Harding High has already doubled last season’s win total.
The Rams improved to 2-1 with a 26-0 win against rival West Charlotte Monday at Harding, their second straight victory of the season. Harding was dominant throughout, especially sophomore tailback Quavaris Crouch, who accounted for three touchdowns and 141 yards total offense.
“I give it all to my linemen,” said Crouch, who ran for 114 yards and two scores on 19 carries. “They had a great night. We all communicated and collaborated and we got it done.”
The Rams accomplished everything they wanted on defense, too, limiting West Charlotte to 37 yards total offense, including 2 on the ground. Harding didn’t allow the Lions to cross midfield with the exception of a shanked punt.
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“It’s definitely a process,” Rams coach Sam Greiner said. “Our thing is moving mountains. We came in last year and didn’t have enough of anything with new coaches and everybody learning everything from one another. If you were here last year, you knew what it meant to put on a Harding shirt. Now we’re trying to take the next step.”
Harding produced only 19 yards rushing in the first half, but the passing attack compensated with a couple of big plays for a 14-0 lead at the break. Wanyae Freeman connected with Crouch on a fourth-down screen pass for a 27-yard score and 57-yarder to Jaquan Rankins down the sideline 5 seconds before intermission. Freeman, who went 4-for-4 for 89 yards in the half, finished 6-of-7 for 105 yards.
Crouch took over in the second half, running for 87 yards on nine carries, including scoring runs of 24 and 5 yards to clinch an impressive win against an old rival.
“It feels real good,” he said. “They beat us last year and they really blew us out really bad, so we had to get them back.”
Records: West Charlotte (0-3), Harding (2-1).
Worth mentioning: West Charlotte produced 29 yards total offense in the first half, including minus-6 yards rushing. Crouch had 54 yards on offense in the first half, split evenly between rushing and receiving.
What’s next: Harding travels to East Mecklenburg Friday. West Charlotte has a road date at Gaffney (S.C).
West Charlotte 0; 0; 0; 0;-;0
Harding 0;14; 6; 6;-;26
H-Quavaris Crouch 27 pass from Wanyae Freeman (kick missed)
H-Jaquan Rankins 57 pass from Freeman (Crouch run)
H-Crouch 24 run (pass failed)
H-Crouch 5 run (pass failed)