The Raiders committed six turnovers.
By TOM WILLIAMS
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
WARREN -- One of the ugliest halves in Harding High football history delivered a brutal wakeup call for the Raiders' hopes of a return to the postseason.
Four first-half turnovers by the Raiders (1-1) propelled Cleveland Glenville to a 34-point lead en route to a 41-7 victory Saturday at Mollenkopf Stadium.
The Raiders committed two more turnovers in the second half, but neither team scored.
In the first two quarters, the Tarblooders (1-1) outgained the Raiders 293 to 39 yards.
Harding's rushing attack led by Ohio State recruit Dan Herron was non-existent, losing 5 yards on 12 first-half carries. Herron did break free for a 25-yard score in the third quarter, but the play was negated by a holding penalty.
The lone bright spot for Harding when the game was still close was quarterback Avery Qualls' 31-yard touchdown pass to Chris Rucker that reduced Glenville's early lead to 14-7.
Rucker made a nifty move on Glenville defender Kyle Jefferson, then tipped the ball at the 3 and caught it for the score. Rucker's 42-yard kickoff return set up the drive.
The rest of the half belonged to Glenville. Quarterback Jermale Hines was the Tarblooders' main threat, running 12 times for 71 yards and three second-quarter scores.
Early on, both teams dueled to be the sloppiest. The Tarblooders were penalized four times in the first five minutes while Qualls fumbled the first two snaps, losing the ball at the Harding 26 to linebacker Jermal Martin.
That turnover set up Glenville's first score as Hines hit wide receiver Jefferson for a 15-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead with 6:51 to go in the quarter.
Sixty-nine seconds later, Glenville doubled its lead when Cordale Scott intercepted Luke George's second pass and returned it 36 yards for a 14-0 lead.
After Rucker's touchdown, the Raiders' joy was shortlived as the Tarblooders scored four touchdowns in the second quarter, with Hines rushing for three of them.
First, the Tarblooders marched 73 yards on 13 plays, with Martin scoring on a 6-yard run.
Moments later, Scott had his second pickoff of Qualls and returned the ball 23 yards to the Harding 3. After a penalty, Hines scored on an 8-yard keeper for a 27-7 lead.
Qualls' third interception, this one by Bruce Davis, set up a 1-yard sneak by Hines. Then following the Raiders' first punt late in the half, Hines scored from the 3 for a 41-7 halftime edge.