The Harker Heights Knights, who opened District 8-5A play with a 4-1 start, have dropped their last two by a combined score of 76-20 and now face their toughest test of the season against DeSoto.
Making matters worse is Oregon-committed tailback Dontre Wilson, who leads the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex with 26 rushing touchdowns to go along with 1,356 rushing yards. Wilson also has 462 receiving yards and four scores through the air and has a Dallas-best 194 points scored.
After being shredded by speedy tailbacks such as Killeen’s Daniel McCants (192 yards), Waco Midway’s B.J. Kelly (125 yards) and Copperas Cove’s Vondareaz King (180 yards), Wilson could cause Heights’ defense fits.
The one saving grace could be the hopeful return of all-state offensive and defensive lineman Darius James, who has been out with a broken left foot since the end of the first half of the season opener Aug. 29. Although not a sure bet, James has been cleared to return to running and participate in practice and could provide a much needed boost on either side of the line.
James’ 6-foot-7, 320-pound frame certainly could have been used last Friday against Cove. Jack Welch wanted his team to send a statement to the rest of the state. Even though Copperas Cove might have suffered some setbacks, the Bulldawgs will be a team to reckon with in the playoffs.
“We hit a couple of speed bumps this year that we felt we really shouldn’t have had, and I think our kids had a resolve about that to finish out these last three ball games and put an exclamation point on (the season),” Welch said.
With the victory, Cove (7-3, 5-2 8-5A) secured the No. 2 seed in Division II and will play Cedar Hill (6-4, 5-2 7-5A) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Panther Stadium in Waco.
Heights (4-6, 4-3) advances but has the unenviable task of facing No. 2 DeSoto (10-0, 7-0), the District 7-5A champion, at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Waco ISD Stadium. With the loss, the Knights move into the second seed in Division I, with Killeen leapfrogging them courtesy of a 28-7 win earlier in the season.
“It’s like I told (his team), a lot of people don’t get this chance and we’re 0-0 again, and we know we’re going to be underdogs, so let’s go play and maybe we can get a monumental upset,” Heights coach Mike Mullins said.
Contact Alex Byington at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7566