After starting the season 1-6, three-seed Harrison out of Region 3 has now won three of its last four games and is advancing to the second round of the playoffs following a 21-17 victory over host Brookwood. Junior quarterback Braylen Ford accounted for two touchdowns for the Hoyas — including the game-winner — to hand the Broncos their fourth first-round exit in the past five years.
The matchup was the first between the two programs since 2003, and backup Brookwood quarterback Matt Peavy’s second-straight start in place of injured senior QB (and Alabama commit) Dylan Lonergan. Peavy and the offense were unable to capitalize on the Harrison three-and-out forced by the Broncos defense on the opening drive, and Hoya quarterback Braylen Ford connected with fellow junior Brady Kluse for a 34-yard touchdown for the early Harrison lead.
Brookwood responded with a 13-yard score from Peavy to Jumal Prothro, quickly followed by a 7-yard Prothro touchdown on the direct snap for a 14-7 advantage heading into the second quarter. The teams traded punts for the bulk of the frame before Ford found Reggie Brigman for a 54-yard gain to set up an 8-yard touchdown run by sophomore Collin O’Hara to knot the game at 14-14.
The Broncos reclaimed the lead on the opening drive of the second half, settling for a 38-yard Danny Elrod field goal after marching deep into Harrison territory. Both defenses held strong through the rest of the third quarter and much of the fourth until the Hoyas drove down to the Brookwood 2-yard line. On 3rd-and-goal, Ford rolled out to the left, then made a dash to the right pylon to give Harrison its first lead since the first quarter with 4:37 left on the clock.
The Hoyas recovered a fumble in Broncos territory on the ensuing Brookwood drive and tried to put the game away on 4th-and-1 from the 3-yard line, but the QB sneak failed and the Broncos got the ball back with 1:33 remaining. The Harrison defense forced a turnover on downs, however, securing the Hoyas’ third second-round appearance in four years.