September 1, 2014

Medina
Intermittent clouds
80°F

Harris, offense have breakout night

Dan Brown

The Gazette

WOOSTER — The Wooster football team unveiled its new helmet decals with the initials ‘WG’ Friday night at Follis Field.

Those initials could very well have stood for the Washington Generals, as Highland was putting up Harlem Globetrotter-like numbers. The Hornets had a breakout night, scoring on the ground, in the air and on special teams en route to crushing Wooster 45-17.

“It was a complete game,” Highland coach Tom Lombardo said. “And you know, I don’t even think we’ve played our best offensive game. I really don’t.

“It’s Game 1. It’s different under the lights and when it’s real for four quarters, so that was great.”

With a breakout night from senior running back Alex Harris and all-around performances from Cory Moncol and quarterback Bruce Kinsey, the Hornets lit up the scoreboard in every way possible.

After a record-breaking offensive season a year ago, it wasn’t a shock to anyone.

“That’s all the summer work that we’ve done that was leading up to get 40 (points), and that’s our goal every game,” said Moncol, who had more than 200 all-purpose yards and a pair of touchdowns. “In the first quarter, we noticed that they were getting tired, and we wanted to run it down their throat and throw a pass in here or there. They had their hands on their knees in the fourth quarter.”

Harris was steady all game, rushing for 145 yards and three touchdowns on 25 carries. His first two scores, a 3-yarder and an 8-yarder, put Highland up 14-6 in the first quarter. The third came late in the third with the contest already decided.

“The line was making all their blocks and Bruce was making all the right reads and the defense was making stops and giving us all the momentum,” he said. “In the second half, everything opened up. Our linemen are real conditioned, so they just kept going the whole game.”

Harris’ night was a surprise to all in attendance with the exception of his coach.

“He’s been doing it in the scrimmages,” Lombardo said of his tailback. “He’s slithery.”

Kinsey completed just 5-of-15 passes, but they covered 125 yards and accounted for a pair of TDs — one to Moncol on a 63-yard strike and the other on a 4-yard dump to Coltin Kinsey. Moncol finished with three receptions for 117 yards.

Moncol added a 58-yard punt return for a touchdown and an interception that set up Harris’ final score.

The senior’s pick was the first of two against standout Wooster quarterback Cam Daugherty (9-for-19, 57 yards). Daugherty had 2,241 passing yards as a sophomore, but struggled after throwing interceptions to Moncol and junior safety Blake Phelps.

“I have to give kudos to Cory. He had one heckuva game,” Lombardo said. “He intercepted the ball, ran a punt back and did it about every which way, so I’m real proud of him.”

Dan McCartney and James Friedl also scooped up fumbles for a defense that surrendered just 97 yards and held the Generals to two first downs — both by penalty. Tyler Frederick blocked an extra point for a special teams unit that was led by junior kicker Luke Allen’s six extra points and 24-yard field goal late in the first half.

“It just credits everybody,” Moncol said of his night. “It’s about that defense and the schemes and about the coaches. Without that, I wouldn’t have had the pick. Our schemes on punt returns, we went for a block and no one really was on their side coming down, so it gave us open lanes. And offensively, if the line doesn’t block, we don’t have anything.”

Contact Dan Brown at sports@medina-gazette.com.

Highland 45, Wooster 17

HIGHLAND                                   17  7  14  7 — 45

WOOSTER                                    6  11  0   0 — 17

First

H — Alex Harris 3 run (Luke Allen kick), 6:41.

W — Ja’Vontae Lidge 97 kickoff return (kick blocked), 6:27.

H — Harris 8 run (Allen kick), 4:24.

H — Allen 24 field goal, 0:58.

Second

W — Marquise Blair 8 run (Connor Kubiak pass from Cam Daugherty), 5:39.

H — Cory Moncol 63 pass from Bruce Kinsey (Allen kick), 4:36.

W — Brian Crum 27 field goal, 0:14.

Third

H — Moncol 58 punt return (Allen kick), 8:40.

H — Harris 3 run (Allen kick), 0:58.

Fourth

H — Colton Kinsey 4 pass B. Kinsey (Allen kick) 8:00.