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Game of the Week # 2: Bishop Hartley vs. Harvest Prep Preview

By Danny Fogarty, 08/27/21, 6:00AM EDT


A preview of this year's second Game of the Week between Bishop Hartley and Harvest Prep. (Photo Credit: Jason Mowry, World Harvest Church)

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Football teams rarely score 58 points in a game, yet last week two teams reached this threshold.

Those two teams are Bishop Hartley and Harvest Prep, and on Friday night at 7:00 p.m. on Hartley's Jack Ryan Field, they will face off in what is sure to be a high-scoring game.

Bishop Hartley comes into this week 0-1 off a loss at Ursuline High School in Youngstown.

The Hawks lost that game 62-58 being stopped late on a fourth-and-one just nearing the endzone.

Bishop Hartley coach Brad Burchfield said that there is really no messing up when it comes to competitive teams like that.

"It's always a challenge to take on good people," Burchfield said. "There's really no margin for error."

Harvest Prep, on the other hand, comes into Friday's game 1-0 after blowing out Eastmoor Academy 60-34.

Harvest Prep's 60 points in that game are even more impressive considering Eastmoor Academy only allowed an average of 7.6 points per game in 2020.

Much of last week's success for Harvest Prep can be attributed to its star running back Jaylen Jennings.

Jennings reached the endzone twice including a 55-yard touchdown in which he broke three tackles before outrunning the entire Eastmoor Academy defense.

Harvest Prep coach Milan Smith said that Jennings is his focal point on offense, and that they also move him around from running back to receiver and even to defensive back.

"Jaylen is an excellent back that's tough and has good speed," Smith said. "We will continue to feed him in a manner that is all-encompassing."

Burchfield said that making sure Jennings is contained is one his defense's top priorities for Friday.

"With a great back like (Jennings) you can never stop him," Burchfield said. "We have to get as many hats on him as possible."

Ursuline quarterback Brady Shannon is tackled by a Bishop Hartley defender during Bishop Hartley's 62-58 Week 1 loss against the Fighting Irish. (Photo Credit: Staff of Tribune Chronical)

This will be Bishop Hartley's first home game this season and its first since 2019 with a full crowd and no COVID-19 restrictions.

Burchfield said he is taking it all in, and that his team is looking forward to the home crowd's passion come Friday night.

"We don't want to take it for granted," Burchfield said. "This is going to be a great game with great energy."

While they are a competitive team, Harvest Prep sits a a division behind Bishop Hartley in Division IV.

Smith said that this fact does not make his team waiver as they are confident in their own abilities and strategies.

"We respect Hartley but do not fear them," Smith said. "I feel really confident in our game plan and my coaches do a tremendous job getting our guys ready."

Burchfield said that though the Warriors are not a Division III team like the Hawks, there is no question that Harvest Prep is a tough opponent.

"One look at the film let's you know division does not matter," Burchfield said. "This is a really good football team."

Whether it is on the ground in the air, the ball will surely reach the endzone many times this Friday night at Bishop Hartley.

The only thing left to wonder is whether the Hawks or the Warriors will come out on top.

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