HARRISBURG — It's a classic clash of size vs. speed when the Columbia Eagles play the Harrisburg Bulldogs in the second round of the Class 4A football playoffs.
The Bulldogs have a massive offensive line with 6-foot-6, 318-pound Isaac Ingram being the biggest of their big guys.
"When you say big, I'm talking huge," Columbia coach Scott Horner said. "They look like a Division I college team in terms of their size."
There's no secret that the Bulldogs like to run the ball behind that big offensive line.
Eighty-two percent of their offense -- 2,854 of their 3,478 total yards -- has come on the ground.
"Ultimately, it comes down to us stopping them so we can get the ball in our hands so we can use our speed," Horner said. "Speed is a lot less of a factor on defense when you're playing a stout offense like this."
Harrisburg fullback Dylan Hathaway has been a workhorse. The 220-pound senior is averaging about 23 carries per game.
The Eagles can run the ball, too.
Columbia running back Charles Farris is the leading rusher in the metro-east with 1,471 yards. He's averaging a whopping 10.7 yards per carry.
"Eight of our football games, he's only played two quarters," Horner said. "That's only 24 quarters of football. That's impressive. He's a tough kid to tackle. He's 215 pounds and he's got good speed. He runs well down hill, and if our offensive line can give him any kind of room, he's tough to tackle."
The Eagles have won eight straight games and outscored their opponents 392-67 during the streak.
The Bulldogs have won seven straight games and outscored their opponents 259-88 during the streak.
Horner said that doesn't necessarily mean that it'll be a high-scoring game.
"All of that changes when you get into the playoffs because the competition level goes up," Horner said. "So many times you see where people say that this is going to be a 60-59 game and it might be a 14-13 game. Again, we have to get the ball out of their hands."
Today's game: Columbia (9-1) at Harrisburg (9-1), 2 p.m.
Last meeting: Columbia beat Harrisburg 20-14 in overtime in the first round of the 2003 playoffs.
Last week: Columbia defeated Mount Carmel 57-22, Harrisburg defeated Herrin 44-6.
Columbia players to watch: RB Charles Farris (138 carries for 1,471 yards, 23 TDs); QB Logan Santanello (40 of 87 for 907 yards with 11 TDs and 3 INTs; 73 carries for 680 yards rushing with 10 TDs); WR Cole Mallinckrodt (8 catches for 308 yards and 3 TDs); WR Eric Read (11 catches for 190 yards, 3 TDs); WR Adam Babb (14 catches for 264 yards, 2 TD); LB Camren Shewfelt (73 tackles, 5 sacks); LB Nick Antonini (68 tackles, 5 sacks).
Harrisburg players to watch: RB Dylan Hathaway (228 carries for 1,341 yards and 18 TDs); RB Capel Henshaw (103 carries for 585 yards and 5 TDs); RB Justin Younger (76 carries for 498 yards and 3 TDs); QB Ryne Roper (39 of 84 passing for 624 yards with 6 TDs and 2 INTs)
Notes: The two teams have one common opponent -- Mount Carmel. Harrisburg beat Mount Carmel 28-12 in their season opener, while Columbia beat Mount Carmel 57-22 last Saturday in the first round of the playoffs. ...Harrisburg center Jordan Quertermous (5-10, 253) broke his right hand in Week 8. The right-handed Quertermous returned in Week 9 and has been snapping without incident with his left hand.. Harrisburg is plus-11 in turnovers. They've recovered 12 fumbles and intercepted 10 passes. ...Harrisburg won the Class 3A state championship in 2000 and placed second in Class 3A in 1997 and 1980. ...Harrisburg's lone loss was a 48-13 setback at Marion in Week 3.
Contact reporter Steve Korte at firstname.lastname@example.org or 239-2522.