The Harker Heights football team is coming off a memorable season in which the Knights made the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
Tuesday evening, the Knights showed why 2017 could be another memorable season.
In their annual spring game at Leo Buckley Stadium, the defense racked up 37 points, while the offense tallied 27.
The defense earned six points for a turnover, three for a three-and-out and one for a stop. The points on offense came via six points for a touchdown, one for extra points and three for field goals.
On defense the Knights started fast and finished strong in a huge effort that pleased head coach Jerry Edwards.
“I’m super proud of the
guys on how they performed tonight,” Edwards said. “They just came out here and worked their tail off, and that’s what we want them to do. Our goal was to just to come out here, throw the ball around and get it on film. We had a tremendous spring. They guys worked hard and did what we asked them to do.”
Mikelle Mason’s interception and Michael Mitchell’s fumble recovery quickly gave the Knight defense an early lead.
On third down on the next drive, Jalen Robinson was able to get through the offensive line for a sack.
On offense, Harker Heights was led by freshman quarterback Stacy Brown, who completed 7 of 15 passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for 49 yards on three carries.
“Going into the spring, that was my biggest question mark, is could he lead our offense,” Edwards said. “I thought he really proved it tonight. I thought he really shined for us tonight.
“There were a couple of deep balls that he threw that, even with the wind, he was able to connect to our big-play targets.”
“He’s a freshman, and he’s going to make mistakes,” Edwards said. “He scrambled a couple of times tonight to pick up a couple of first downs. He’s going to be a special young man if he keeps working hard.”
Brown showed his potential on a third down late in the game when he connected with Jaquan Tillis for a 75-yard touchdown.
Tillis led the Knights with six catches for 121 yards. The junior also rushed for 31 yards on four carries, including a 21-yard keeper for a touchdown when he was running the Knights’ wildcat formation.
Edwards said this could be a breakout season for the playmaker.
“What makes him so special is that he is so versatile. We can use him all over the field, and that’s what makes him special. When he is on the field, we are going to find a way to get him the ball.”
Early in the game, Brown found receiver Duncan Ard for a 30-yard touchdown. The junior made a nice leaping catch over a defender.
Also, making a contribution on offense was Jameel Hodges, who rushed for 95 yards on 10 carries.
Michael Collier added 36 yards on seven carries.
All in all, Edwards said his team had a very successful spring and he is looking forward to playing games where the score actually matters.
“I give full credit to my players for their willingness to keep getting better each day this spring. They showed up every morning ready to go. It’s hard to keep focus and have a mindset to improve in the spring, but these guys were so tremendous, and that’s all I can ask of them.”