The Harlem High School Football team defeated Hephzibah 41-20 on the Bulldogs Homecoming night Oct 6.
Both teams came into the regional matchup with winning records as Harlem sat at 4-2 and Hephzibah was 5-1.
The Bulldogs began early with a long rush by running back Malik Tyler to the Rebels 1-yard line, which led to a rushing touchdown by Elijah Evangelista. Harlem kicker Ryan Bodine converted the extra point to give Harlem the 7-0 lead with 10:47 left in the first quarter.
On Hephzibah’s first drive, the Rebels marched into Bulldogs’ territory but failed to score and turned the ball over on downs.
The Bulldogs extended their lead to 14-0 after Ethan Evangelista passed an 82-yard touchdown to wide receiver Ronald Oliver in the first quarter.
They continued to dominate in the third quarter, scoring on their third consecutive drive after a 1-yard touchdown run by Corey Boyd.
Hephzibah running back Jaylon Alford finally got the Rebels on the scoreboard with a 21-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 21-7 with 9:58 to go in the first half.
The Rebel had no answer for the Harlem offense in the first half as Evangelista helped the Bulldogs score on their fourth consecutive drive to make the score 28-7 at the half.
Star running back of Hephzibah, Telly Johnson, put the Rebels on the board first in the second half with a 2-yard rushing touchdown.
Johnson would score another touchdown for Hephzibah in the second half, but the Harlem offense outpaced the Rebels. The Bulldogs continued to get the end zone as well, adding two more touchdowns including a third passing touchdown from Ethan Evangelista to his brother Elijah Evangelista for a 25-yard score, leading the Bulldogs to a 41-20 win.
Harlem (5-2) will travel to play the Academy of Richmond County (2-4) Friday, Oct. 13. Hephzibah (5-2) will be at home against another region leader in Morgan County (5-1) also next week.
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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