Harrison coach Al Melo sighed as he walked out of the locker room Friday after his Panthers claimed a 46-0 victory over rival Sierra in the team's 3A South Central opener.
“I hate this week,” he said. “It’s great for the community and for the kids, but we get caught up in the rivalry and it’s stressful.”
But Melo could relax after Harrison pulled down an interception as time expired, putting an exclamation point on an already historic win.
For the first time in program history, the Panthers are 6-0.
“I need a nap,” Melo joked. “I’m proud of the way our kids are playing. They’re playing hard and they’re accepting every challenge week to week and they’ve stepped up.”
The Panthers’ Aumiere Shedrick and David Barrow had two touchdowns each, while quarterback Orlando Westbrook and sophomore running back Timmy Evans ran in another two.
Shedrick, Barrow and Sergio Alvarado showed off the Panthers’ speed, not only on the offensive end, but on defense as well, overwhelming the Stallions with quick, powerful tackles to nearly halt their run game.
“It helps that I’m the track coach too and I make them run track,” Melo said. “We have some kids who can run and it’s been a great benefit to us. Our defense played great tonight. They flew around the field, and we gave up one big play in the first half on a blown assignment, but other than that we were pretty solid.”
Sierra (1-5, 0-1) showed a glimpse of offensive momentum in the first quarter when quarterback Andrew Clemons found a receiver up the middle for a 45-yard gain. He likely would have had a touchdown on any other night, but Harrison’s speedy defenders dragged him down.
“It all comes down to execution and executing what’s called on both sides of the ball,” Sierra coach Shane Rowland said. “We didn’t do a very good job executing tonight.”
Harrison (6-0, 1-0) has relied on two-point conversions rather than kicking an extra point, and although the team didn’t need any extra points in Friday’s win, the Panthers brought out its extra point unit for the first time this season, but with little success.
“We just started and tried it for the first time in practice yesterday and we wanted to try something different tonight,” Melo said.
But when you outscore teams 238-76, who needs an extra point?