The Harrells Christian Crusaders, with senior Russell Washington leading the way, crushed visiting High Point Friday night 70-18 to advance to the second round of the football playoffs.
Washington, who rushed for 343 yards and collected six touchdowns during the Crusaders win, became the HCA all-time leading rusher in the school’s history.
As it has been all year, Harrells’ ground game told the story, with the Crusaders amassing a total 764 yards rushing.
The Cougars, a -17 in rushing, attempted to attack from the air, with 233 yards passing, but the Crusader running game was just too much.
Although High Point scored first on a kickoff return, with Rick Mack running 75 yards for the touchdown. The Cougar point after failed and the opponents were on the board with 6.
Harrells responded with a TD of their own at the 7:22 mark of the first quarter when Washington ran it in from 1 yard out. Kicker Walton Fisher got the PAT and the Crusaders went ahead 7-6.
Washington hit pay dirt again at the 4:59 mark, rushing 78 yards to the TD. Fisher sent the pigskin through the uprights to give Harrells a 14-6 lead.
On fire, Washington went into the end zone shortly after the opening of the second quarter on a 1-yard run. Fisher connected on the PAT and the Crusaders were up 21-6.
The Cougars found their footing again on the next few plays, with Geoffrey Wall rushing in from 3 yards out to give High Point another TD. They attempted a 2-point conversion, but it failed. The score was 21-12.
Washington countered the Cougar score with one of his own, this time at the 7:35 mark of the second quarter on a 52-yard run. Fisher added the extra point and the Crusaders were slowly edging away from their opponents.
The Crusader senior found the end zone again shortly after the Cougars lost the ball on downs. Washington scored on a 67-yard TD run. A bad snap forced Fisher to miss the PAT.
With just under two minutes left before the half, Crusader Kelly Nelms rushed for 77 yards and the touchdown. The rush attempt for the conversion was good, and Harrells took a 42-12 lead into the break.
Nelms started the second half the way he ended the first, with a TD, this one from 8 yards out. Fisher’s PAT was good and Harrells was on a roll.
The Cougars got on the board once more in the second half, this one with just 22 second left in the third period, a David Norris 3-yard pass to Rick Mack for the TD. The 2-point conversion failed.
The remainder of the game belonged to the Crusaders. Washington scored one more TD, along with Austin Wells, who rushed into the end zone from 1 yard out; and Patrick Walker, who rushed 94 yards for the final touchdown of the night. Fisher made the final three extra points to add the exclamation to the victory.
On the night, Washington had 353 yards; Channing Kelly had 14 yards on 3 carries; Nelms, 183 yards on 10 carries; Walker, 152 yards on 9 carries; and Wells, 67 yards on 10 carries.
On the defense, O.H. Rouse had 9 tackles; Zack Carlton, 7 tackles; Nelms, 6; Dasmine Joyner, 4; Fredrick Strickland, 3; and Matthew Allen, 3.