s a playoff game, so we have to look at it like that and we have to eliminate mistakes. We’re a very young team that’s going to be good, but right now, we’re making too many mistakes to beat good teams.”
In the second half, Harrison (2-1) would add three more points on a field goal from Alex Bolstrum, but both defenses would dominate after halftime.
Herrington said that in the first half, his offense was able to find success in the first half, but credited the Oak Park defense for limiting the Hawks’ offense after halftime.
“We got a couple of our favorite plays and they hit,” he said. “I was upset because we didn’t do a little bit better in the second half, but we didn’t buckle it up. We were still trying, but they stopped us and held us to a field goal in the second half.”