The Harrison High School boys football team nearly daubed all the squares on their metaphorical Bingo card on Sept. 16.
The Panthers scored on defense, offense, and special teams, put up 41 points, all in the first quarter, in their 56-0 rout of Mitchell.
“Our first two games were definitely humbling,” said Harrison’s TJ Washington. “We were hungry for these wins and we’re going to keep the momentum going from here.”
Harrison (2-2) started the game in a unique fashion against Mitchell (0-4) after a 39-yard pass completion from Diego Watt to Jordan David-Voss on the opening play.
The next snap, Harrison fumbled and Mitchell recovered at their own 36 with 11:28 on the clock.
However, on Mitchell’s opening possession, on third and 9 from their own 29, Mitchell’s quarterback fired a pass toward the Panthers’ sideline where a receiver bobbled the toss.
Cameron Champangnie eventually grabbed the ball out of the air, weaved through the Marauders and into the end zone for a 37-yard pick-6.
The PAT made it 7-0 with 10:11 on the clock in the first. Mitchell then took possession but faced another third and long deep in their territory.
The Marauders fumbled the rock, which Ralph Cushon then scooped up for a 27-yard score to make it 13-0 with 8:45 left in the first.
Over the next four minutes, Harrison scored on a pair of 20-plus yard runs from Washington and Carlos Preciado and a 75-yard punt return by Colton Clarke to make it 34-0 in the first with 4:41 on the clock.
Preciado’s 32-yard scamper with 2 minutes left in the first gave Harrison a 41-0 lead and initiated running clock, which begins when a team leads by 40 or more points.
This was Harrison’s best first quarter of the season and was quadruple their point total for the year.
Their 56-point outburst was also the most Harrison had scored since Nov. 11, 2021, in the finale against Mitchell.
“I’ve preached for years and the kids are starting to buy into it, I’ve told them that our biggest opponent is ourselves,” said Harrison coach Rob Leboeuf. “We worry about what we do, our assignments, our approach and our process. We go out and play as hard as we can and let the results take care of themselves. Our guys were locked in. Our guys approached [the game] very well.”
Washington scored on a 3-yard run with 5:26 left in the second quarter. Then, Brendon Chacon-Martinez found Davis-Voss for a 2-point conversion pass to make it 49-0.
For Washington, his two rushing touchdowns marked his best of the season in his return to the line up after he missed the contest against Pueblo County on Sept. 9.
“Our practices were more upbeat the past two weeks,” Washington said. “And I know someone is hungry for my [starting] spot. So, I have to keep working hard. I love it.”
Dayon Mock gave Harrison its final touchdown of the game with a 3-yard run with 4 minutes left in the third to make it 56-0.
Although Harrison held Mitchell scoreless and haven’t shut out an opponent since Oct. 15, 2021, when they beat Sierra 41-0, Leboeuf highlighted a few areas his squad required tweaking.
Leboeuf noted their turnover on the second play of the contest, twice not having a holder on the field for extra points and a few penalties.
“We can’t have guys taking themselves out on special teams and just not understanding situations – that can be downs and distance, getting the PAT team out there, who’s out there for kickoff,” Leboeuf said. “That goes for every player on our team and it’s something I addressed after the game. We have to be unified and supporting one another all the time. Be in the moment and be locked in all the time because we can’t have any lax situations, regardless of the score.”
The Panthers now prepare to face Canon City (1-3) on Sept. 23 at home and look to get over .500 for the first time since the 2021 COVID spring season.
Leboeuf said despite Tigers’ record, he’ll ensure the Panthers realize Canon City isn’t a slouch.
“We don’t take anybody lightly just like we didn’t take Mitchell lightly,” Leboeuf said. “We have a ton of respect for Mitchell and it’s the same thing for Canon City. They could be the number one team in the state, they could be the worst team in the state, we’re going to approach it the way we always approach things. We’re going to prepare for 48 minutes of tough football. It’s going to be a physical contest and we’re looking forward to it.”