By MIKE SMITH
On Oct. 5, Harrison’s football team bounced back from a down week in a big way, pulverizing an outmatched Saunders squad 47-17 in a game that was effectively over by the half.
The win puts Harrison at 4-1 on the season as the Huskies look to close out their regular season
campaign on a strong note.
Just one week ago, Harrison—thought by many to be the top Class A team in Section I this year—suffered an upset loss at the hands of Horace Greeley, falling to the unheralded Quakers 25-15. That loss, it seemed, lit a fire underneath Harrison as they prepared to do battle with the Blue Devils on Oct. 5.
“We knew we had to come out strong against Saunders,” said running back Jake Marino. “We had to treat this as if they were an undefeated team.”
Harrison came out of the gates firing on all cylinders, scoring on their second play from scrimmage, a 50-yard run by Marino. Marino would finish with 156 yards and three touchdowns on just six carries.
“The offensive line did a great job,” said the senior halfback. “Those were absolutely huge holes.”
Rashan Gilmore also found the end zone with a 22-yard scamper to help Harrison build up a 41-0 lead at the half, allowing Harrison’s second-stringers to get some valuable playing time as the postseason looms.
Harrison fans hope that the momentum from Saturday’s game will carry over into their matchup on Oct. 11 when they take on a tough Yorktown team coming off a convincing win of their own. On Saturday, Yorktown buried the same Greeley team that shocked Harrison, beating the Quakers 42-14, thanks in part to the return of standout running back Erik Meyerles who was back in the lineup last week after suffering a broken foot on Sept. 7.
“We know that Yorktown is a good team,” said Marino. “They beat Greeley by a lot, so we know this coming in.”
As of press time, although the Horace Greeley loss proved a blow to Harrison’s playoff hopes, the Huskies are still in the postseason mix. Adjusting for strength of schedule, the 4-1 Huskies currently hold the three-seed in Class A League 1, ahead of both Yorktown and John Jay on the playoff index that determines the seeding. A win over the Huskers could go a long way towards ensuring the Huskies will be playing past their season-finale against undefeated Rye.
“This Yorktown game is a must-win,” said Marino. “If we want to make the playoffs and get a good seed, we have to win this game.”