BRIDGEPORT — The third time was the charm for the Harding football team.
In the team’s third home game at brand-new Lewis Field, the Presidents finally walked off winners, defeating Foran 34-9 Friday night.
“It is important to me wining our first game here. I get a little emotional because I played for Damon Lewis, his son,” Harding coach Eddie Santiago said. “A lot of people started to talk once we were 0-2 on this field and we have a lot of proud alumni. We owed it to them, to Damon Lewis and, of course, to John Lewis. It is a great feat and an amazing feeling.”
The win was not as easy as the final score would indicate as Foran got within five points of the home team with just under 11 minutes to play in the game.
Any fears of blowing the lead were quickly erased as Marcell Robinson took the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown, increasing the lead.
Harding would then bust out for two more late scores, making the final margin wider than the game played.
Robinson also scored the game’s first touchdown on a 31-yard pass from quarterback Kevin Bednarz in the first quarter.
A field goal by Foran’s Koray Demirhan made it 8-3 at halftime.
In the third, Bednarz ran in a score from 11 yards out.
In the fourth with 10:52 left on the clock, Foran got back in the game when Andrew Janik hit William Phelan for a 4-yard touchdown pass, cutting the lead to 14-9.
The next play, Robinson snatched any momentum Foran had with his kickoff return.
“That was a huge momentum changer late in the game,” Foran coach Tom Drew said. “We were able to move the ball all night between the 20s, but we got into the red zone four times and we stalled out. Those were all huge momentum shifts and we had too many of those tonight. Harding beat us in every way tonight. Sometimes you play a team on a night and they are just better than you and that’s what happened tonight.”
Two late rushing touchdowns by Coleman Adams sealed the deal for the Presidents.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Marcell Robinson, Harding. His first touchdown set the table and his kickoff return was dessert for Harding.
“This feels good, man. It is good to win with my guys,” Robinson said. “We put a lot into practice and we have been working hard and now we got a win. I respect John Lewis and it’s good to get the dub.”
HARDING 34 FORAN 9
FORAN 0 3 0 6—9
HARDING 8 0 6 20—34
H—Marcell Robinson 31 pass Kevin Bednarz (Bednarz run)
F—Koray Demirhan 22 field goal
H—Bednarz 11 run (run failed)
F—William Phelan 4 pass Andrew Janik (pass fail)
H—Robinson 85 kickoff return (Coleman Adams run)
H—Adams 26 run (run failed)
H—Adams 7 run (pass failed)
Records: F 1-2; H 1-2