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New London football wins season opener

Harn scores 5 touchdowns

By Erik Buchinger

Makaio Harn rushed for nearly 200 yards and scored five touchdowns in a season-opening win for New London 42-15 against Oconto Falls at home Thursday, Aug. 16.

Harn ran the ball 22 times for 192 yards and said he was excited to be back on the field and begin his senior season.

“I had an amazing time tonight. That’s about it,” Harn said. “I had a blast, and I’ve waited all year for this since the end of last year. I love it.”

New London head coach Marc Marsh said he told Harn to be patient early in the game.

“Makaio is Makaio. He’s going to sell out every single play,” Marsh said. “He wasn’t too patient with a couple runs early on, but I told him things would come. Just let your linemen keep grinding.”

WEB2 WEB3 WEB4 WEB1 Myles Parker rolls out looking for an open receiver. Erik Buchinger photo WEB6 WEB7
Makaio Harn (26) slaps hands with Joe Kosmerchock (42) after scoring one of his five touchdowns. Erik Buchinger photo

Harn scored his first touchdown from three yards out following a three and out on Oconto Falls’ first possession, which ended with a turnover on downs on a low snap when the Panthers tried to punt.

The Bulldogs were driving down the field, but Kendall Liebl fumbled after what would have been a first down run inside the red zone.

Liebl finished with 39 yards rushing on three carries.

Oconto Falls had two long passes and scored on six-yard run by Kade Brabant for an 85-yard touchdown drive to tie the game at 7.

With 38 seconds left in the half, Harn scored his second touchdown on a three-yard run to put the Bulldogs ahead 14-7.

On the next possession, Oconto Falls fumbled on the handoff exchanged, and New London recovered, which led to a six-yard touchdown pass from Myles Parker to Chase Nelson.

“That was huge,” Marsh said. “We got clicking before half, we got the fumble and that was our chance to get on them. Then it turned things in our favor a little bit.”

Parker completed 6 of 11 passes for 118 yards with a touchdown, and Brady Rodgers had two catches for 85 yards for the Bulldogs.

With a 21-7 lead at halftime, New London controlled the second half.

Harn had three more touchdown runs of two yards, 22 yards and 50 yards, which came after an interception by New London safety Brooks Griffin.

“We saw his elusiveness, his strength, his speed,” Marsh said. “It’s hard to find him sometimes, and all of a sudden – bam he’s 20 yards in front of everybody. That’s the weapon he is.”

Prior to the season, Harn told the Press Star his goal was to score 15 touchdowns this season, and after the first game, that goal has changed.

“I think I’m going to get more than 15,” Harn said. “Let’s say 20.”

Marsh said he is excited for the football season to be officially underway.

“It’s about time,” Marsh said. “The guys are sick of practice, and they’re sick of seeing each other. It’s always nice. That’s why these guys are out here – to play football and play in games, and that’s what they had a chance to do. Now, they get three days off, which is what they need.”

Marsh said he is glad to start the season off with a victory.

“I’m proud of the guys,” Marsh said. “They’re good sports out here. Guys had fun, everyone played and we’re on the right path. We’ve started 1-0 like we wanted to be.”

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