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Picking up a win at Harriman Middle School is never an easy thing to do, but that’s just what the Oliver Springs Bobcats did Thursday night as Larry Green’s squad picked up a 20-6 victory over the Blue Devils in the season opener for both teams.
“We knew coming in that (Harriman) coach (Baron) Tapp would have a tough team and they would be tough to beat at Wallace Black Field,” Oliver Springs head coach Larry Green said following the win. “I thought we were able to move the ball well thanks to our offensive line of Dillon Todd, Casey Wilson, Taylor Murray, Blake Taylor and Bobby Dale Crass. I also thought Shelby Morgan did a good job of moving from tight end to fullback for this game.
“Our defense also did a good job of executing the game play. We had one play get away from us, but overall they did a good job. This is a good win for us.”
A big key in picking up the victory Thursday was turning turnovers into points. Harriman fumbled the ball away three times on the evening and the Bobcats turned the turnovers in three scores.
Harriman’s first turnover came just two plays into the game as Oliver Springs’ Markus Miller recovered the loose ball at the Devils 36 yard line.
It took awhile before the Bobcats turned the turnover into points, but 11 plays later Miller would score on a five-yard run to give Oliver Springs the lead.
Brandon Taylor added the two-point conversion to make the score 8-0 with 1:36 left in the first quarter.
Harriman’s second turnover came midway through the second quarter as Miller again fell on a loose ball at the Devils 30. Oliver Springs scored two plays later when QB Brandon Buck hit Taylor from 32 yards out for the score.
Oliver Springs’ two-point try failed, leaving the score 14-0 with 3:17 to play in the first half.
Harriman put together a solid drive to end the half thanks to a 12-yard run from Travis Kirkland and a 15-yard run from Austin Barnett, but the drive ended on downs at the Bobcat 25.
Harriman’s third turnover of the night came again at their own 30 and it was again a fumble recovered by Miller.
The Bobcats turned the turnover into points four plays later when Buck found Taylor again in the end zone, this time from 17 yards out.
Oliver Springs’ missed on the conversion, leaving the score 20-0 with 2:09 left in the third period.
Harriman put together another solid drive following the kickoff, but the drive again ended on downs at the Bobcat 29.
The Blue Devils avoided the shutout when Michael Roberts broke free for an 80-yard score with 3:29 left in the contest.
Harriman ended the evening with 143 yards rushing on 25 attempts. Roberts led the way with 94 yards and one TD on five carries.
The Blue Devils did not attempt a pass.
Oliver Springs rolled up 207 yards of offense on 36 plays.
The Bobcats ran the bail 33 times for 158 yards with Miller’s 109 yards and one TD on 17 carries leading the way.
Buck added 49 yards and two TDs through the air. He completed 2 of 3 passes.
Taylor caught both passes.
Harriman will look for their first win of the season when they travel to Robertsville.
Oliver Springs will also be in action Thursday when they visit Coalfield.
“Coalfield’s a tough team and I’d like to see the stands full of Bobcat fans at Rochelle Field,” Green said.
Rushing- Kirkland 10-35, Greene 2-3, Barnett 4-16, Roberts 5-94 with 1 TD, Team 4-(-5).
Oliver Springs Statistics
Rushing- Miller 17-109 with 1 TD, Taylor 6-22, Buck 5-13, Sharpe 2-4, Morgan 2-14, Team 1-(-4).
Passing- Buck 2-3 for 49 yards with 2 TDs.
Receiving- Taylor 2-49 with 2 TDs.