The Knights defended the castle but couldn’t slay the Dragons.
Harker Heights fell to Round Rock 36-7 Friday night at Leo Buckley Stadium, which included an interception by senior defensive back Devin Barnes that held the Dragons to only one first down the entire third quarter.
While junior linebacker Reece Vazquez led the defense with four sacks — two for losses — the young offense couldn’t make it into the end zone in the first half.
Just 42 seconds into the game, Round Rock quarterback Ryan O’Keefe scrambled out of the pocket and turned a broken play into a 70-yard scamper into the end zone. With a successful two-point conversion, the Dragons quickly grabbed an 8-0 lead.
The Dragons extended their lead to 15-0 in the middle of the first quarter and were looking for more. As Round Rock was driving to put more points on the board, Harker Heights junior defensive end Idris Haith tackled Dragons’ leading running back, senior Marquis Brown, forcing a fumble the Knights recovered.
The Knights, with the turnover, put together their best drive of the game. Sophomore quarterback LaPrinceton Dixon sneaked through Round Rock’s defense for a 27-yard gain for the offense’s biggest play of the drive. The Knights moved the ball down to the 1-yard line and tried to score on fourth-and-inches but Round Rock’s defense held Heights out of the end zone.
After trailing 22-0 at the half, the Knights made some changes that Round Rock couldn’t answer to start the third quarter.
Early in the second half, Dixon connected with senior fullback Terrance Hayes for a touchdown that put the Knights on the board as they trailed 22-7.
O’Keefe tried to connect with a wide receiver for a 44-yard pass on second down but senior defensive back Devin Barnes was there instead for the interception.
And while the Knights started the second half strong, Round Rock answered with two touchdowns late in the fourth quarter to cap the scoring.
Heights will face Round Rock Stony Point at Kelly Reeves Stadium at 7:30 p.m. next Friday before starting district play on Sept. 14 in Temple.