HARLEM — Harlem outscored Aquinas in a 47-42 offensive shootout on Friday, Sept. 15, at the Bulldogs home stadium.
This game ends the Aquinas win streak and marks the Fightin’ Irish’s first loss of the season.
Both offenses moved up and down the field with ease Friday. The Bulldogs scored first with a 1-yard rushing touchdown by Corey Boyd. Ryan Bodine converted the extra point to make the score 7-0 with 6:11 remaining in the first quarter.
In just a few plays, Aquinas drove down the field inside the Harlem 25-yard line, but was only held to three points after kicker Grant Miller made a 30-yard field goal.
With 56 seconds left in the first quarter, Harlem quarterback Ethan Evangelista threw a pass to wide receiver Cayman Davis for a 10-yard touchdown.
Aquinas added there first touchdown of the game as quarterback Jim Franklin completed a touchdown to Christian Kates. The Fightin’ Irish failed to convert on the extra point and the Bulldogs led 14-9 early in the second quarter.
After the touchdown, Harlem fumbled on the first play of the next drive. Aquinas would drive down the field, but got stuffed at the 1-yard line, failing to score.
The Bulldogs pushed ahead as Evangelista hit running back Dawson Maddox on a screen pass for a 20-yard touchdown, making the score 21-9.
Franklin added the second Irish touchdown of the game with a run, but Harlem’s Kee Williams returned an 82-yard kick return touchdown and the Bulldogs led 28-16 at the half.
As Harlem looked to have all the momentum going into the second half, Aquinas came out firing with 13 unanswered points with another rushing and passing touchdown by Franklin, giving the Fightin’ Irish a 29-28 lead with 6:51 left in the third quarter.
Harlem would gain the lead back and then some as Evangelista rushed in three touchdowns, one being a 55-yard touchdown and the Bulldogs led 47-29 with 8:14 remaining in the game.
Aquinas continued fight as Franklin added two more passing touchdowns, cutting the Bulldogs lead down to a touchdown.
With under a minute and no timeouts, Aquinas failed to recover the onside kick and fell short of the comeback.
Harlem (3-2) will look to keep the momentum going as the Bulldogs face Cross Creek (2-1) on Friday, Sept. 29. The Fightin’ Irish (3-1) will try and get back to their winning ways as they play Greenbrier (0-4) next Friday, Sept. 22.
Christopher Rickerson, an Augusta University graduate, has covered area sports for Augusta University, The Augusta Press and Augusta Good News. Subscribe to the Augusta Good News newsletter here.
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