HARRISBURG — Zach Cowsert's 28-yard field goal as time expired capped off a 17-14 comeback win for Harrisburg over Murphysboro Friday night.
"We made mistakes, but we capitalized when we had to," said Harrisburg coach Gabe Angelly. "Then our kicker makes one from 28 yards, and that's phenomenal. To come in from the left hash and just nails it."
The Bulldogs (4-3, 2-2 SIRR Ohio) can become playoff eligible with one more win. Harrisburg goes to Herrin and Carbondale to close the season.
Murphysboro dominated time of possession throughout the first three quarters, but it was the Bulldogs who scored 10 points in the final 4:31 to pick up the victory.
"We just didn't play well in the second half, I don't know what happened," said Murphysboro coach Gary Carter. "We came out and kind of had our way in the first half. In the second half, we couldn't sustain drives and hats off to them."
Murphysboro (1-6, 1-3 SIRR Ohio) led 14-7 at halftime after holding Harrisburg to just a pair of first downs in the first half.
"We don't quit, but we stall out time to time," said Angelly. "They were mixing it up and doing a lot of things. They had a lot of guys in the box. Then on a couple pass plays we had guys open, but just missed them. We dropped a ball, and what could go wrong went wrong most of the night."
Fullback Jordan Bartok finished with 123 yards on 19 carries and accounted for both of Harrisburg's touchdowns. Bartok's 1-yard run with 4:31 to play tied the contest. The Harrisburg senior also ran back an interception for a score only for it to be called back by a penalty late in the first half.
Harrisburg was able to force a Red Devil punt and got the ball back with just over two minutes left in regulation at Murphysboro's 35-yard line. On the first play of the drive, Harrisburg's Carl Russ set up the Bulldogs with a goal to go situation with a 30-yard scamper.
Russ finished with 82 yards rushing and hauled in a pair of passes for 38 yards.
The Bulldogs then went backwards on the next two plays before calling on their junior kicker for the eventual game-winner.
Zane Caraway rushed for 105 yards and a score on 22 carries for a Murphysboro club that racked up 287 yards on the ground as a team.
Senior Brandon Caldwell carried 14 times for 67 yards before being ejected late in the fourth quarter. Teammate Latrelle Spence ran for 31 yards and a score.
Murphysboro dropped its third straight contest and will welcome Benton in Week 8.