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Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Knights victorious 27-21 against Elgin last Friday

Knights victorious 27-21 against Elgin last Friday

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HHES/ALLEN FISHER
Knights’ #12 Anthony Palmer eventually comes away with the fumble for a Wildcats turnover during the first half of the season opener in Elgin. Harker Heights capitalized on the next drive to take a 10-7 lead and hold it the rest of the game.

ALLEN FISHER

Evening Star

It wasn’t exactly how Knights’ head coach Jerry Edwards wanted to start his season opening play.

After the Elgin Wildcats scored on their home-opening 95-yard kick off return and a late second-half rally that had the Wildcats within six points, the Harker Heights High School football team went with the nail-biting decision to go for a 5-yard fourth down conversion with less than a minute and a half left in the game.

“Giving up six points on the opening season return shows we still have some things to work on and get better moving ahead,” Edwards said. “But that’s why you play these preseason games. We’ve just need to eliminate some of those big plays and we should be good.”

Senior Captain Jaquan Tillis’ 6-yard rush up the left hash solidified the Knights 27-21 victory and capped a 315 yards team total to lead the district in game one. Edwards already knew the rushing game would be key.

“The run game was working, it was going smooth,” Tillis said. “If it’s working, why change it? Everybody has to do there job for it to work and they did that tonight, especially the offensive lineman.”

Tillis finished the night with eight carries and 84 yards on the night but also caught three through the air for 34 yards. But, Tillis wasn’t the only one to cap over a 100 yards on the night.

“We’ve got a lot of young guys, we saw that as this game went on,” said Harker Heights senior Jameel Hodges. “We’ve just got to get some confidence and this game was a real good way to do that.”

Hodges was just as dangerous on the ground with 159 rushing yards and a touchdown on 34 carriers.

The Knights’ defense shut down the Wildcats the rest of the first two quarters to give Harker Heights a 13-7 lead at halftime. Six of those points came from a pair of field goals by Heights’ kicker Seth Bodolus, who finished the Knights’ opening drive from 32-yards out.

After the Knights’ defense recovered a fumble deep in their own territory, Heights quarterback Marcel Ramirez took his offense down the field and finished the drive with his longest pass of the night to Markel Reo for a 37-yard touchdown.

After another Heights’ turnover, this time through the air, Bodolus ended the drive with a 35-yard field goal to finish the first half.

Harker Heights extended their lead to 20-7 after a 9-play drive down the field where Hodges capped the drive with a touchdown for three yards up the middle.

Elgin answered with a 78-yard touchdown drive of their own, but Ramirez and Reo answered through the air again for the second time of night. Reo caught the ball at the 10 and danced over two Wildcat defenders at the right hash to cross the paint for a 20 yard-touchdown. Ramirez ended with 98 yards total passing.

Knights were knocking inside the red zone once more until a fumble gave Eglin the ball on their own 9-yard line where they capitalized in only a few plays. Knights recovered the on sides attempt and finished out the game in possession.

“We had four trips to the red zone but only came up with six points,” said Edwards “We need to finish. We were a fumble from being up 35-14 and putting the game away right there, but overall a win is a win and we’re happy we’re coming away with a win.”

The Knights were to play last night against the McNeil Mustangs at Leo Buckley Stadium, a team they beat last year 28-7.

 

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