HARPER – The Harper Charter Hornets took their first loss of the football season Friday. Oct. 6.
The No. 5-ranked Hornets narrowly fell to Joseph 22-19 in the squad’s final game at home.
David Marker, head coach of the Hornets, said that five minutes into Friday’s game, Daniel Ansell-Casiano, Harper Charter’s senior quarterback, twisted his ankle and had to come out of the game.
Richard Joyce, a freshman, stepped in for Casiano and played well, but the Hornets were limited on the offense the team could run, given that he had little practice time in the position, Marker said.
Nonetheless, the Hornets put up a fight in a back-and-forth game in which Harper almost prevailed.
At halftime, Harper trailed by one point. Minutes into the second half, Joseph marched the ball down the field to score.
Unphased, the Hornets punched the ball into Joseph’s end zone to make the score 22-19. With three minutes to go in the contest, officials called back a Hornets touchdown, ruling that a Harper player stepped out of bounds. With the ball back on fourth and two for a first down, the Hornets threw an incomplete pass, effectively ending the game.
“It was just heartbreaking,” Marker said. “Whether we stepped out of bounds, I don’t know, so we weren’t going to argue with refs.”
Marker said his team plays with a “blue-collar” work ethic and they have put Friday’s game behind them.
That, he said, is good because Friday’s game is a must-win as the postseason heats up.
Harper Charter, 5-1 overall and 3-1 in league play, is in fourth place in their 1A Special District 1 division. The team goes on the road Friday, Oct. 13, to play league rival Wallowa (3-3, 3-1) to close the regular season. The winner of that game will move on to play either South Wasco or Prairie City in the league playoffs Friday, Oct. 20.
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