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The Harrison Wildcats returned to the playoffs taking a year hiatus in 2012. It was an early exit for the Wildcats as they lost to Northwest in the first round, but there was much to be proud of in 2013. Their quarterback, Jake Weber, was voted SWOC Offensive Player of The Year, the offense ranked second in the conference in total offense and total defense, and the offense scored 28-plus points in 10 of 11 games.
“The bar has been set at Harrison,” head coach Kent McCullough said. “Our expectations every year is to win the SWOC conference and make a run in the playoffs.”
Coming into this season, Weber returns for his senior season as well as other offensive skilled positions. The defensive line is also one of the team’s strengths this fall. The Wildcats will look to replace the playmakers as 17 players graduated, including A.J. Glines and Justin Connors. If this team can stay healthy then expect the Wildcats to make some noise in the Division II playoffs.
Division II, Region 6
2013 RECORD: 7-4, 6-1 SWOC
COACH: Kent McCullough (18-14 @ Harrison, three years, 18-14 overall)
Jake Weber, SR, QB – The now senior quarterback is one of the main reasons Harrison returned to the playoffs last fall. The Offensive Player of the Year in the SWOC accounted for 36 touchdowns (19 passing, 17 receiving) in 2013. He ranked second in the conference with 1,868 passing yards.
Connor Brown, JR, OL/DL – Was voted to the SWOC Second Team for his outstanding play on the offensive line. He helped Harrison rank third in the conference with 2,250 rushing yards. This was an improvement of just over 600 yards from a year ago.
Mitchell Hogue, JR, WR/DB – The junior wide receiver is expected to fill some big shoes this fall. With the graduation of leading-receiver A.J. Glines, Hogue is the only receiver that returns with over 10 receptions last season. Hogue was named Honorable Mention All-SWOC for his work. He is expected to be Weber’s top receiver come August.
Nathan Silcox, JR, OL/DL – Played in only eight games last season, but forced a fumble in the first game of the season against East Central. Silcox is expected to fill a hole left on the offensive line.
Mason Brunner, JR, TE/LB – As only a sophomore, Brunner helped on both sides of the football, but mostly on defense. As a linebacker, Brunner recorded one and a half sacks and forced a fumble.
Brandon Littleton, JR, OL/DL – The six-foot junior is predicted to be an important piece to both the offensive and defensive lines this coming fall. He will be responsible for protecting the SWOC Offensive Player of the Year in Jake Weber, and helping to improve on last season’s remarkable rushing yard totals.
Austin Dinkins, JR, OL/DL – Dinkins is a high energy player that is quick to the ball on defense, and electric on offense. According to coach McCullough he has a great worth ethic. He should see significant playtng time this fall.
Alex Anderson, JR, RB/DB – He played in nine games last fall and carried the football 41 times for 238 yards. Most of his carries came in the early part of the season, but expect to see Anderson on the field more in 2014.
Tylyn James, JR, RB/LB – As only a sophomore, James played in seven varsity games. He carried the ball only 13 times. James did take advantage of his opportunities though as he averaged over four yards per carry.
(eight appearances, 4-8) – 2013, 2011, 2010, 2006, 1996, 1989, 1988 (Reg. Champs), 1987
The 2014 schedule is exactly the same as in 2013 with the exception of playing Western Brown instead of Wilmington. Western Brown is in Division III but went 10-1 a year ago. To make matters even worse the game is on the road. This game will be a huge factor on Harrison’s playoff chances....FULL SCHEDULE
HUNGRY FOR A VICTORY
The Wildcats have been to the playoffs three of the last four years, but have not been able to get out of the first round. Harrison’s last win came in 2006 when they reached the second round after defeating Tecumseh, 10-0, and then losing to Turpin 28-14.
This is Mark's first season writing for TriStateFootball.com. His experience includes working for six years at ESPN in studio production and he has been published in ESPN Magazine, Baseball America and Rotowire.com. Mark has lived in Northern Cincinnati for the past four years. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.