Farmington Hills Harrison Hall of Fame coach John Herrington speaks with quarterback Keel Watson IV during a game against Farmington High Oct. 19 at home. The Hawks won the game 48-7.

Farmington Hills Harrison Hall of Fame coach John Herrington speaks with quarterback Keel Watson IV during a game against Farmington High Oct. 19 at home. The Hawks won the game 48-7.

Photo by Donna Agusti


Harrison headed back to playoffs after emotional win

By: Zachary Manning | Farmington Press | Published October 24, 2018

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FARMINGTON HILLS — The stands were packed, the crowd was electric, and when the final whistle blew, Farmington Hills Harrison football was on its way back to a place it knows all too well.

With a 48-7 win over Farmington High on Oct. 19, the Hawks clinched a playoff berth for the ninth time in the last 10 years and will get one more chance to make a run toward a state championship.

“I’m real proud of ’em,” Hawks Hall of Fame coach John Herrington said. “They came back after two bad losses and practiced hard this week, and they knew what was at (stake) in this game.”

In a game with a lot of emotion and high stakes, each and every player for the Hawks was determined to make sure this wasn’t their last game.

Senior running backs Vincent Rawls and Roderick Heard played a big role in the outcome, as the two backs combined for five rushing touchdowns and a receiving score.

“We just put everything on the line as a team. It’s not just me; it’s my linemen. It’s everybody. We all did it together,” Rawls said.

With it being the last regular-season home game in Harrison history, a bunch of former players and other alumni came back to celebrate the school and the football program.

Before the game, all alumni were welcome to make a tunnel for the players to enter the field. After the game, everyone was invited onto the field to celebrate.

“Just to see all the fans come out here and support us is just a great feeling. A lot of Hawk pride. It’s a lot of sense of family, bringing the community together, and to go out and beat a rivalry team and dominate them is pretty good,” Heard said.

With such a convincing win to end the season, the program is excited and ready to make one more run. The Hawks will be competing in Division 4 this season.

“It means everything. Playing for three years on varsity, starting, it’s been a long journey. The coaches have definitely helped me grow as a player, and it’s definitely a special feeling right now and kind of bittersweet,” Heard said. I’m happy that we’re going to the playoffs and going to continue the journey through my senior year.”

In the opening round of the playoffs, Harrison (6-3) will host Bloomfield Hills Cranbrook-Kingswood at a time and date to be determined.

Farmington (6-3) will open district play at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at home against Auburn Hills Avondale.

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