Unfortunately, the coaches were told by the athletic director following the game that all athletic practices and games were suspended due to an impending teachers strike. Failing to come to a settlement after seven hours of negotiations Friday, the Harrison Hills Board of Education and Harrison Hills Teachers Assn. were still at a stalemate. According to a statement posted by Superintendent Jim Drexler on the district’s web site, no additional meetings have been scheduled by the federal mediator and a strike is scheduled to start Monday at 12:01 a.m.
“There are a lot of good people on both sides of that bargaining table, I hope and pray cooler heads and the kids best interest will prevail,” said Harrison Central head coach Justin Kropka, “We have been improving each week and I hope something special does not get taken away from these kids, especially now that we are right in the thick of it.”
The Huskies defense made the early statement at Bellaire with an interception by Wes Skinner on Big Reds first possession setting up an early score as the “Hopedale Comet” returned the pick to the 2 yard line. Justin Valentine punched it in for the score with a mere minute thirteen run off the game clock.
On the first snap following the ensuing kickoff HC linebacker Ivan Woodward stripped and picked the pigskin as Bellaire attempted a reverse and took it in from 18 yards out for the score. Quarterback Robbie Davia found Ryan Davenport for the two point conversion pass to make it 14-0 Central at the 10:32 mark of the first quarter.
The Huskies began the second stanza with an offensive lighting as Davia capped an 80 yard drive with the 2-yard push. Davenport added the PAT to give the visitors a three touchdown lead with 11:22 left in the first half.
Central had some players injured on the next series as DE Jared Davenport and Skinner were sidelined. The missing players did not slow the Huskies offense as they put together an 83-yard scoring drive. Taylor Banks did the honors from 9 yards out and the Big Red rolled out their homecoming royalty trailing 27-0.
The Huskies Zach Zbinden recovered a Big Red fumble and coach Kropka sent in the reserves to run the second offensive series of the second half. Quarterback Ty Kenney handed off the snap to freshman Alex Brooks who hit the seam and sprinted 41 yards for his first varsity touchdown. Ryan Davenport split the uprights for the extra point and a 34-0.
Bellaire scored following a 51-yard pass play at 10:21 in the fourth. The Huskies answered as Alex Brooks and sophomore Cody Kaiser tag teamed it to the 9 yard line where sophomore Jake Emery went around the right side for his first varsity score. The HC quarterback took a knee on the conversion snap.
Bellaire was not ready to reciprocate and sent the first team out on offense again. Result? A 55 yard touchdown pass.
“There’s not much I can say about that, that’s not the way I do things and the final score didn’t matter; a W is a W,” Kropka said, “Bellaire is a very physical team, we were up by 21 points and we were just happy to run out the clock and get out of Dodge.”
The fate of the Huskies now is out of their hands.