Wednesday, 21/10/2020 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Knights have productive scrimmage before opener

By John Lewis Eubanks

Harker Heights varsity football had what head coach Jerry Edwards called a “very productive scrimmage” at Round Rock Stony Point last Friday. The Knights’ performance “met or exceeded my expectations in all areas,” he said Monday, three days before the team’s season opener.
Heights hosted Elgin Thursday night at Leo Buckley Stadium to kick off the 17th football season in school history and Edwards’ fourth as head coach. Results will be in the Evening Star’s football supplement due out Saturday. The JV and freshmen also opened their season against Elgin, but on Wednesday.
Edwards said the varsity Knights’ defense forced three Stony Points turnovers, including a pick six by Madu Eneli. Jared Kaltenbaugh caused two other turnovers. Edwards also singled out Gabe Lawrence for his tackling, and the defensive line for its play.
Edwards said the Knights’ offense showed the ability to move the ball on first down and was successful through the air. Robert Gray threw two touchdown passes to Ja’Quan Tillis, and Alex Pons made big catches to set up touchdowns. Edwards also said Eneli and Jameel Hodges ran the ball well — behind the Knights’ large and experienced O-line.
The offense’s performance was its final tune-up against outside competition before going against an Elgin defense that Edwards says has two linemen who “get after it” and a pair of linebackers who “play hard and fierce.”
Edwards said the Heights defense was preparing for an Elgin offense with a mobile quarterback who has the ability to throw deep to a tall and talented receiving corps.
JV head coach Stuart West said, “The performance of our players at the scrimmage exceeded expectations. Our offensive line had a great day and was able to open up holes for our run game and also provided enough time for our pass game to make some deep plays.
“Kainoa Rillera, Duncan Ard and Jaylen McElrath were highlights on the offense, and Dorian Black, Marcus Harris, Devin Barnes and Chris Harvey were the defensive standouts. We are taking this gained momentum on the road (for Wednesday’s opener) and we are looking forward to a good outing in Elgin.”
Head coach Chris Bright said the Knights freshmen had a good showing at Round Rock Stony Point last Friday. “It was good to finally hit someone other than ourselves!” he said.
Running backs Nigel Adams and Andre Gebhardt both had a rushing touchdown, while quarterback Stacy Brown connected on a 40-yard bomb to wide receiver Andre Byrd for a touchdown. On the last play of the scrimmage, Brown came just shy of his second touchdown pass of the day when he connected with wide receiver Demareyo Tittle for 35 yards. Tittle was downed just outside the end zone.
Defensive end Chan Rinehart had a good day with two sacks for the Knights defense.
Despite having only two days to prepare for the season opener at home against Elgin, Bright said, “I’m confident that we can iron out the problems that we saw in our scrimmage. The kids are so focused and savvy that we can make an adjustment on the fly and expect to see the expected results. We look forward to a good showing against Elgin.”
The Freshman Black and Red will be combined for the first and second games of the season as Elgin and Round Rock McNeil do not have two teams.


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