MTCS’ offense was productive as usual, finding the end zone six times with 472 yards, but the defense could not find an answer for the Trousdale senior running back.

Harper totaled 277 yards and six touchdowns on the ground as No. 3 seed Trousdale coach Kevin Creasy called his number time and time again over the course of a 28-carry effort.

In just his fourth game back from an injury that sidelined him for five games, Harper had what he considered the best game of his career at about “95 percent” health.

“Coach (Creasy) has really been trying to get me back into football shape,” Harper said. “I feel like I’m really hitting my stride at this point.”

The performance came as no surprise to MTCS coach Fred Shambaugh, whose team struggled against the run all night, allowing 426 yards rushing.

“We knew we were going to have some problems in the trenches,” he said. “And we just kept trying to rotate around and find answers, but none of it worked. We were trading shots with them for a while, but we just couldn’t keep it up.”

Fifty-two points were scored in the second quarter, with MTCS (9-2) matching Trousdale (9-3) blow for blow until a final-minute blunder turned the momentum.

With MTCS trailing 29-28, a mishandled snap on a punt with 15 seconds remaining in the half set up a short field that resulted in a Trousdale touchdown as time expired. The Yellow Jackets took an 11-point lead to the locker room.

With two Harper touchdowns to open the third quarter, MTCS faced a 23-point deficit going into the final quarter, which proved to be too much to overcome.