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When Bledsoe County entered Harriman’s Wallace Black Field Friday night, they did so with an unbeaten record and a top 10 ranking in Class AAA.
They didn’t leave that way, however, as Travis Tapp’s Harriman Blue Devils put together a strong performance in handing the Warriors their first loss of the season, 21-13.
Harriman once again used a solid ground attack to pick up their fifth win of the season. The Blue Devils ran the ball 55 times on the evening in picking up 271 yards rushing.
Dimitrique Inman led the Devils on the night with 152 yards and three TDs on 21 carries. Brandon Williams added 81 yards on 17 carries.
Harriman QB Mark Chesser chipped in 65 yards through the air to give the Devils 336 yards of total offense, which was 100 yards better than Bledsoe’s 236.
Harriman defense made the first big play of the contest. With the Warriors facing a third-and-one at the Devils 28, Harriman DL Jace Green fell on a loose ball to put an end to Bledsoe’s first drive of the evening.
Harriman turned the turnover into points 10 plays later when Inman capped a 70-yard drive with a 26-yard run.
Tyler Dishman added the PAT to make the score 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Defense was the name of the game the rest of the quarter both teams punted the ball away on their only other possession in the opening period.
After forcing a Warrior punt to start the second period, Harriman put together another 10-play scoring drive to make the score 14-0 midway through the second period.
This scoring drive covered 83 yards and was jump started with a 36-yard pass from Chesser to Williams. Inman ended the drive with a 17-yard run.
Harriman had a great chance to add another score before halftime, but would come up empty.
Starting from the Bledsoe 40, Harriman drove the ball to the Warrior 19 before a holding penalty and fourth down sack ended the scoring threat.
Harriman took the 14-point lead into the locker room at halftime, but the second half wouldn’t be as easy for the Blue Devils.
After forcing a Harriman punt to start the second half, Bledsoe marched 43 yards in four plays to cut the score to 14-7 after an 8-yard scoring pass.
Harriman also punted the ball away on their second possession of the third period then Bledsoe had a good drive going following the punt, but a Harriman sack ended the drive and would eventually send the game into the fourth period with the Devils holding onto the 14-7 lead.
Harriman punted the ball away on their first possession of the final period and Bledsoe kept the momentum in their corner by answering with a 10-play, 63-yard scoring drive that ended in a 22-yard run and cut Harriman’s lead to 14-13.
Bledsoe’s PAT was blocked as Harriman held onto the slim one-point lead.
Harriman had picked up just two first downs up until that point in the second half, but with their backs against the wall, the Blue Devils responded with their biggest drive of the night.
Starting from their own 29, the Devils put together and 8-play, 71-yard drive that ended in a 3-yard run from Inman.
Dishman’s PAT made the score 21-13.
Williams set up the score with a 28-yard run.
The Warriors didn’t throw in the towel, however, and marched down the field in an effort to send the game into overtime.
Starting from their own 35, Bledsoe drove to the Harriman 11 in only four plays, but the fourth play pretty much ended the game as Harriman’s Cole McAbee fell on a Warrior fumble.
Harriman picked up one first down before taking a knee to run out the clock.
With the win, Harriman improves to 5-2 overall and have now won four straight.
The Blue Devils host Grace Christian Academy Friday night with a chance to wrap up at least a tie for the District 3-A regular season title.
Rushing- Inman 21-152 with 3 TDs, Williams 17-81, Lunsford 5-17, Chesser (2-(-3), McAbee 8-29, Team 2-(-5).
Passing- Chesser 4-11 for 65 yards.
Receiving- Martin 2-19, Williams 1-16, Inman 1-10.