CENTERVILLE – Hickman County defeated Harpeth 21-14 on Friday night, but the scoring didn’t really get going until the final minutes in the game.
Both Hickman and Harpeth scored in the second quarter and were deadlocked at 7-7 until five minutes to go in the fourth quarter, when both offenses exploded.
“We were playing tough, but we didn’t take advantage of some offensiv opportunities early in the game,” Harpeth coach Doug Loope said. “Defensively, we hung tough and that’s what I wanted. Our plan was to get into the fourth quarter in a close game and be able to win it. That’s what we did, but they had two plays that went a long distance.”
One of those two plays was a 70-yard touchdown run by Hickman that came right after a stalled-out Harpeth drive, when the Indians turned the ball over on downs. A Hickman interception of Harpeth QB Thomas Sloan seemed to give the Bulldogs all the momentum, but Luke Gossett grabbed an interception on the next play to give the ball back to the Indians, though Harpeth failed to take advantage of the stellar field position.
Harpeth got the ball back after that Hickman’s long score, but the offense again stalled and turned the ball over on downs. Hickman took full advantage with a 45-yard rushing touchdown to take a 21-7 advantage with only 2:23 remaining.
It seemed like all hope was lost for Harpeth at that point, but Sloan redeemed himself with a perfectly thrown back-shoulder pass down the sideline to Christian Mejia, who broke a tackle and sprinted into the end zone to cut Hickman’s lead to 21-14.
All Harpeth needed was an onside kick, but Hickman grabbed it quickly before the Indians could get to it. Hickman then ran the clock out to preserve the seven-point advantage.
“We will go back and watch the tape, but they’ve got some guys that can really run the ball,” Loope added. “If we don’t do our job and close up those gaps, that’s what happens.”
Harpeth is now 1-1 on the season and will look to get back over .500 next week as host Camden Central, which lost to Creek Wood 41-27 on Friday.