Harrison Central to live and die by ground game vs. Gulfport
Harrison Central is part of a four way tie for second place in Region 4 Class 6A thanks in large part to its potent ground attack. In fact, the Red Rebels didn’t complete their first pass of the district schedule until last week.
Since the start of league play, the 2-1 Red Rebels have thrown the ball only 18 times compared to their 131 rushing attempts over that stretch. Opponents know what’s coming, but stopping their variation of the single wing offense better known as the Notre Dame box is easier said than done.
The ball could go to any one of four backs and a lot of the time it ends up in the hands of Keon Moore. The senior is third in rushing amongst all players from the six Coastal counties with more than 1,200 yards and ten touchdowns but the beauty of the offense is deception and spreading the wealth.
Harrison County Running Back Keon Moore said, “We’ve got a lot of big guys pulling, you don’t usually see that on the offensive line. Most of our offensive line pulling when we’re running, we’re like a big truck coming your way.”
Harrison Central Head Coach Casey Cain said, “Some back in the 80’s, 70’s used to call it the Notre Dame box. Basically it’s we’ve got two guys sitting behind the center, and either one of them can get the ball on the snap. So we’ve got like four backs in the backfield so it’s a run-heavy offense first, but we’re hoping each week to try to get better throwing the football.”
Harrison Central will have its hands full with that stout Gulfport defense come 7 o’clock tomorrow night. Last year, the Red Rebels took down the Admirals at home and they know what’s at stake this time around when they line up against the top dog in the region 4 standings. “This is the biggest game because like the huge rivalry between us, and they’re 3-0. We’d like to knock off the undefeated team, and make us first.”
Harrison Central Right Tackle Adarius Buckley said, “Just the excitement of two teams in the city playing a big game towards each other, and everybody’s family is coming out to see us.”
“It’s an important game because it’s Gulfport, and it’s the next game. But for us, or them, this game isn’t a deciding factor on the playoffs with still four games after this. But like I said it’s an important game, it’s a division game and it’s Gulfport so we’ve got to do what we can to come out here and get a victory.”
In 2016, the Red Rebels beat the Admirals in a nail biter 14-13.