Friday, 15/1/2021 | : : UTC-5
Harker Heights Evening Star
Harker Heights Evening Star

Knights win homecoming game 14-7

Knights win homecoming game 14-7


Evening Star

“The team that scores next is going to win this game!” yelled Harker Heights offensive line coach Dan Pike on the sidelines for team motivation late in the fourth quarter against Shoemaker Friday. “So, somebody’s got to score, somebody.”

Pike was right and the Knights’ next drive 73 yards to score with less than two minutes left in the game gave Harker Heights football team their first district win at homecoming, 14-7.

“Our defense was huge tonight,” said Harker Heights head coach Jerry Edwards. “They gave us a turnover for our first score and a shutout in the second half. Our defense never let down and kept fight all night long.”

After the Knights’ (3-4, 1-2 District 8-6A) first two drives stalled, mainly due to penalties, the Wolves(0-7, 0-3 District 8-6A)  were the first to find the end zone late in the first quarter when Shoemaker running back Ozais Wright ran it for 16 yards. The score was on the heals of a 27-yard pass from Wolves’ quarterback Mark Walker to Judiah Nicholas down the visitor sideline, and finished in redzone after a 15-yard penalty at the end of the play.

Shoemaker fumbled the ball but managed to retain possession in the third quarter.

The Knights finally found the end zone in the second quarter after capitalizing on Shoemaker fumble. Harker Heights’ defensive linebacker Rhomel Dudley fell on ball in the backfield after a bad handoff.

Knights Jameel Hodges runs 33 yards for a touchdown to tie the game at seven in the second quarter.8

Knights’ Jameel Hodges capitalized three plays later with a 33-yard run off his right tackle and bounced it out to the numbers to break free of the secondary and tied the game at seven at the half.

“We came with some fire and passion to overcome,” Hodges said. “We knew it was going to be a tough game as city rivals and we knew what was at stake, so we got it done.”

It was a defensive game in the third quarter as both teams had trouble making it past midfield.

Edwards said his team would work on protection from against the pass and it worked at the same time sacking Walker twice and forcing a fumble.

But Knights had offensive troubles of their own. After Harker Heights’ starting center was injured on their scoring drive, Knights fumbled the ball three times in the second half, one for a loss, and had an interception.

The standoff was broken in the fourth quarter when the Knights offense found a sour spot and punched through on left side of the field for several big rushing gains. Harker Heights’ running back Jaquan Tillis made three-first downs back-to-back to put the Knights in redzone on the 10-play drive that went 73 yards and a touchdown.

“We kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Tillis. “With all types of flags, not lining up correctly, just stupid mistakes that would hurt ourselves. We just need to keep our composure on the field. When we do that we score.”

Tillis capped the drive himself with a 12-yard run around his left end and then beat the defensive safety to the corner pylon for the score with only a minute and a half left in the game.

“We’ve got to eliminate the mistakes,” Edwards said, “We had holding penalties, couple of bad snaps, an interception, so we are our own worst enemy at times.”

The Knights will take on the Ellison Eagles Friday.

The Eagles (4-2, 2-0 District 8-6A) won last week’s game in Copperas Cove 34-23 and beat Shoemaker 23-20 to open district.

Ellison’s defense will likely be running a 4-3 defense and is the top-ranked defensive in district with only 1,828 yards allowed compare to the Knights’ 2,206.

Junior Ty Hill and Senior Ta’von Gwynn will be running the ball for the Eagles at a combined 808 yards rushing, compared to the combined rushing of Tillis and Hodges’ 1,409 yards.

Breezion Spiller will be at quarterback for Ellison with Jyaire Shorter as his favorite receiver as the Eagles have completed twice the number of passes as Harker Heights with almost double the passing at 988 yards.

“We’ve got to learn consistence,” said Edwards “Sometimes we look really good, sometimes we look really bad, so we’ve got to learn to be more consistent.”


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