Harrisburg, P.A. (WHTM) — The Cougars called it. One main goal for Harrisburg this season was becoming back to back district champions, but they would have to get through one of two teams that beat them this season.
Harrisburg welcomed in Manheim Township Saturday afternoon to Severance Field for the 6A District III championship game, and walked away back to back champs with a dominant 44-6 win over the Blue Streaks.
Mahkai Hopkins scored on the ground and through the air in the first quarter to give the Cougars a 16-0 first quarter lead, then a Kyle Williams 57-yard punt return touchdown and a Shawn Lee, Jr. rushing touchdown run put Harrisburg up 31-0 at the half.
Nick Palumbo gave the Blue Streaks some hope with a pick-six at the start of the third quarter to put Manheim Township on the board, but two more rushing touchdowns from Lee put the game out of reach for good in Harrisburg’s 44-6 win.
“We’ve been saying we’re going back to back since media day,” Harrisburg senior wide receiver Kyle Williams said. “So since media day we’ve been saying back to back, we put our mindset on that.”
“It’s a great feeling,” Harrisburg head coach Calvin Everett said. “We’re a completely different team than we were at the beginning of the season. Our kids have definitely worked extremely hard to get to where they’re at right now.”
After Manheim Township escaped Severance Field with a 24-20 win back in week three, the Cougars wanted another shot at the Blue Streaks.
“We were so hungry, especially when we found out that they knocked off the number one seed,” Williams said. “We love revenge so we were ready for some revenge back on this same field.”
“I’m going to let them enjoy the moment right now,” Everett said. “Then we’re back in the film room tomorrow and we’re back to business.”
Next up for the Cougars is a rematch with State College. The Little Lions knocked Harrisburg out at the state semifinal state last postseason, and beat the Cougars 20-6 earlier this season.
“Trying to get a state title, we feel very confident, and we just know we play for each other and just keep the momentum going from this week and it’s going to take us a long way and get us to that state run that we want.”