CHAMBERSBURG — With as much firepower as Harrisburg has on offense, the last thing you want to do is turn the ball over.
So the fact that Chambersburg had five turnovers — and four of them led directly to Cougar touchdowns — was a bad omen.
Harrisburg used those gifts to roll to a 41-0 Mid Penn Commonwealth football victory Friday night at Trojan Stadium on Military Veterans Night.
The first play from scrimmage was an interception of Trojan quarterback Riley Harmon by Quincey Brannon and returned to the 1. Mahkai Hopkins ran that one in for a TD just 20 seconds into the game.
“It was just going to be a conservative pass play, but we should have gone to the other side,” Chambersburg coach Mark Luther said. “It was deflating. A tough way to start a football game.”
Harrisburg (6-2, 5-1 MPC) scored on its next possession, too, overcoming a holding call along the way, on a 22-yard jaunt by Kyle Williams to lead 14-0.
Late in the second period, Harmon was sacked and lost the ball, with Terrell Reynolds recovered at the 50. Six plays later, QB Shawn Lee tossed a pass in the flat to Williams, who scored from 8 yards out.
Another holding call was overcome on the Cougars’ next series, and it took only three plays to go 49 yards, with Lee hitting Elias Coke for 31 yards on first-and-29. It was 28-0 at halftime.
Chambersburg (3-6, 1-5 MPC) did manage six first downs and 106 yards in the first half, including a fine throw and catch from Harmon to J.J. Kelly for 39 yards. But the Trojans’ deepest penetration was the Cougars’ 42.
Harrisburg added to its lead late in the third quarter with two TDs in just 14 seconds and sent the game to a mercy rule finish.
A Chambersburg fumble was recovered by Ryan Epps at the Trojan 23 and Hopkins ran to the end zone on the next play.
The Trojans fumbled the ensuing kickoff return and Amir Jones recovered and ran it to the 2. On the next play, Lee hit Williams, who caught a 50-50 ball, for the final nail.
Luther said, “We haven’t had a game this year where we had five turnovers.
“They were just bigger and more physical than us. We missed assignments — we can’t figure out why that happens in game situations. We needed an all-out effort and it wasn’t happening.”
NOTES: The Trojans host State College for the season finale on Friday at 7 p.m. … The best stat of the night for Chambersburg: zero penalties … Lee, who didn’t play until midway through the second quarter, was 9-for-12 for 113 yards and 3 TDs … Antonio Harrison played in the second half for the Trojans and had 20 yards on 5 carries and caught a pass for 5 yards.
Harrisburg 41, Chambersburg 0
Harrisburg 14 14 13 0 — 41
Chambersburg 0 0 0 0 — 0
H — Mahkai Hopkins 1 run (Hopkins run), 11:40
H — Kyle Williams 22 run (pass failed), 5:24
H — Williams 8 pass from Shawn Lee (run failed), 4:19
H — Elias Coke 31 pass from Lee (Hopkins run), 1:04
H — Hopkins 23 run (kick failed), 5:59
H — Williams 2 pass from Lee (Hopkins kick), 5:44
First downs 17 10
Rushes-yards 30-133 31-56
Passing 15-22-0 9-21-2
Passing yards 180 93
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-3
Punts-average 3-30-1 2-30.5
Penalties-yards 4-54 0-0
Rushing — Harr, Hopkins 10-72, Williams 7-46, Makhi Newman 2-20, Lee 6-8, Amir Jones 1-(-2), Zekii Lewis 3-(-3), Quamir Johnson 1-(-8). Chbg, Dayre Senft 12-22, Antonio Harrison 5-20, Keegan Truett 2-10, Teegan Humelsine 1-7, Brice Flenory 6-3, Riley Harmon 5-(-6).
Passing — Lee 9-12-0-113, Lewis 6-10-0-67. Chbg, Harmon 9-19-2-93, Truett 0-3-0-0.
Receiving — Harr, Coke 5-72, Williams 8-64, Hopkins 1-22, Jones 1-18. Chbg, J.J. Kelly 2-53, Rhaigeon Parker 3-34, Senft 1-6, Harrison 1-5, Andy Jean 1-3, Trevor Luther 1-(-8).
Interceptions — Harr, Quincey Brannon, Ameer Grandberry, Jayon Lewis.