CRESCENT – Morrison might have found a new offensive star.
Sophomore quarterback Jared Harmon, in his first career start, showed poise as the new leader of the Wildcat offense and helped will his team to a 24-10 comeback victory against Crescent on the road.
Harmon, who was named the new starter after Gage Williams tore his ACL in Zero Week, threw for 147 yards and one touchdown. He also added 28 yards and score on the ground.
“I was a little bit scared coming out,” Harmon said. “I calmed down over the game, though, and kept going.”
Morrison coach Cory Bales and his staff had to scramble through the week to find a new way to produce offense, as Williams accounted for 82 percent of the Wildcats’ offense in their first game against Kiefer. Bales gave Harmon a shot to establish himself, and Harmon showed what he had against the Crescent defense.
Harmon also added an aspect through the air that run-first Morrison (2-0) has struggled to find consistently in its history.
“Passing is one of Jared’s strengths,” Bales said. “He doesn’t run as much as Gage, but he throws a good ball.”
The Class A non-district matchup started slow, as neither team scored in the first quarter. It wasn’t until Crescent had the ball in the red zone midway through the second quarter when things got started. Morrison’s Trevor Hughes picked off a Hunter Wilmoth pass deep in Morrison territory, but it came at the Wildcats’ detriment.
After a three and out, a bad snap on the punt in the end zone gave Crescent a safety.
The Tigers (1-1) got the ball back and scored two minutes later to extend the lead to 10-0. Morrison needed to make a move before halftime, and that is what it did.
Harmon led his team down the field, and Calan Veit’s second rushing touchdown of the season cut the Crescent lead to four heading into the half.
The game was close in the first half, but the second half was the opposite.
A huge 53-yard passing touchdown from Harmon to Hughes gave the Wildcats a 12-10 lead and all of the momentum.
“We ran the exact same play before,” Harmon said. “I saw (Hughes) was open on that play, so we called it again and he was wide open, so I hit him and he was gone.”
The play settled in Bales’ young squad, and it took over from there. Rushing touchdowns from Harmon and Hughes in the fourth quarter sealed Morrison’s second-straight 2-0 start to the season.
The Wildcats trailed by double digits with minutes to go until halftime and scored 24 unanswered points the rest of the way. For a team with many question marks coming into the game, the Harmon-led Morrison team persevered and found a way to win.
“It was the first time for a lot of them to be in this situation being behind,” Bales said. “It was exciting to see them rise to the occasion. We still have a long ways to go, but we’re definitely happy with a win.”