The first-year Haralson County High School football coach got win No. 1 on his coaching career last Friday in the Rebels’ 25-23 homecoming victory over Central, then followed that up with a convincing 39-7 road triumph at Columbus this past Friday evening — suddenly putting his Rebels in the Class AAA playoff picture.
And in between all the Rebel revelry, Harvey and his wife, Wendy, had their first child on Tuesday, a baby boy the couple named Luke.
Needless to say, opportunities for sleep have been few and far between for the Rebel coach.
But you won’t hear Harvey complain one peep.
“So it’s just been awesome week,” Harvey said. “It’s just been awesome. We had our first win last week, then having a baby and then another win, where we were actually able to control ... it’s really nice. The baby, obviously, is the highlight of all of it. But it’s sure been an awesome last few days.”
The Rebels (2-6, 2-2 Region 6-AAA) moved into the No. 4 slot in the region with their win on Friday heading into an open week before they travel to face Troup on Oct. 29.
And while an HC playoff berth may have seemed far-fetched just a few weeks ago, Harvey and his ball club never stopped believing — something he credits to their run.
“I’m super-pleased with the kids. Our running backs and offensive line are playing great. The defense is creating turnovers, so that’s a great thing to have happen. That’s the two things we’ve said all year we wanted to do — run the ball and play great defense. So we got them together,” Harvey said.
HC got defensive touchdowns from Gabe Johnson and Geoffrey Walker on Friday night, while tailback Antoine Phillips ran for a pair of scores on 181 yards rushing. Fullback Nii-Okai Reindorf scored a touchdown and also hit the century mark on the ground.
Senior signal-caller C.J. Meeks had a nice game, as well, completing 8-of-14 pass attempts for 146 yards, to go along with 70 yards rushing and a touchdown.
Trojans tuning out the hype
After another one-sided Carrollton victory on Friday night — this one being a 42-0 home thumping of Shaw — the No. 4 Trojans (8-0, 4-0 Region 6-AAA) are doing their best to try and tune out all the hype they’re hearing about themselves on a daily basis.
Because while they’re happy with where they stand, the Trojans haven’t accomplished any of their major goals just yet.
“The hardest thing would have to be all the people telling you how good you are. You can’t buy into that, you know, people just telling you you’re good. You’ve just got to keep your eyes focused on the prize — and our prize is a state championship,” noted Carrollton junior linebacker Aaron Brown, who recorded five tackles, including a sack for a loss of 18 yards in Friday night’s win.
Filling in just fine
While Trojan coach Rayvan Teague obviously wants to get back to full strength by the postseason, he has been quite impressed with the job his subs have done in the absence of several key starters.
With Sherrod Mitchell still out with a broken ankle, the Trojans also played without lineman Patrick Darby — another piece on the strong side of the line — who was also out with an ankle injury.
Sophomore Jamaris Spear got his third straight week of action on the line in replace of an injured Trojan, though you wouldn’t notice as they rushed for 227 yards on Friday, including 134 in the opening half, where Carrollton built its 35-0 lead.
“Offensively, going into the game basically missing four starters, and three for sure starters, I thought the fill-ins did a good job and guys continued to execute,” Teague said.
Tolleson likes his tradition
Bremen coach Ricky Tolleson was extremely proud of his team after its 28-7 homecoming win against Mt. Paran on Friday night, but the Blue Devil coach is looking forward to closing out the regular season against a trio of traditional foes in Mt. Zion, Bowdon and Trion, respectively.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun. It’s what I told the kids after the game. You know, these last three ball games we’re going to be playing people that Bremen’s been playing for years and years and years. It ought to make a good rivalry for our teams and be good for our communities,” Tolleson said.
Mike Ledford saw a microcosm of his season unfold on Friday night in the Lions’ 20-7 home loss to Troup.
With Central (0-7, 0-3 Region 6-AAA) looking to take a first-half lead with a first-and-goal situation from its own 5-yard line, the Lions fumbled, which Troup’s Ricky Frazier returned 95 yards for a Tiger touchdown, making for a potential 14-point swing.
“That’s a big turnaround play. If we punch that in, anything can happen,” said Ledford, the third-year Lion coach.
And while Ledford noted that his team has got to “keep Central from beating Central,” he was pleased with the effort on Friday, noting that the defense played well with several sacks and tackles for losses and the offense did a solid job running the ball.
“So it was a much more complete football game than we’ve been playing. So we’re making some progress — little bitty steps — but, all in all, I’m real proud that our kids came out and played hard. We just couldn’t pull it off,” Ledford said.
Meaningful October in Temple
Temple coach Seth Rogers was confident enough in the Tigers before the season to suggest his team would be in the thick of the Region 5-AA playoff race come late October.
This, despite the fact Temple, which improved to 4-3 overall and 2-2 in region play with a 28-18 win against visiting Jordan on Friday, had won three games over the previous three seasons.
So after the victory on Friday, Rogers didn’t seem surprised.
Instead, he seemed anxious for the team’s next game, Friday at Spencer, and to get on with the Tigers’ playoff chase.
“I’m excited to play Spencer next week. We’ve got a long ride to Columbus, and we’ve just got to get ready,” Rogers said. “We expected to be in this position.”
With three games left, including the final two against region heavyweights Carver, Columbus and Callaway, Rogers knows it would be in the Tigers’ best interest to get a win against the Greenwave Owls.
But the win against Jordan wasn’t all about playoff positioning, though an experienced Temple team still sees making the program’s first playoff appearance since 2005 as its main goal.
After two straight losses, and the death of lineman James Rashawn Walker, Rogers said it was something the entire team needed.
“It was good to be able to come home,” Rogers said. “We needed to win the football game. I’m just proud of our kids, proud of the way we responded.”
Times-Georgian sports reporter Aaron Kraut contributed to this story.