Wrapping up a three-game homestand at Taylor Field, Harrisburg coach Jason Roper knew his team needed a win to open conference play against West Frankfort Friday night.
And a victory is just what his team got. The Bulldogs evened their regular season mark at 2-2 with a 27-6 win over the Redbirds on Cancer Awareness Night.
Even without the services of leading rusher Jarren Goldman who was missing time with an arm injury, the Bulldogs seemed to have their way running the football.
Harrisburg (2-2, 1-0) was paced by junior Sean Crisenbery's 35 carries and 216 yards on the ground.
Crisenbery also found the endzone twice for HHS, one week after he had a kickoff return for a score against Marion.
"I thought we did a really good job of running hard and our guys up front of blocking and sustaining blocks," said Roper. "Sean (Crisenbery) ran fantastic for us and I think the rest of our backs ran hard. It's something we've been working on and hopefully we can continue to get that kind of effort from them."
Junior quarterback Sykes Thompson also got in the fun by running for over 100 yards and a touchdown and passing for another score.
Thompson's 38-yard scamper early in the game put Harrisburg in front 7-0 following an extra point from sophomore kicker Reece Owen.
Owen finished 3-for-4 on PAT's and had a 32-yard field goal attempt hit the upright.
Crisenbery's first score less tan four minutes into the second quarter extended Harrisburg's lead to two scores before West Frankfort was able to pull to with a touchdown at halftime.
Frankfort quarterback Noah Drone found former Harrisburg starter Logan Hartley for a 28-yard pass play right before the break.
Hartley started as a defensive back on last year's 11-2 Harrisburg team as a sophomore.
But out of halftime Harrisburg was able to dominate time of possession. In the third quarter alone, Harrisburg ran 22 plays from scrimmage compared to just four for West Frankfort (0-4, 0-1).
Harrisburg went up 21-6 midway through the third when Thompson found senior Ryan Luce in the back of the endzone for a 13-yard tally.
Crisenbery then capped off his fine evening with a 13-yard run on the first play of the fourth quarter.
It's Harrisburg's sixth straight win in the series between the two schools. Now Roper and company hit the road for the next two Fridays, including a trip to Massac County (1-3, 0-1) in a Week 5 matchup with the Patriots and first year coach John Warren.
"It seems to be shaping up where any team in our conference can step up on any Friday night at beat each other," said Roper. "Every week it seems like there are some scores that surprise me and hopefully we can go to Massac and play well. It's a situation that you know you can't afford to make mistakes because you know they're going to find a way to keep it close."