Harrison Football Flies Past Farmington, 56-13
The Hawks complete their 13th undefeated regular season in school history and start the postseason next week.
Eight different players scored touchdowns for Harrison, which tallied 49 unanswered points after trailing 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Hawks scored touchdowns in almost every way possible as well, notching four rushing touchdowns, a passing touchdown, a fumble return for a touchdown, an interception return for a touchdown, and a punt return for a touchdown.
“That was the first time we’ve trailed all year,” Harrison head coach John Herrington said. “Special teams made the big plays, and we’ve got so many really good athletes that really came through before we were able to get the offense going ... We’ve got a lot of players that can score, and we try to spread it around.”
The Hawks more than showed their explosive nature, with six of the eight touchdowns coming on plays of 25 yards or more. But the game's turning ponit was the 99-yard interception return by senior wide receiver/defensive back Aaron Burbridge.
At the time, Harrison was leading 7-6, but the Falcons were driving towards regaining the lead. Facing a fourth down and four yards to go on the Hawks’ 24 yard-line, Farmington senior quarterback Chris Morgan passed toward the end zone. Burbridge stepped in for the interception just short of the Hawks’ goal line. The score tied a school record for the longest interception return.
“Big players make big plays and (Burbridge) is definitely one of those,” Herrington said. “One of our big players always seems to come through for us ... I didn’t think he was going to go 99 yards like he did, that was amazing. He’s just a great athlete, one of the best we’ve ever had here.”
Sophomore running back Lorenzo Collins also has proved to be a game-breaker for Harrison. His 111 yards on 12 carries and one touchdown on Friday give him 567 yards rushing and eight touchdowns over the last three games. Herrington said that Collins’ late-season emergence is a big reason the Hawks’ running attack has improved over the course of the year.
“With Lorenzo coming on and our offensive line being good, we’ve run the ball a lot better than we did last year,” Herrington said. “We’ve got the tailbacks that can go, so we’re using them more.”
While Harrison and its 9-0 record is guaranteed a berth in the MHSAA playoffs, Farmington, with a 5-4 mark, now likely finds itself on the outside looking in for the postseason. The Falcons would’ve guaranteed themselves a spot with a victory, but the loss likely means the end of their season.
The Hawks will learn who their first playoff opponent is on Sunday with Fox Sports Detroit showing the Selection Sunday Show at 7 p.m. Herrington said that he anticipates seeing his squad slotted to play Brother Rice in the opening round.
“We’re definitely a playoff contender, but it will get tough,” Herrington said. “When you play a team like Brother Rice, or whoever it may be, you have to play well.”
Harrison captured the MHSAA Division 2 title last season and has won 13 state championships overall.
Harrison-Farmington, Scoring Summary
Harrison 0 21 21 14 56
Farmington 6 0 0 7 13
FHS – Green 67 run (pass failed), 3:01
HHS – Vento 43 punt return (Buckner kick), 2:58
HHS – Burbridge 99 interception return (Buckner kick), 5:55
HHS – Coleman 39 pass from Vento (Buckner kick), 10:11
HHS – Collins 28 run (Buckner kick), 2:37
HHS – Hunter 12 run (Buckner kick), 5:25
HHS – Hosey 41 fumble return (Buckner kick), 6:17
HHS – Huckleby 15 run (Buckner kick), 1:32
FHS – Craven 19 run (Hill kick), 9:31
HHS – Fields 63 run (Buckner kick), 11:36