Quavaris Crouch is an irresistible force.
Crouch, the nation’s top junior running back, ran for 350 yards and four touchdowns in Harding High’s 46-23 win against Providence in a SoMeck 4A game Thursday.
Crouch’s scoring runs went for 85, 76, 18 and 53 yards as the Rams (6-1, 2-0) took another step toward the league championship with their second straight game scoring more than 40 points. Nine of Crouch’s runs went for at least 10 yards.
Harding leaned on a familiar formula by running early and often, plowing through Providence for 467 of the Rams’ 591 yards.
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Providence’s best player was tailback Julian Boddie, who ran for 139 yards on 27 carries and two scores. But the Panthers (4-3, 1-1) struggled to keep up with Harding’s devastating ground attack in the second half.
Harding High cheerleaders kneel during the playing of the national anthem on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017. The school was hosting the Providence Panthers in high school football action. The cheerleaders said that they were respectfully crouching in ob Jeff Sinerjsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Harding broke open a 14-14 deadlock when Crouch ripped off the 76-yarder, followed by another pair of scores to put the Rams comfortably ahead in the fourth.
Crouch ran for 153 yards on 13 first-half carries, including an 85-yard sprint for Harding’s first score. The Rams churned out 188 yards on the ground before the break, but Providence competed with 128 yards rushing, including 65 by Boddie on 15 attempts and a 5-yard scoring run to tie the game at 14-all by intermission.
Neither side threw the ball much, but Providence was more efficient with Jack Cherry hitting 3-of-8 passes for 76 yards, including a pair over 30 yards that fueled scoring drives.
Providence 7 7 2 7-23
Harding 7 7 13 19-46
P-Jack Cherry 1 run (Bryson Porzenski kick)
H-Quevaris Crouch 85 run (Alejandro Guevera kick)
H-Reggie Burris 13 run (Guevera kick)
P-Julian Boddie 5 run (Porzenski kick)
H-Crouch 76 run (Guevera kick)
H-Crouch 18 run (kick missed)
H-Crouch 53 run (Guevera kick)
P-Boddie 2 run (Porzenski kick)
H-Dekerius Thompson 5 run (kick missed)
H-Deandre Dubose 73 pass from Braheam Murphy (kick missed)