Harker Heights put together a solid first half again Friday night.
But it was Waco Midway that owned the second half, as the Panthers scored 21 unanswered points behind the return of quarterback Sam Glaesmann in a 34-7 victory at Leo Buckley Stadium.
After injuring his ankle on the Panthers’ first series of the game, the Rice commit Glaesmann returned to lead Midway (2-3, 1-0 12-6A) on scoring drives on each possession in the second half save its final one to run out the clock.
Harker Heights, meanwhile, saw its injuries continue to mount while it was unable to hold on to a first-half lead.
“We played a great first half, a pretty exciting half. Defense stepped up again in the first half,” Knight head coach Jerry Edwards said. “Offense showed glimmers early in the game, so some positives that we can build on. We’ve just got to carry that over and play a complete game.”
The Knight defense was stingy in the first half, holding Midway to just a field goal on its first five drives, two of which began in Knight territory and two more of which began at the Midway 40 or better.
But of those drives, Harker Heights (1-5, 0-2) forced a turnover on downs, a fumble recovery by Dennis Hillard, a field goal and a blocked field goal by EJ Moran.
The Knight offense, meanwhile, started slow but moved fast on a 41-yard pass from Tyler Torres — starting in place of injured quarterback Daniel Cole — to Alex Pons to help set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Jaquan Tillis for a 7-3 lead at the 4:55 mark in the second.
Midway, however, finally capitalized on a short field when Tanner Mordecai — playing in place of Glaesmann — hit Joseph Ward for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put the Panthers back up with 54 seconds to play in the half.
After the half, a slightly hobbled Glaesmann returned and led the Panthers on a 12-play, 74-yard touchdown drive, capped by a 5-yard touchdown run by Treston Womack. He then hit a leaping Jake Graham for an 18-yard touchdown to bust the game open on the Panthers’ ensuing drive.
“The touchdown on the wheel was crazy,” an excited Glaesmann said of the play after the game. “That was awesome. So, that’s when really the pain went away.”
Midway added scores on a 25-yard field goal by Jacob Garcia and a 1-yard touchdown run by Eric Clayburn in the fourth to cap the scoring.
Clayburn finished the night with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown on just 15 carries.
Jaquan Tillis had 56 yards rushing to lead the Knights, who head into the bye in desperate need of rest after a rash of injuries.
But Harker Heights isn’t making excuses.
Instead, the Knights are searching for a complete-game effort as they look to dig out of an early district hole.
“It’s just been one of those years,” Edwards said of the injuries. “And it is what it is, and you have to have people step up and be ready to fill in.”