The Harrisburg Tigers defeated the Brandon Valley Lynx 27-0 on Saturday night in the 11AAA to win their first state football championship since 1999. The Tigers have finished runner-up five times since their past state title.
Harrisburg received to start the championship game, but quickly went three-and-out. Likewise, Brandon Valley also went three-and-out on their first offensive possession. The Tigers were able to get past midfield on their second drive of the game, but Brandon Valley’s defense held, forcing a turnover on downs.
Zack Brummels attempted a 25-yard field goal to put the Lynx on the board late in the first quarter, but it went left of the uprights.
Two plays after the Brandon Valley missed field goal, Gavin Ross spun through a group of tacklers for a huge gain of 67-yards. This gave the Tigers a first and goal.
End of the 1st Quarter: Brandon Valley 0 Harrisburg 0
Jacob Knuth scored on the first play of the second quarter with a five-yard quarterback keeper. The point after was no good, so Harrisburg’s lead sat at 6-0.
Brandon Valley’s offense again quickly went three-and-out following the Harrisburg touchdown, which gave the Tigers the ball back near midfield.
The Tigers were driving into Lynx territory until Tristan Bisbee jumped a Knuth out-route pass for an interception. He returned the pick to the Brandon Valley side of midfield, but the Lynx were unable to do anything with it, and once again had a short drive that led to a punt.
Both defenses continued to play tough throughout the remainder of the first half, making it tough on either offense to get into any sort of rhythm.
Halftime: Harrisburg 6 Brandon Valley 0
A holding penalty crippled Brandon Valley’s first drive of the second half. On Harrisburg’s first third quarter possession, Knuth hit wide out Andrew Walter for an 18-yard touchdown. This gave the Tigers a 13-0 lead.
The Lynx put together a nice offensive drive midway through the third quarter, but they’d turn it over on downs in Tigers territory.
End of the 3rd Quarter: Harrisburg 13 Brandon Valley 0
With 8:17 to play in the game, Ross broke free around the right side for a 15-yard touchdown run. This increased Harrisburg’s lead, 20-0.
The Tigers would score again with just under the four-minutes to play – Knuth on four-yard quarterback keeper.
Final: Harrisburg 27 Brandon Valley 0
Harrisburg quarterback Jacob Knuth finished the game with 80-yards passing and a touchdown. He also ran for two scores with 53-yards on the ground. Tigers running back Gavin Ross ran for 224-yards and a touchdown as well.
This is the fifth state football championship in Harrisburg history, but their first since 1999. Since their last state title win, the Tigers finished runner up five times – twice in 11A, twice in 11AA, and once in 11AAA.