No doubt about it: The Harker Heights Knights are for real.
After winning three of four nondistrict contests, the Knights (4-1, 1-0 District 8-A) went into Belton and defeated the Tigers (3-2, 0-1) 34-28 on Friday.
“It was a hard fought game,” said Knights head coach Jerry Edwards. “This was their homecoming, we were big underdogs but our kids practiced very hard all week. Our kids executed the gameplan — exactly like we wanted them to.”
Belton led 7-0 after one quarter on a Davion Peoples’ 27-yard scoring reception from quarterback Peyton Mansell.
The Knights scored twice in the second frame. Jaquan Tillis hauled in an 80-yard scoring pass from Robert Gray, and Alex Pons scored on a 13-yard toss from Gray.
Peoples and Mansell connected on a 26-yard, second quarter aerieal score and the game was tied 14-14 at halftime.
“At halftime, we made a few key adjustments which helped us,” Edward said. “But the most important thing is I challenged our guys. I told them, ‘We’ve been this close with Belton over the past few years and have not finished things off right in the second half. Tonight, we will finish things off right and we will win this game.’”
And so they did.
Madu Eneli scored on second-half touchdown runs of 10, 51 and 32 yards. The Knights led 28-21 heading into the final frame.
“We felt coming into this season, we had the pieces to be a good football team,” Edwards said. “We played a tough nondistrict schedule to be prepared to play a team like Belton.
“Our defense really stepped up, holding them, basically, to 21 points. They scored late, but we had a two-touchdown lead and we were in a prevent defense.”
Eneli had 148 yards on 14 carries and Jameel Hodges had 99 rushing yards on 19 attempts. Also for the Knights, Zavier Rembert had a reception for 43 yards.
“A good offense is a good defense,” Edwards said. “And our offense really managed the ball so well in the second half — and that kept them off the field.”