A short-staffed roster in the quarterfinals of the Class 5A State Football Playoffs wasn’t an ideal situation for the Golden Goblins of Harrison on Friday night when they hosted the Bulldogs of White Hall.
Late-game heroics proved to be the difference as Harrison made a come-from-behind drive in the final 2 minutes to score and claim a 38-35 win.
Harrison trailed by a 35-30 score after using all three of its timeouts while making three defensive stops to force White Hall to punt the ball.
With 2:18 remaining in the contest and backed up to their own 29-yard line, Goblin quarterback Cole Keylon went 7-of-8 passing in the final drive.
A 29-yard toss downfield to Dylan Block erupted the crowd and all momentum was shifting to the home team.
A short pass to Lane Johnson and then a 10-yard pass to Noah Moix put the Goblins in White Hall territory at the 37-yard line.
A holding penalty then negated a touchdown throw, but the Goblins proved their resiliency and determination to find the end zone again.
Keylon then scrambled on the next play and found Moix for the fourth time in the drive. The pass was 32 yards between the two seniors and gave Harrison a first-and-11 situation with 44.7 seconds remaining.
Cy Madden was Keylon’s next target and Madden broke loose in the left side of the end zone and Keylon connected with a perfect strike to the junior receiver.
The touchdown put Harrison ahead by a 36-35 score. The two-point conversion was successful when Keylon found Madden wide open in the end zone again to set the final score at 38-35.
Harrison scored the first points of the game with a short run by Brodey Gilliam.
White Hall responded and tied the game but the Goblins fought right back when Keylon connected with Block for a 10-yard score.
Jordin Welsh scored on a short run to start the second period and put the Goblins ahead, 21-7.
White Hall continued to fight and took 6 minutes off the clock and 11 plays later scored to get within, 21-14.
A Harrison punt later pinned the Bulldogs deep and a high snap rolled out the back of the end zone for a safety that increased the Harrison lead, 23-14.
White Hall scored the only points of the third period with two touchdowns and held a 29-23 edge to start the fourth period.
A Julius Scott kick return gave the Goblins great field position in the fourth period and Keylon took advantage with an 18-yard run that put Harrison back ahead, 30-29 after a Moix PAT.
White Hall quickly took the lead back on a long touchdown pass to put the score at a 35-30 Bulldog lead before Harrison’s final drive of the night.
The win advances Harrison to the semifinals of the playoffs and the Goblins will host Little Rock Christian next Friday at F.S. Garrison Stadium.