Turnovers lead to Harriman's demise

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By Goose Lindsay

The Harriman Blue Devils had their opportunities Friday night to upset No. 6 ranked Copper Basin in the first round of the TSSAA Class A playoffs, but a pair of red zone fumbles that turned into long TD returns for the Cougars led to the Blue Devils season coming to an end following a 32-13 loss.

Harriman would hold a 7-0 lead after one period of play.

After both teams failed to score on their opening drives, Harriman scored quickly on their second drive as Brandon Williams broke free for a 75-yard scoring run to cap a 2-play, 75-yard drive.

Tyler Dishman added the PAT to give the Blue Devils a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter.

Copper Basin, however, answered with a 7-play, 60-yard scoring drive that tied the score at 7-7 one play into the second quarter.

The rest of the half would be primarily played on Copper Basin's side of the field, but the Blue Devils couldn't take advantage of the field position and would eventually trail at halftime, 14-7.

Harriman's first drive of the second period ended at midfield with a punt. The Blue Devils second possession started at the Cougars 49, but they were unable to pick up a first down.

Harriman's next possession started at the Cougars 42 following a fumble, but the Blue Devils again could not capitalize as they turned the ball over on downs at the 17.

Harriman's next drive would see the game turn.

The Blue Devils took over at the Cougars 23 following a short punt, but Harriman fumbled the ball away on the first play from there and Copper Basin returned the loose ball 78yards for a touchdown to take a 14-7 lead with less than a minute to play in the first half.

Copper Basin added to their lead on the first drive of the second half as they drove 58 yards in 6 plays to make the score 20-7.

The Cougars started pulling away on their next possession as they drove 70 yards in 5 plays to make the score 26-7.

With their backs against the wall, Harriman responded with a solid drive as the Blue Devils marched from their own 45 to the Copper Basin 6 in 11 plays. The 12th play, however, all but ended the game as the Cougars forced another fumble and returned this one 82 yards for a touchdown to make the score 32-6 one play into the final period.

Harriman did get a late touchdown as Terry Hendrickson returned a blocked punt 12 yards for a touchdown.

Harriman ends the season with a 5-6 record.