After Friday night's game against Evans High School, Harlem coach Jimmie Lewis looked happier than when he beat Evans to win his 500th baseball game earlier this year.
Harlem's Matt Maddox charges downfield to put his team in position to score a few plays later in the second quarter against Evans.[
Photo by Jim Blaylock
He had just beaten Evans again, 13-7, in the season opener for football.
"This is as sweet as any win I've ever had here," Lewis said. "Our kids really wanted this one."
Harlem (1-0) used a clock-eating rushing attack to beat its once-hated rival after getting beaten 35-7 at home last year. Before last season's game, the two schools hadn't played since 1984.
"We were embarrassed last season at home," said Harlem offensive lineman Mike White. "We wanted to make sure we returned the favor."
Evans (0-1) had a chance to tie the game late but was derailed by a fumble by Jonathon Nicely on the Bulldogs' 16-yard line with 40 seconds to play. Sophomore quarterback Kevin Millward was impressive on the Knights' final drive, completing five of seven passes for 50 yards before Nicely's fumble after making a 13-yard reception on third-and-two.
Bulldogs quarterback Brendan Gray took two knees to run out the clock while a raucous Harlem crowd cheered.
"This is so great for these kids," Lewis said. "And these fans, too. They worked their butts off this summer and this means a lot to them."
Evans' Wes Baxter breaks a tackle attempt by Harlem's William Bridges for a first down in the first quarter of Saturday's game.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Harlem ran the ball 48 times for an average of 4.6 yards a carry behind an offensive line that averages 260 pounds a player.
Fullback Barry St. John did most of the damage by rushing for 90 of his game-high 101 yards in the second half. His 34-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter gave Harlem a touchdown lead. Each of his 14 carries were runs up the middle on the triple option.
"We thought they would try and stop Brendan Gray on the outside on our option," Lewis said.
"We just kept taking what they gave us up the middle."
Harlem ate time from midway through the second quarter until about 2:30 left in the fourth. Evans picked up only one first down in that span.
"We couldn't do anything offensively because we didn't have the ball," said Knights coach Marty Jackson.
"They just killed us up the middle."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.