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Showtime recently made a show called “Orange is the New Black.” Well, at Wallace Black Field, the Harriman Blue Devils encountered an electrifying orange and black attack from the Greenback Cherokees Friday night, falling by a 42-13 tally.
“We just have to move on after a game like this and get ready for Tellico Plains next week,” Harriman head coach Travis Tapp said after the game. “Our kids played hard, we were a bit banged up coming in, and now we just have to get to work on Monday.”
After both teams traded punts on their initial possession, Greenback’s initial scoring drive took just three plays to cover 90 yards, showing more speed than a pack of race cars at Talladega, scoring on a 29-yard touchdown jaunt by Donovan Folkner.
Braxton Fox’s PAT was good, making the score 7-0 with 5:36 left in the first quarter.
Harriman responded in kind with a five-play, 84-yard drive, seeing Garrett Greene go into the end zone from 45 yards away, chugging into the end zone like a runaway Mack truck.
Grant Jenkins’ PAT was good to tie the game at 7-7 with 3:11 left in the opening quarter.
Not to be outdone, Greenback took seven plays to cover 70 yards to score on a Samuel McCloud to Jordan Anderson 16-yard screen pass, making the score 14-7 with 1:09 left in the opening quarter.
Following a Harriman punt, Greenback’s next scoring drive took five plays to cover just 22 yards following a 30-yard punt return from Hunter Cope.
Tanner LaFours scored from three yards out for the ‘Kees as their lead grew to 21-7 with 9:26 left in the second quarter.
After three straight series ending with a punt, Greenback found themselves in prime real estate following yet another big time return by Anderson.
Anderson then scored the very next play from 18 yards out, magically escaping harm like David Blaine or Harry Houdini en route to the end zone, making the score 28-7 with 34.2 seconds to go in the first half.
The Cherokees were back in business on their opening drive of the second half with an eight-play, 43-yard touchdown drive capped off by a one-yard plunge by Folkner, pushing the lead to 35-7 with 7:18 left in the third quarter.
Harriman, however, refused to say quit as the Blue Devils got the ball at the Greenback 32 following a 47-yard return on the kickoff by JoJo Luna. Five plays later, Greene would see nothing but the “green” of the end zone on a five-yard touchdown plunge.
The PAT was blocked, making the score 35-13 with 4:27 to go in the third quarter.
Greenback on their next drive had Harriman meet the Folkner. Donovan Folkner that is, as he darted through the heart of the Harriman defense en route to a 51-yard touchdown run to make the score 42-13 with 3:47 left in the third quarter.
Both teams traded punts on four straight possessions before Luna came up with an interception.
Harriman got to midfield to end the game with the final score at 42-13.
Greene (14-135-2 TDs) and T.J. Phipps (8-46) led the Harriman ground attack en route to 227 yards on offense compared to Greenback’s 336.
Ricky Barry (7 tackles, 1 TFL), Luna (4 tackles, 1 INT), Phipps (4 tackles), Devan Angelo (4 tackles, 1 TFL), and Matt Snow (4 tackles, 2 TFL) all had stellar showings on defense.
“We did a lot of good things tonight,” Tapp commented. “Our kids ran the ball hard and we had some young kids step up and do a nice job.”
Next week, the Blue Devils playoff hopes potentially hang in the balance against a surprising 5-2 Tellico Plains Bears squad fresh off of a 21-20 stunning upset of the Rockwood Tigers.
“They’re a tough team and tonight they beat a very good Rockwood team,” Tapp said. “We just got to have a good week of practice and get ready for next Friday.”
Rushing- Greene 14-135 with 2 TDs, Phipps 8-46, Eleam 15-26, Luna 7-16, Ewing 1-9, Taylor 1-(-5).
Passing- Taylor 0-1, Eleam 0-1.