By Alex Byington
Harker Heights Herald
KILLEEN - Marvin Jackson has heard all the talk.
He's too small to run between the tackles. He can't catch out of the backfield.
Well, consider the doubters silenced.
With 188 yards of total offense and four touchdowns, including 138 and two scores on the ground, and two wide open touchdown grabs, the 5-foot-6 Jackson was the Harker Heights offense in a 29-22 victory over visiting Cedar Park Vista Ridge last Thursday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
"All week we told Marvin he couldn't catch, and then he came out here and had two catching touchdowns and two running, so I guess he had a great day today," Heights senior quarterback C.J. Rodriguez laughed. "He proved all of us wrong."
And the Knights needed every single yard.
Running behind a massive offensive line, Jackson (20 carries for 138 yards) got going from his very first carry, busting loose on a sweep to the left for 11 yards to get Heights out of the shadow of its own end zone.
The very next carry, Jackson had his longest run of the game, breaking through the middle for 28 yards as the Knights drove from its own 1-yard line to the 43 on three plays.
"He kinda had that little-guy syndrome - get in there, nobody's going to stop me, nobody can tell me what to do - and he went out there and did his thing," said 6-foot-7 Knights senior left tackle Camrhon Hughes.
Of course, he wasn't the only one to break loose on the ground.
Stuck in a fourth-and-6 situation three plays later, Heights punter Jake Harler sprinted 19 yards for a first down to the Rangers' 34-yard line to keep the opening drive alive.
Three plays later, in a fourth-and-9 situation this time, Rodriguez rolled to the right before lofting a 33-yard touchdown pass across the field and into the waiting hands of Jackson, who was all alone along the left sideline. The score gave Heights (1-1) its first lead of the season, 7-0 with 5:39 to play in the first.
"We watched that in film, when we rolled left, the corner goes hard trying to cover the drag, so we just sent Marvin out the backdoor and he was wide open for two touchdowns today," Rodriguez said.
The Knights fooled Vista Ridge twice with the same play, going back to it midway through the fourth quarter as Jackson put the icing on the cake with another back-door touchdown pass from Rodriguez, this one for 17 yards, to go ahead 29-15.
Rangers tailback Adrian Duncan had a fancy one-handed touchdown catch from Estes that pulled them within a score, 29-22, with 4:44 left.
But it was too little, too late as the Knights ran out the clock before Rodriguez took three straight kneel-downs in the victory formation.
"That's the best formation we have," Heights coach Mike Mullins joked.
Belton thrashes Austin
BELTON - Underneath Donavan Williams' eyes was a message - RIP John.
The familiar eye block has become a way for many football players to express themselves of late. Sept. 2, Williams wanted to show how much he missed his step dad - John Johnson. If somewhere Johnson got the message and was looking down on him, he would have been proud.
It was just Williams' night and Austin High simply had no way to stop him. Not early, not late and not ever.
Williams scored three touchdowns, ran for 152 yards on only 12 carries and had another 37 yards receiving as Belton thrashed the Maroons 58-14 at Tiger Field.
"We have just been working hard all summer and a lot of people think we can't (win), but all we can do is prove them wrong and (win)," Williams said. "We came out today … and we proved them wrong."
Williams' first score of the night came with Belton (2-0) already ahead 16-0, and it only took him one play to do it - shredding tacklers down the sideline for the 41-yard touchdown.
After another Austin High three and out - with a penalty or two thrown in - Belton scored again. This time, Williams scored on Belton's second play, taking it 62 yards and juking out the last defender at the 35-yard line en route to his second touchdown.
The Maroons got in on the scoring act in the second quarter, cutting the lead to 30-14, but the Austin High comeback ended there.
Rockdale 51, Salado 42 - At Salado, the Tigers scored the last 17 points for a fourth-quarter rally past the Eagles. Ryan Simmons passed for 175 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 120 and two touchdowns in the loss.
Salado (1-1) went up 42-34 in the fourth, but could not hold on to the lead, giving up a 3-yard run to Markus Hayes and a Dillon Goodman 17-yard touchdown pass from Ethan Brinkley.
Nick Talbot contributed to this report.