Saturday, 23/1/2021 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Knights look to hault 2-game skid, finish 
season strong

Knights look to hault 2-game skid, finish 
season strong

By Matthew Girard
Harker Heights Evening Star

The Harker Heights Knights need one win in their final two games of the season to stay alive in the playoff hunt, but getting a win in either of those games will not be easy.
The Knights (2-6, 2-3 8-5A) start their playoff push tonight on the road against 8-5A leader Midway (6-2, 4-1).

Harker Heights coach Jerry Edwards would prefer to win both games and assure a spot in the state playoffs.
“We are still in it,” Edwards said. “We still have a chance to get into the playoffs and that was our goal at the beginning of the season. There are lots of scenarios still left, but the main thing is that we have to take care of ourselves.”
After jumping out to a 2-1 district record, the Knights have dropped two straight games after falling to Temple 42-21 last week.
Although Harker Heights came into the game averaging 220 yards rushing per game, Temple held the Knights to just 149 yards. The Knights also missed two field goals and gave up a fumble recovery for a touchdown in the loss.
“We were our own worst enemy and we’ve been battling that all year. Some of that comes with the change coming in late, but the kids haven’t given up,” Edwards said. “They’ve been fighting hard every day. I was proud of how they played against Temple, we just have to clean up the mistakes.”
Last week the Panthers were shocked in a 7-3 loss to Shoemaker. Midway also lost starting quarterback Ben Hicks (2,344 yards, 21 TDs, 2 INTs) to injury in the loss.
Edwards said no matter who the quarterback is, the Midway offense will still be a challenge.
“With an established team like Midway, they are going to do what they do and they are not going to deviate from their philosophy, but it might limit what they can do,” Edwards said. “We found out last week that they aren’t unbeatable. Shoemaker did a good job and we are going to try and go there and repeat what happened last week.”
Receiver Xavier Hailey has been a threat through the air and on the ground for the Panthers with 725 yards receiving, 530 yards rushing and 10 total TDs on the season. Eric Clayburn has also rushed for 583 yards and 6 TDs. The Midway offense is ranked third in the district, averaging 492 yards of offense per game (189 rush, 303 pass) and 40 points per game.
Defensively, the Panthers are first in the district, allowing just 332 yards of offense per game (136 rush, 196 pass).
Although the Knights struggled on offense against Temple, Harker Heights had a balance attack with 149 yards rushing and 125 yards passing.
“We need to finish drives,” Edwards said. “We drove down and had to settle for field goals and we missed both field goals. We need to get the ball into the endzone.”
Harker Heights gave up 382 yards rushing to the Wildcats and are allowing 441 yards of offense per game.
“Defensively, we need to get the key stops and give the ball back to the offense so they can go down and try to put up points,” Edwards said.
Kickoff for tonight’s game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium in Hewitt.


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