District play was in full swing as the Harker Heights Knights hosted the Shoemaker Grey Wolves at Leo Buckley Stadium on Friday night. The Knights celebrated their homecoming and used stout defense to secure a 14-7 victory.

The Knights (3-4, 1-2 District 8-6A) found early success on the ground, led by senior running back Jameel Hodges, but the Grey Wolves (0-7, 0-3) struck first.

With 1 minute, 43 seconds remaining in the quarter, Shoemaker’s Ozias Wright sprinted 16 yards for the game’s first touchdown. The score was set up by a 27-yard pass from quarterback Mark Walker to running back Judiah Nicholas and a 15-yard personal foul penalty against the Knights.

Trailing 7-0 in the second quarter, Heights hit paydirt on a nifty 33-yard dash by Hodges to tie the score.

The defenses for both teams settled into a groove and controlled the tempo for the rest of the half.

The Knights used stifling coverage to limit the Wolves passing offense, sacking Walker twice and also forcing and recovering a fumble.

Not to be outdone, Shoemaker’s defense bent but didn’t break and forced a fumble of their own as well as a punt before the break.

The second half featured more strong defense throughout the third quarter. The teams traded punts to open the half, but the Knights offense began to come alive as the fourth quarter approached.

Running back Jaquan Tillis used agile feet and excellent vision to slice through the Wolves defense and move the ball consistently. Hodges was just as deadly on the ground, punishing the Shoemaker defense for 4 yards at a time.

The stalemate came to an end in the fourth quarter when Heights went on a 10-play drive that covered 73 yards and chewed 6 minutes from the clock. The decisive score came on a 12-yard run by Tillis who took a handoff to the left, bounced the play outside, then sprinted to the pylon for six points. The extra point was good, giving the Knights a 14-7 lead and their first district win.

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