DIANA –   The Eagles from Harmony and New Diana kicked off the 2019 pigskin season last Friday night at a packed New Diana Eagle Stadium as the hometown Eagles came away with a dominant victory, 44-14, over Harmony.   

       The game had a 15-minute lightning delay as a late afternoon thunderstorm moved through the area.    New Diana continued the storm on the field as they lit the scoreboard in each quarter to start the season on a positive note.

     ND took advantage of a short field due to an unsuccessful onside kickoff by Harmony.    ND went 44 yards in only 3 plays for the first score of the new season.    QB Gage Shields had passes of 30 yards to William Leslie and 8 yards to Darren Manes to set up Zane Freeman’s one yard TD run.   A bad snap on the PAT kick attempt left ND with a 6-0 lead only 40 seconds into the game.

     The ND defense forced a Harmony punt on the ensuing possession, and ND kick returner Keke Nelson electrified the stadium with an 86 yard return for six points.    Andy Prazak’s PAT upped the ND lead to 13-0 with 8:38 remaining in the initial quarter.

     Harmony’s offense countered on their next series with a marathon scoring drive.   The visiting Eagles went 73 yards in 13 plays.   Isaac Edwards capped the drive with a one yard scoring plunge.    Key plays on the drive were runs of 33 and 19 yards by Edwards and a personal foul penalty on ND on fourth down which kept the drive alive.   ND was penalized an astronomical 151 yards on 17 infractions.     Edwards added the PAT run as the ND lead stood at 13-8 with 2:46 showing in the first quarter.

     The Harmony defense forced ND’s lone punt of the game on the next set of downs to give the offense a chance to take the lead, but on the third play of the drive, a stray Harmony pass was picked off by Freeman at the ND 40.

     ND drove inside the H-10, but a penalty stalled the drive, and Prazak’s fieldgoal attempt was short as Harmony took over on their own 24.     The ND defense turned the ball over on downs deep in Harmony territory as they held on fourth down at the H-32.     Three plays later, Shields hit Freeman over the middle for a 33 yard scoring strike.   Freeman made a spectacular one-handed catch for the TD.    Prazak again nailed the PAT as ND took a 20-8 lead into the locker room.

     Harmony received the second half kickoff, and again the ND defense gave the offense a short field as they stopped Harmony on fourth-and-3 at the H-43.   Three plays later Terry Simon sprinted 36 yards for another ND touchdown and a 27-8 advantage with 8:06 to go in the third stanza.

    Harmony was forced to punt on the next possession.     ND was stopped on their next series as Harmony’s Kyle Henry picked off his second interception of the game and returned it 15 yards to the H-34.     The offense was not inspired, however, by the turnover as it was a quick three-and-out.  

   New Diana continued to produce the big play as Freeman rambled 71 yards for another ND six and a 34-8 lead with 55 seconds to play in the 3rd quarter.     

     Edwards gave the visiting fans something to cheer about on the next possession as he sprinted 76 yards for a Harmony score on the second play of the final quarter.   The PAT run failed as ND led, 34-14.

     New Diana added two more fourth quarter scores.   Carson Willeford scored on a 47 yard run, and Prazak nailed a 43 yard field goal to close the scoring for a 44-14 final verdict.

     ND QB Shields was 8-for-16 and 137 passing yards while suffering two interceptions.     Manes caught 5 passes for  35 yards.   Freeman hit the century mark in rushing with 104 yards on only 7 carries for ND.  

    Edwards took game-high rushing honors for Harmony with 181 yards on 18 totes of the hoghide.  

     New Diana (1-0) goes on the road this week as the Eagles travel to White Oak to do battle with the Roughnecks (0-1) on Friday, September 6.    Harmony (0-1) with host the Elysian Fields Yellowjackets (1-0) at Eagle Field.    Both games have 7:30 scheduled kickoffs.

               GAME  AT A GLANCE

HARMONY                                    NEW DIANA

      15  ………  First Downs  …………   18

   50-237  ….  Rushes-Yds.   ……    30-237

   7-11-2 ……  Passes: C-A-I ………   8-16-2

     48 ………..  Passing Yds.  ………..   137

    285  ………  Total  Yds.  ……………  374

   10-80  ……  Penalties-Yds ……   17-151

     2-0  ……..   Fumbles-Lost ……..   1-0

   4-36.8  …..  Punts-Avg.  ………..  1-30.0

Score by quarter:

          1       2       3       4          T

H       8       0       0       6  –     14

ND   13      7      14    10 –     44