After a sluggish first half against Richwood, South Harrison closed out its first round win by scoring 37 unanswered points. While the defense shut down the Lumberjacks, Freddy Canary shouldered the load on offense.
The senior rushed for a Class A tournament record 357 yards while adding five touchdowns, bringing his area-leading total to 36 scores.
“We noticed they were pinching their ends in quite a bit throughout the game, so we started taking advantage of that and hitting the sweeps a lot, and it was working well for us,” said Canary.
Added head coach Brad Jett: “And once he got the corner, it was worth eight, nine, ten yards. I didn’t realize I gave it to him 30 times, which I don’t want to do, but since Cam [Barnette] is gone, he’s been getting it a little bit more.”
The Hawks have won two games by large margins since senior Cam Barnette’s season-ending injury, but he still remains one of the team’s leaders.
“I come to the sidelines, he’s always hugging me, complimenting me, so it’s always good to have him,” said Canary.
As for Canary, he’s developed a knack for breaking state records.
He ended his junior year by setting three new Class A marks at the state track meet. He’s also surpassed 2,000 yards rushing in 11 games this season.
But those stats would mean far less to him if the Hawks lose.
“All that stuff comes second,” said Canary. “The win is first. Definitely.”
Now the Hawks are back in the state quarterfinals for the second time in three years, but no South Harrison team has played in the state semifinals since the 1973 runner-up team led by Gary Barnette.
Jett said the Hawks will be even more focused when they take on Wheeling Central, seeking an historic win for the program.
“Our goal is to keep on playing,” said Jett. “Our goal Friday night is to win, and to keep on playing.”