Farmington Hills Harrison headed to semifinals

By: Brandon Borman | Farmington Press | Published November 11, 2017

LINDEN — Running back Roderick Heard ran for 235 yards and three touchdowns as Farmington Hills Harrison beat Linden High 34-21 Nov. 10 for a regional championship on the road.

After the Hawks received the opening kickoff, the offense quickly went to work scoring on its opening drive when Heard was able to find the end zone from 2 yards out giving Harrison a 7-0 lead.

“We didn’t throw much tonight, but we threw enough to get the ball down there to get our first two touchdowns,” Harrison coach John Herrington said. “We just knew our line was bigger than theirs, they opened the holes and the backs just made the most of it.”

The Eagles offense would answer right back on their second play from scrimmage when quarterback George Walterhouse connected with receiver Hunter Babcock for 70 yards and the score to tie the game up at 7-7.

The Hawks would soon regain the lead when quarterback Noah Hendricks was able to escape pressure, scramble to his right and find receiver Ovie Oghoufo for the 24-yard touchdown to make it a 14-7 game.

The defense for the Hawks also did its part, holding the Eagle offense to only 120 total yards in the first half.

“That team, they’re a big play team, they’ve got a real sound passing attack, and we worked against those types of passes all week in practice to get ready,” Herrington said.

The Eagles used that big play ability to begin the second half when Walterhouse found receiver Corbin Sines who ran it 48 yards for the score and tied the game up at 14-14.

The Hawks responded with a 70-yard drive, which was capped off when running back Rapana Filemu scored from 2 yards out to once again give the Hawks the lead, 21-14.

“We’ve been working hard all week, and this was the goal all year. I watched a lot of film this week to get ready for this game,” Filemu said. “We just tried to keep the ball going on the ground, to get as many yards as we can and try and keep the clock going.”

The rushing attack for the Hawks would prove to be pivotal down the stretch as Heard was able to score on runs of 60 and 20 to give the Hawks a 34-14 lead late in the game.

“Rod has gotten better every week since moving to running back in week 1. He had a great night tonight and has to be up there with 1,400 yards now,” Herrington said.

The Eagles would score once more late, when Walterhouse threw it to running back Cade Dickson who ran it for 53 yards making it 34-21, but that would be it as the Hawks were able to run out the clock and seal the victory.        

“It feels good to get back to the semis. We have to get ready for next week though because I know we’re going to have a tough game,” Herrington said.

When asked about how the weather and if the game-time temperature of 24 degrees affected the game tonight, Herrington simply laughed and joked.

“The weather wasn’t bad tonight, the field was nice, and I wasn’t even that cold.”