Harker Heights' Terrance Hayes (42) runs for a first down as Round Rock's Trey King reaches for the ball in Friday's season opener at Leo Buckley Stadium.

Rise. Defend. Honor.

Those are the three pillars which Harker Heights football lives by.

“That’s what we’re about and our kids take that to heart,” said head coach Jerry Edwards. “And that’s what we do.”

While the Knights suffered a season opening 36-7 loss to Round Rock on Friday, Edwards is focused on his team’s young offensive line making adjustments before district play begins.

While Heights’ defense started strong with two stops and a hit from Idris Haith to force a fumble, the Dragons scored two unanswered touchdowns in the first quarter.

Junior linebacker Reece Vazquez led the Knights defense with five tackles — two for losses — along with two tackles from Thian Pate.

Round Rock led 22-0 at halftime.

“Round Rock was physical, so I don’t know if we were ready for that tonight,” Edwards said.

“I told them not to worry about the score because that’s not important right now,” Edwards said of his halftime speech. “The important thing is that we work on getting better, and I thought we did that in the second half.

“I feel like we responded well.”

Terrance Hayes caught a 13-yard pass from LaPrinceton Dixon to put Heights on the board.

After struggling to get past Round Rock in the first half, the Knights allowed the Dragons only one first down in the third quarter.

Round Rock quarterback Ryan O’Keefe looked to connect deep with running back Marquis Brown, but the 44-yard pass was intercepted by senior Devin Barnes.

“We started moving the football and we started wearing the other team down,” Edwards explained. “And that’s what I want to see.

“We’ve just got to get to a point where we wear down our opponents late in the game.”

The Knights have one more preseason game against Round Rock Stony Point on Friday to make final adjustments before heading to Temple to start their district season.

With a Week 10 bye at the beginning of November, this is just the beginning for Harker Heights.

“We still have a long way to go,” said Edwards.

fcardenas@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7562

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