Massac had the opening possession of the game and was unable to mount a drive. Forced to punt, the snap to punter Dalton Mitchell sailed over his head and Harrisburg recovered the loose ball. With the ball on Massac’s 9-yard line, Harrisburg was stuffed on their first play from scrimmage, but it was a costly stop for Massac.
Dillon Stoner, Massac’s talented tailback, was flagged for a personal foul on the stop, moving the ball half the distance to the goal. Harrisburg’s receivers proceeded to drop two passes, sandwiched around a big stop from Bryce McClellan and the Patriots had the ball back, albeit with their backs against the wall at their own 7-yard line.
Another errant snap on third and five forced a Massac punt. Mitchell’s punt this time got out to Massac’s 40-yard line, but Harrisburg returned the punt to the Patriots’ 14.
With 8:09 on the clock, Sykes Thompson found paydirt for the Bulldogs. The PAT kick was no good, and Harrisburg led 6-0. Harrisburg’s kicking game came into play here for the first time of the night, but it wasn’t the last.
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