The Harrells Christian Academy Crusaders breezed through the first round of the playoffs Friday night, stomping Hickory Grove, 35-3, behind a dominating rushing performance.
The first quarter ended with neither team being able to find the end zone, but the Crusaders came alive in the second quarter, scoring two rushing touchdowns while holding Hickory Grove to just a field goal.
The first of Harrells’ scores came at 5:14 on a 16-yard touchdown carry from Jack Laslo, followed by a failed extra point. The second rushing touchdown came with just 44 seconds left in the half on a 1-yard run from Shemeek Darby. The two-point conversion attempt failed.
Hickory Grove managed to put some points on the board with 10 seconds left in the second quarter, on a 27-yard field goal.
Harrells didn’t let up in the second half, scoring three more times on the ground — twice in the third quarter and once in the fourth quarter.
Crusaders standout Shaquor Newkirk got the first touchdown of the second half at 8:32 left in the third quarter on a 10-yard carry. Then Laslo put up his second rushing score of the night on a 35-yard carry. Both two-point conversions were successful.
Darby rounded out the night for Harrells on a 14-yard scamper at 2:54 left, with a good extra point to finish it off 35-3.
Darby and Laslo were the work horses for the Crusaders in their relentless ground and pound. Darby finished with 113 yards on 19 carries and Laslo amassed 104 on 12 carries.
With the blowout victory, the Crusaders advance to play Village Christian in the second round Friday.
Reach Michael Hardison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.