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Harrisburg tops Wilson 32-21 in District 3 Class 6A Playoff Win

Written by: on Saturday, November 12th, 2022. Follow Sean McBryan on Twitter.


Harrisburg has been Wilson’s kryptonite in the district playoffs for years. That trend continued as the Cougars knocked out the Bulldogs 32-21 Saturday afternoon at Severance Field in Harrisburg in a District 3 Class 6A football quarterfinal.

Harrisburg has now beaten Wilson in the last four district playoffs: the 2018 and 2019 semifinals, last season’s championship game, and Saturday.

“We just keep matching up,” Harrisburg head coach Cal Everett said about the district games against Wilson. “We might as well just get each other on the regular season schedule. It just keeps happening, the luck of the draw. It was the seeding this year that we matched up in the first round today. But it’s a good challenge.”

Mahkai Hopkins rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns and Terrell Reynolds had four sacks to lead the third-seeded Cougars (8-2) as they advanced to face No. 2 Central York, which defeated York High 51-44 on Friday, in the semifinals next week.

“They’re a good team and they play us tough every year,” Hopkins said of Wilson, Harrisburg’s perennial district opponent. “We know we have to stick to the game plan because it’s going to be a hard-fought game to win up front.”

Hopkins, at 6-1, 240 pounds, is as big or bigger than many of the O-linemen. Getting him to the ground is no easy task and he picks up extra yardage on the majority of his runs.

“A little bit of both,” Hopkins said on whether those extra yards come from the weight room or mindset. “It’s the weight room, but it’s also about how much you want it.”

Harrisburg rushed for 312 yards to Wilson’s 109. Quarterback Shawn Lee added 84 rushing yards and Temple commit Kyle Williams rushed for 70.

Harrisburg’s defense also did its part in limiting Holy Crosscommit Cam Jones. The Wilson jack-of-all-trades was held in check to 34 rushing yards, 51 receiving yards, and 14 return yards.

“Coming in, you know, we just wanted to stop No. 1 Cam Jones,” Reynolds said. “Hell of a player. That was the mindset. We started off strong in the first quarter and came out sluggish in the second quarter. We can’t get complacent and he ran it up on us. At halftime, we made game plans and came back out in the second half and executed.”

Harrisburg jumped out to a 12-0 lead with Kyle Williams juking his way to a 10-yard screen-pass touchdown with 7:53 left in the first quarter and diving over the pile for a 2-yard rushing score with 39 seconds left.

Jones scored on a 3-yard run to get the Bulldogs on the board with 8:37 left in the second quarter and the momentum began to shift.

Wilson forced a punt, but then Zakii Lewis picked off Tom Hunsicker inside the 10 after a long Bulldogs drive.

Williams took off for a 29-yard gain to the 43 on the Cougars’ next drive before Landon Farrell forced a fumble that Eddie Case recovered for Wilson.

Hunsicker rebounded from the interception and hit Case for a 38-yard score off a beautiful throw and catch to give Wilson a 14-12 lead at halftime.

After punts on each team’s first possession of the second half, Kymir Williams recovered a Hunsicker fumble forced by Ameer Grandberry at midfield.

Lee finished the eight-play drive with a 7-yard touchdown run to give the lead back to the Cougars 18-14 at the end of the third.

Reynolds got one of his four sacks at the beginning of the fourth quarter to force a 4th-and-17 and Wilson punt.

Lee rolled out of the pocket and scrambled for a 30-yard gain down to the 2 on 4th-and-5 and Hopkins pounded it into the end zone on the next play to make it 26-14 with 7:24 left.

Hunsicker kept the Bulldogs’ hopes alive when he found Austin Valukevich for an 18-yard gain on 4th-and-17. The junior gunslinger then found Eddie Case for a 30-yard TD strike to pull Wilson within a score at 26-21 with 5:10 left.

The Bulldogs (8-3) attempted an onside kick that failed and the Cougars had possession at the 48.

After an 8-yard run by Lee, Hopkins went 40 yards in two plays to secure the 32-21 victory with 3:43 left.




Passing: Lee 7-9-0–37 (1 TD).

Rushing: Hopkins 23-163 (2 TDs), Lee 15-84 (TD), Williams 11-70 (TD), Team 1-(-5).

Receiving: Williams 5-26 (TD), Coke 1-6, Grandberry 1-5.

Penalty: 10-91.

Punt-avg: 2-52.

First downs: 18.

Fumbles-lost: 1-1.


Passing: Hunsicker 13-22-2–223 (2 TDs).

Rushing: Hunsicker 15-74, Jones 11-34 (TD), Harding 2-1.

Receiving: Valukevich 4-62, Jones 4-51, Case 2-68 (2 TDs), Fernandez 1-20, Cooper 1-14, Harding 1-8.

Penalty: 6-57.

Punt-avg: 3-28.6

First downs: 19.

Fumbles-lost: 1-1.

Scoring Summary

Harrisburg (8-2) 12 0 6 14 – 32

Wilson (8-3) 0 14 0 7 – 21

1st Quarter

H-Williams 10 pass from Lee (Williams run failed) – 7:53

H-Williams 2 run (Lee pass failed) – 0:39

2nd Quarter

W-Jones 3 run (Rada kick) – 8:37

W-Case 38 pass from Hunsicker (Rada kick) – 0:56

3rd Quarter

H-Lee 7 run (Williams run failed) – 0:31

4th Quarter

H-Hopkins 2 run (Lee run) – 7:24

W-Case 30 pass from Hunsicker (Rada kick) – 5:10

H-Hopkins 23 run (Lee run failed) – 3:43

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