HARRISON — Opening rounds of the Class 5A State Football Playoffs kicked off Friday night with win-or-go-home results on the line.
Harrison’s defense held White Hall to just seven points on the night, and the Bulldogs were defeated, 49-7.
The coin toss went to Harrison, and the Goblins deferred to the second half.
White Hall used a heavy dose of C.J. Collins in the opening drive with six carries totaling 31 yards. Josh Looney connected with Kam Robinson on a 12-yard route and Kobe Drake for a 9-yard completion to get the Bulldogs in the red zone, but a fumble on first down at the Harrison 17-yard line fell into Goblin hands and an opening drive turnover put the White Hall defense on the field.
The Bulldogs couldn’t stop the Goblin running game. Harrison used four plays to move 55 yards and hit the scoreboard first 7-0.
Collins broke through on a 43 yard run to open White Hall’s second possession and got the ball to the middle of the field. The Bulldogs totaled negative 4 yards over the next four plays and turned the ball over on downs.
Harrison scored again early in the second quarter, and the Bulldogs were down 14-0.
White Hall’s next two possessions were unsuccessful, and Harrison found the end zone after both of those as the Goblins built a 28-0 advantage deep in the second quarter
On the next kickoff, Deshawn Buckner returned the ball to the Bulldog 37 yard line.
Buckner ran the first play for an 8-yard gain. Robinson then took a direct snap and broke through the Goblin defense for a 30-yard carry. Buckner and Robinson each carried for 4 yards before Drake nabbed a first down on an 8-yard carry.
Buckner picked up another 10 yards on the ground to set up first-and-goal at the 1 yard line. Buckner plowed forward and put the ball over the goal line to get the Bulldogs on the scoreboard. Collins split the uprights on the PAT, and the Bulldogs trailed 28-7 just before halftime.
Harrison then turned to the passing game in the second half and found the end zone with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter for a 35-7 edge.
The Bulldogs gained just 19 yards on the next six plays, turning the ball over on downs just before the third period ended.
Harrison scored on its next two possessions surrounding a three-and-out by the Bulldogs.
With 4:17 remaining in the game, White Hall managed seven running plays for 42 yards between Collins and Looney to get across midfield, but the final buzzer sounded.
White Hall finished their season 5-5 overall and a fourth-place finish in 5A-Central.
Jeffery Brasel is a reporter for the Harrison Daily Times.