HARMONY—The Tatum Eagles used ball-control offense to hand the host Harmony Eagles a 31-15 defeat last Friday night at Harmony’s Eagle Field.
Tatum (8-2, 4-1) now enters the class 2A, Division I state playoffs. Harmony ends its season with a 5-5, 1-4, mark.
Tatum jumped out to a quick, 10-0, lead in the first quarter. Alexis Garza opened the scoring for Tatum with a 33-yard field goal after the Eagles’ initial possession was bogged down by the Harmony defense.
Tatum QB Darian Brooks capped a 10-play, 54-yard drive with a one-yard run with 19 seconds remaining in the first quarter. Garza’s PAT kick was good.
Tatum’s ensuing onside kick was recovered by Harmony at their own 45.
The hometown Eagles then proceeded to go on a 55-yard scoring drive of their own. Using the alternating runs of Alan Peralta, Eric Contreas, and Tim McCoy, Peralta covered the last two yards of the drive with a burst into the end zone for six.
Pedro Barrios kicked the PAT for Harmony as Tatum led, 10-7, with 9:10 remaining in the second quarter.
On Tatum’s first play from scrimmage following Harmony’s TD, McCoy intercepted a Brooks pass and returned it to the Tatum 37.
Two plays later was a turning point in the first half. Contreras carried on back-to-back plays. On his second run, he burst through a hole on the right side, broke a couple of tackles in the secondary, and sped inside the Tatum 5 for what appeared to be a first-and-goal.
A holding penalty, however, nullified Contreras’ run, and on the next play, Tatum intercepted a stray Harmony pass.
Tatum then went on a marathon, 16-play drive which consumed almost 8 minutes of the second quarter. Converting two fourth downs on the drive, Shaq Johnson ended the drive with a one-yard run with 24 seconds to play in the first half. Garza’s PAT sent Tatum to the halftime locker room with a 17-7 lead.
Harmony opened the second half with a strong drive inside the Tatum 25, but another dreaded holding call and QB sack turned the ball over on downs.
The Harmony defense returned the favor on Tatum’s next possession, as Tatum was stopped on downs at the Harmony 27.
Harmony appeared to be 3-and-out, but on a fake punt, Reid Rendon broke free into the Tatum secondary for a 53- yard scamper to the Tatum 18. A personal foul at the end of the play moved the ball to the Tatum 9, with Harmony having a first and goal.
Harmony had back-to-back 5-yard penalties, before Rendon again rambled for a 15-yard gainer. Another personal foul gave Harmony first-and-goal at the Tatum 3, and on the next play, McCoy sprinted untouched into the end zone through a large hole opened by the Harmony line. McCoy hit Daven Murphree with a pass for the 2-point conversion, as Tatum’s lead shrank to 17-15 with 9:33 to go in the game.
Tatum quickly answered Harmony’s score by going 51 yards in 8 plays for another score. Johnson raced 13 yards for the TD to increase the lead to 24-15 with 6:21 to play.
Harmony could not convert a fourth-and-four on the ensuing possession, as Tatum took over at the Harmony 27. Tatum had three chances to take a knee and run out the clock, but elected to score again on the last play of the game, as Johnson ran in from two yards out for a final 31-15 margin.
Rendon was Harmony’s leading rusher in the game, with 68 yards on only two carries. Peralta tallied 58 yards on 15 totes, while teammate Contreras totaled 53 yards on 9 rushes.
On the defensive side of the ball, in addition to his interception, McCoy recorded an amazing 29 tackles for Harmony. Levi Thompson added 18 tackles while teammates Ethan Edwards (15), Rendon (11), and Brandon Johnson (10) recorded double figures in stops for Harmony.
Harmony, a regional semi-finalist team in 2011, is certainly disappointed not to be entering the playoffs again in what many expected to be a rebuilding year.
The Eagles and their fans, however, have much to be optimistic about in the future.Most of the Harmony linemen were underclassmen, and several skill players will also be returning for the 2013 season.
Score by quarter:
1 2 3 4 T
Tatum 10 7 0 14 - 31
Harmony 0 7 0 8 - 15
GAME AT A GLANCE
10 ЙЙ.... First Downs ЙЙ.. 17
38-211 Й.. Rushes-YdЙ.47-223
1-4-2 ЙЙPases:C-A-I ... 7-12-1
3 ЙЙЙ Passing Yds Й..... 53
214 ЙЙ.. Total Yds. ЙЙ.. 276
7-60 ЙЙЙPenalties-Yds .. 6-47
2-0 ЙЙЙ Fumbles-Lost .. 0-0
0-0 ЙЙЙ Punts-Average Й 0-0