After 12 minutes of scoreless play on a soggy night at Cobleigh Stadium, Tray Fletcher returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown early in the second quarter. He then caught a touchdown pass from Trent Thompson later in the half as the Indians scored 21 straight points in 7 minutes and never trailed in a 31-14 win, their third straight.
The lead was just 21-14 entering the fourth quarter, but the Indians forced two turnovers by Harrison quarterback Clay Chastain down the stretch and put the game away with a late 1-yard touchdown sneak by Thompson.
"Harrison has a good program and they never give an inch, and we didn't expect them to," said McEachern coach Kyle Hockman. "We figured we'd be in a battle right down to the wire."
One week after scoring four touchdowns in a 56-17 rout of North Cobb, Fletcher's big play on special teams got the Indians going. He caught a line drive kick at his 25, got a great block, cut to the middle of the field and won the race to the end zone.
It was a good play on a tough night for football. The Indians (8-1, 5-1) committed 11 penalties and two turnovers. The Hoyas (3-6, 2-4) turned the ball over three times, including two critical miscues in the fourth quarter.
"The rain - we ain't used to this," Fletcher said. "We got the win, that's all that matters."
After Fletcher's return, McEachern got the ball back at the Harrison 35 after a shanked punt and scored in three plays, finishing with a 14-yard touchdown pass by Thompson to Malik Williams.
After stopping the Hoyas again, McEachern took 11 plays to go 58 yards, capped by Fletcher's 3-yard touchdown catch in the front of the end zone.
Jaloni Wells rushed 14 times for 97 yards, and Thompson completed 17 of 35 throws for 176 yards and two scores.
But the Hoyas didn't go quietly with their home crowd urging them on in the rain. They went three-and-out on their first six possessions but finally put together a good drive before halftime, aided by a fake punt.
Judd Haley took a short snap on fourth-and-three and rushed five yards for a first down, Harrison's first of the night with less than four minutes left in the first half, to the Hoya 43. Then Chastain, who threw for 204 yards but was plagued all night by dropped passes, hit Subby Adetujoye for 16 yards, Kyle Holmes for 36 and then Justin Myricks for a 10-yard score with 59 seconds left to make it 21-7 at halftime.
The Hoyas kept up the pressure in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 21-14 on a methodical 71-yard drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown run by Zach Moore.
The Indians responded, though, driving to the Harrison 1 on the backs of Mike Sherman and Wells before settling for a 19-yard field goal by Nicholas St. Germain and a 24-14 lead. Chastain then had a tipped pass intercepted, and after getting the ball back with 9 minutes left, lost a fumble on a sack.
Thompson's 1-yard sneak with 4:27 remaining erased any doubt.