Harrison wins at Van Buren while Alma defeats Greenwood.
Harrison’s Colin Ballard bulldozed his way to 136 yards on 14 carries and three touchdowns as the visiting Goblins capped a perfect season with a 22-6 win on Thursday at Citizens Bank Stadium at Blakemore Field.
“Harrison’s good. They came here and did what they needed to do,” said Van Buren coach Eric Capp. “I thought we did some good things. We had a good offensive start, came up with some turnovers at critical times and made them punt a couple of times.”
The Pointers dropped their second game in three starts to finish the season 5-5 overall and 4-3 in league play. The loss coupled with Alma’s 22-7 win over Greenwood last night pushed Van Buren to finish fourth in the conference.
Harrison won their first River Valley Conference title in its inaugural season in the league with a perfect season (10-0, 7-0 RVC).
Chaffin (8-2, 6-1) finished runner-up followed by Alma and Van Buren.
“I can’t say enough of what a pleasure it has been to work with this group of young men. My assistants (Derek Davis, Scotty Milton and Ryan Tyler) have been great as well,” said Capp. “This has been a fun football season and I hate to see them move on, but the future of Van Buren football looks good.”
Van Buren began the game with a monster 17-play drive which ate up 7:36 of the clock. Brayden Rivas capped the drive on a 17-yard run. The conversion came up short.
Harrison responded on the ensuing kickoff with an 88-yard return to the Pointer 5. Ballard had his first carry and his first touchdown to tie the game at the end of the first quarter. Ballard added the two-point conversion and Harrison grabbed a lead it didn’t relinquish for the duration of the game.
The score remained tight until the second half after Harrison fumbled on its next two possessions, including at the Pointer 5 as Ballard tried for another score. The Goblins reached the Pointer 22 on its third possession, but Rivas came up with the second turnover.
Harrison was forced to punt on its final possession of the first half. Van Buren’s offense delivered a 14-yard sack to push the Goblins back to the Harrison 26.
The Goblins began the third quarter with a seven-play drive to cover 42 yards, ending with Ballard scoring from four yards out. The PAT gave Harrison the 15-6 lead.
Ballard scored his final touchdown on a 22-yard run with 5:55 remaining in the fourth quarter.
The Pointers finished with 96 yards of offense with Geoffrey Scott leading with eight carries for 56 yards.
Alma 22, Greenwood 7
The Airedales began the season with a 28-12 nonconference loss to the Bulldogs. Alma would start with a 1-3 record, but with the win, on Thursday the Airedales finished year 6-4 overall and 5-2 in River Valley Conference play.
“We are thrilled to finish the year on a 5-1 run and finish 5-2 in the conference,” said coach J.D. Coursey. “What made this group successful is how well they handled adversity. This team kept showing up, working hard and finding ways to improve themselves after tough losses. They are unselfish kids, who only want success for the team.
“They have been a joy to coach. They will be successful as senior high football players and they will be successful in life because they are hard-nose kids, who work harder in the face of adversity.”
Greenwood began the scoring, but Alma finished with 22 unanswered points.
Logan Hatcher scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak after long runs by Bobby Winfrey and Josh Davis. Alma’s Josh Davis returned an interception 60 yards for another score. Davis added a 64-yard touchdown run for the final score of the game.
Andrew Duncan was 2 of 2 on PATs.
Coursey said Karsten Beneux was “a difference maker on defense.” Beneux recorded four tackles for losses.