WEST LAFAYETTE — Kokomo’s football team saw its two-game winning streak come to an end Friday night as Class 5A No. 10-ranked Harrison hammered the Wildkats 51-0 in a North Central Conference game at A.J. Rickard Field.
The Raiders used a 20-point outburst in the second quarter to build a commanding 30-0 lead. When they scored on their first possession in the third quarter, the IHSAA’s mercy rule kicked it and the game went to a running clock.
With Harrison dominating, Kokomo coach Richard Benberry was looking for fight from his players.
“Most of the guys played hard to the end,” Benberry said on the WIOU 1350-AM postgame show. “I was telling them that when I went and talked to the defense and I shook every one of their hands. I hate losing, it just eats me up, but also understand, I hate more lack of effort.
“We’ll get back to the drawing board for Richmond.”
Kokomo dropped to 2-6 overall and 2-4 in the NCC. The Kats visit Richmond next Friday to close the regular season.
The Kats was moving the ball on their second drive, but the Raiders (6-2, 5-1) had all the momentum after the opening play of the second quarter. Kokomo QB Andres Begne fumbled and the Raiders’ Jacob Cain recovered. He returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
“We were driving the ball well. We saw we could run the football on them ... then you have a costly mistake like that and there we go,” Benberry said.
Kokomo’s hopes took another hit later in the second quarter when Begne left with an injury.
The Raiders out-gained the Kats 431-74. The Raiders had 311 rushing yards.
Torian Smith provided a bright spot for the Kats with his all-around play which included 65 rushing yards on nine carries, two tackles and a pass break-up. He also had a 55-yard kickoff return.
Kohl Beard led the defense with eight tackles. Ta’Shy Stewart had six tackles, an interception and a pass break-up.
Kokomo and Harrison could meet again in Sectional 12. The four-team field also has Anderson and McCutcheon.
“There’s some things we have to fix. I’ll say right now, the sectional championship will go through [the Raiders] so we have to figure that out. We might see them again in two weeks, it might be three,” Benberry said.