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Jackets come back in second half against Harriman

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By The Staff

The Harriman Blue Devils planned to stay undefeated at 3-0 Friday night, but Coalfield ruined those plans, winning 23-12 at Coalfield School.

The Blue Devils took a 12-3 lead into the locker rooms at the break.

Harriman’s defensive pressure had caused trouble for the Yellow Jacket offense throughout the first two quarters of play and there weren’t any signs of stopping.

“You know Harriman is a good football team,” Coalfield Coach Keith Henry said. “They have a lot of athletes and a lot of quickness on the field.

“I think they’ll win a lot games this year, so you have to give them a lot of credit.”

The woes started for the Devils in the third.

“Harriman had a good game plan for us and slowed us down offensively in the first half,” Henry said. “Our defense played pretty good but we got behind on the score board.”

After a good drive thanks to Bradly Frost and Trezdin Copeland, Harriman quickly converted third down to make it to their 40-yard line.

The momentum was quickly squashed when Frost was caught behind the line by the Yellow Jacket defense for a seven-yard loss.

Two incompletions in a row forced Harriman to punt.

Controlling the football for the first time in the second half, Coalfield set the tone for the rest of the evening when Lance Byrd connected with Isaac Van Witzenburg for a 14-yard pass to move fromt their 35-yard line to the 49.

“Give our coaching staff credit,” Henry said. “They did a great job of making adjustments at the half.

“And you have to give our kids credit. They did a good job of not giving up and they believed.

“They showed a lot of heart.”

The next play saw Byrd hit Peyton McKinney for a 48-yard strike putting Coalfield within one yard of paydirt.

It didn’t take long.

Byrd fell forward on the next play for the touchdown and following the point after kick, the scoring gap had shrunk to 12-10.

The problems had only just begun for Harriman.

On the ensuing kickoff, the ball was was fumbled and the Jacket special teams fell on it at the Blue Devils’ 26.

Coalfield shifted focus from a quick hitting passing game to the running game.

Seth Lowe showed his reliability and consistency in running the football.

Thanks to Lowe, the Jackets methodically plodded 26-yards on five plays for the go ahead score.

In less than seven minutes, Coalfield had scored twice and taken the 16-12 lead.

“After we made those halftime adjustments, things just started to roll,” Henry said. “Our defense played hard and our offense got going.

“I’m very proud of the team and our coaching staff.”

Harriman showed it still hadn’t completely recovered from the earlir miscues.

Getting the ball on their own 36-yard line the kickoff, the Blue Devils got Michael Green, Jr. involved in the running game.

Green ran for nine yards before being brought down.

Copeland was stopped on the next play with no gain.

On third down, Harriman fumbled the ball with Coalfield coming away with it.

The Jackets went back to Lowe on the ground for four yards, but a false start stalled the drive.

A 12-yard pass to van Witzenburg put Coalfield on the 33.

The Blue Devil defense stiffened up and forced an incompletion.

The incompletion was a long pass into the end zone over the outstretched hands of the receiver.

On closer inspection by the officials the play was ruled defensive pass interference against Harriman and Coalfield moved to the 16-yard line.

The Jackets capped the drive with a six-yard dump pass to Ashton Jones to make the score 23-12.

The fourth quarter saw the teams exchanged possessions throughout.

Coalfield shifted focus to Jones in the running game and it proved to be effective.

The running game chewed valuable time off the clock and applied pressure to the Harriman offense to produce.

Coalfield attempted to cap a 13-play drive with 24-yard field goal, but the kick dinged off the right goal post.

With time winding down, Harriman took over its 20-yard line.

Frost found Giovanni Cromwell for a 23-yard pass to inject life into the Devils’ offensive attack.

Series of incompletions forced Harriman to attempt an unsuccessful fourth-down conversion.

The Blue Devils will look to rebound this Friday as they will host the Oneida Indians while Coalfield will play at county rival Sunbright.