A combination of big plays and penalties were too much for Harmony (3-1) to overcome on the road, as Eau Gallie (5-0) recorded a 28-13 win over the Longhorns on Friday night.
“We made too many mistakes against a good team tonight,” Harmony coach Don Simon said. “Overall we played a pretty good for 75 percent of the game, but that is not good enough when you play better teams.”
Harmony would win the toss and elect to receive but after an initial first down would fumble the ball away on its own 40. The Commodores would need just one play to make it 7-0, as Mari Crooms would hit Alvarez Baxter on a quick slant and Baxter would race in for the score.
Two lengthy drives by Harmony would stall out in the red zone and the Longhorns would have to settle for a pair of Alex Tuyo field goals. Trailing 7-6 but having momentum, Harmony would use a holding penalty and solid quarterback pressure to force Eau Gallie into a third and 28 on their own eight-yard line.
But rather than force a punt and gain probable field position, the Longhorns were called for a roughing the passer penalty on the next play. Given new life with the automatic first down, Latavious Welch would take a pitch around the left side, break a tackle and turn the jets on for a 70-yard touchdown run and a 14-6 lead.
Joshua Moss would get Harmony back into the game midway through the second period. He stepped in front of a Croom pass and returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown. It was Harmony’s second pick six in two games and cut the lead to 14-13.
But a penalty would once again play a key role in a Eau Gallie touchdown. Faced with a fourth and four on their own 37, the Commodores kept the offense on the field and were able to draw Harmony offsides to keep possession. Eight plays later Delvonte Williams ran it over from the nine to push the lead to 21-13 at the half.
From there, Eau Gallie would use a ball control offense to limit Harmony to just three second half possessions. On the Commodores second possession of the half, Crooms would lead Eau Gallie on an 8-play, 78-yard drive that he capped off with a 33-yard slant to Baxter for his second touchdown pass of the game.
Trailing by 15, Harmony would drive down inside the Commodore 10-yard line – only to have the ball moved back to the 25 on an illegal chop block and turn the ball over on downs four plays later. Despite 87 rushing yards from Tyler Emans and 60 from Cooper Richards, the Longhorns failed to score an offensive touchdown for a second consecutive game and were limited to 158 yards of net rushing yards and just two passing yards in the loss.
“We had to shift some players around on our offensive line and we are not where we need to be on offense,” Simon added. “Still this was a winnable game, we just need to be more efficient on offense and limit our mistakes.”
Harmony returns to action next Friday night, facing Melbourne (3-2) in its first district game of the season. “They are very similar to the team we played tonight,” Simon said.
In other Osceola County action on Friday night, Osceola evened its season record at 2-2 with an impressive 31-7 road win over Rockledge, who came into the game with a 4-0 record and a number one ranking in Class 3 Suburban. Poinciana won its third game of the season with a 20-2 win over Teneroc; while Tohopekaliga (4-0) remained perfect with 46-7 road win over Space Coast.
In other games, Celebration (0-4) dropped a 40-16 decision to Winter Haven, Liberty (0-5) dropped a 44-6 decision to Deltona and Gateway (1-2) lost to West Port (Ocala) 26-0.