Football: Harrison Central Improves to 2-2

CADIZ – It was a case of good news, bad news Friday night for Harrison Central.

First, the good news: the Huskies evened their record at 2-2 with a convincing, 27-7, victory against previously unbeaten Union Local on the Wagner Field grass. The triumph also allowed the hosts to begin Buckeye 8 play at 1-0.

Now, the bad news: starting linebacker Casey Runevitch and tailback Travis Stenson spent the majority of the game on crutches after sustaining lower-body injuries in the first half.

“Those injuries make this win bittersweet,” Harrison Central coach Justin Kropka said. “We’re progressing so far as a team. We’ve taken a step every week, and to lose a kid like Casey who has given this program everything he has for three years is huge.”

Stenson got the scoring started on Harrison Central’s opening drive. He capped a six-play, 62-yard march with a 38-yard jaunt around left end. He took the handoff up the middle, but found no room and bounced it outside where it was clear sailing.

Union Local’s Eric Dunfee recovered a Huskies fumble at the Jets 41. He then capped an 11-play, 58-yard drive with a 11-yard burst up the middle and his PAT deadlocked the game with 2:33 on the first-quarter clock.

However, that would be the extent of the Jets offense as they could muster 147 total yards.

“We had a freshman quarterback in there and I thought he played fairly well for a freshman,” first-year Union Local coach Bruce Stiles said of Shane Smolenak. “We found out Monday that (starting quarterback) Travis (James) suffered a concussion last week. I thought Shane battled.”

Harrison Central took the lead for good when Nate Maykowski, who stepped in for Stenson in the backfield, sprinted around his left end from 21 yards out to make it 14-7 with 6:09 left in the first half.

Keying the four-play, 56-yard march were a 24-yard hookup between quarterback David Miser and wideout Nate Olmstead and a 19-yard carry by Nico Williams.

Miser, who went 11-for-20 for 192 yards and two touchdowns, completed the scoring with a 15-yard TD strike to Olmstead late in the third quarter and a 22-yard scoring toss to Dalton Rutter in the fourth quarter. Rutter made a nice adjustment to the ball just inside the front right corner of the end zone.

Olmstead’s grab was setup by a 49-yard connection from Miser to Rutter down the near sidelines.

Dunfee finished with 88 yards on 21 carries. Smolenak was 3-for-12 for 31 yards as he was harassed for most of the second half.