"Let's give it up for Ben Harmon!" yelled Wren High School Coach Jeff Tate after the game, in which the Hurricanes crawled their way out of a 21-7 deficit.
With his team down 21-20, Harmon missed a chance to tie the game with about 9 minutes left in the fourth quarter, when he missed the extra point — one of his two misses of the year.
Hanna then scored again, taking a 28-20 lead with 5:50 remaining.
The Hurricanes didn’t hesitate to retaliate, and with about 2 minutes remaining, Wren quarterback Austin McCaskill found Sidney Rhodes for a touchdown to bring the Hurricanes to within two. The two-point conversion failed, and Wren’s crowd went silent.
That’s when the Hurricanes chose to use an onside kick. With less than 2 minutes remaining, Harmon caught his own onside kick, and the Hurricanes’ crowd sprang back to life.
The Hurricanes’ offense then struggled to get far up the field, but Harmon’s field goal with about 45 seconds remaining was good.
Harmon, who was grinning from ear to ear after the game, said the Hurricanes had practiced the onside kick in practice, and he believed ahead of time that they were going to recover it.
Right before he kicked the final field goal, he had to blot out his earlier miss from his memory.
“It was tough earlier in the game. … I had to forget about everything. I said my prayer to God right before I kicked, and I went out and executed,” he said. Harmon didn’t forget to thank his teammates.
“I couldn’t have done it without those 10 guys in front of me blocking for me,” he said.
Wren’s defense kept the Yellow Jackets from getting very far in the past 45 seconds, and the Hurricanes stormed the field as time ran out. They’ve already won more than twice as many games as they did last year, when they went 3-8.
“Words cannot describe how I feel right now,” Harmon said.
It was the second game in a row in which the Hurricanes had to dig their way out of a first-half deficit. The week before, they rallied to beat Westside High School 28-24, despite trailing 24-7 in the first half.
On Friday, they trailed for most of the game and were behind by as much as 14 points after Hanna’s running back JaVonte Brown’s touchdown early in the third quarter that helped put the Yellow Jackets up 21-7.
The Hurricanes scored 22 of their 29 points in the second half.
“The Wren community could not be any prouder,” Tate said.
Wren is now 7-2 and 4-0 in region play. Wren will play at Greenwood High School (7-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Friday for one of their toughest battles of the year. Both Greenwood and Wren are 0-2 against teams with winning records, but they have perfect records against teams with losing records.