BURTON—Berkshire’s football team got off to a quick start in its season-opening 26-23 win over visiting Harvey then needed a late kickoff return for a touchdown to seal their win.
“It started in February for us,” said Berkshire coach Jesse DeWeese. “The whole team committing to the work in the program.”
The Badgers took a 2-0 lead when a Harvey snap sailed over the punter’s head and into the end zone for a safety. Griffin Urban then scored on a one-yard run to push the Berkshire lead to 9-0 with 4:01 left in the first.
Devon Holbert ran for a 23-yard touchdown to pull Harvey to within 9-7 with two minutes remaining in the first.
Berkshire extended its lead late in the quarter with a 39-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Brown to Ky Bowman that gave the Badgers a 16-7 lead but again Holbert made a play to keep the Red Raiders in the game.
This time, he ran for 41 yards on a quarterback keeper and Harvey converted a two-point conversion to pull to within 16-15.
The score remained unchanged into the fourth when the Badgers converted a 27-yard field goal and Harvey recorded a safety. Holbert then threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Daylin Davis. Although the Red Raiders failed to convert their two-point try they held their first lead of the game at 23-19 with 2:39 left in regulation.
Jacob Young returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown to give the Badgers the come from behind win.
Harvey outgained the Badgers, 264-232, but it was the big plays at the key times that allowed Berkshire to overcome some self-inflicted wounds earlier in the game.
“Once we calmed down, then we started playing better,” DeWeese said.
Brown finished 4-of-9 passing for 72 yards and Ryan Pennypacker rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries to lead the Badgers. James Lorenzo and Urban ran for 39 and 36 yards, respectively for Berkshire.
Holbert completed 9-of-17 passes for 82 yards and ran for another 95 on 13 carries for Harvey. Gil Hammond rushed for 97 yards on 15 carries and Davis caught six passes for 54 yards for the Red Raiders.
“We just got to get better all the way around; offense, defense, special teams,” said Harvey coach Dan Cvelbar. “I have faith in these kids.”
Berkshire travels to Grand Valley in week two while the Red Raiders travel to Clearview.