WACO — Against Harker Heights on Saturday, Waco scored its second touchdown of the game with just over two minutes to play in the first quarter and didn’t score again until there were 27 seconds remaining in the game.
In that time frame, Harker Heights’ Troy Smith scored four of his five touchdowns on the night. The senior quarterback accounted for 418 yards of total offense in the Knights’ 37-20 victory in the Derrick Johnson Heart of Texas Kickoff Classic at Waco ISD Stadium.
“It’s amazing,” Smith said of starting 1-0 after an 0-4 start last year. “We know what we worked so hard for in the summer and the offseason, even during the spring. We worked so hard for it.”
Heights totaled 526 yards of offense as Smith topped 100 yards rushing and had two 100-yard receivers in Thai Goodwin (102) and D’undre Mitchell (115).
After a seesaw first quarter — which ended with Heights down 14-13 thanks to a missed extra point — the Knights grabbed control of the game by shutting out the Lions until the fourth quarter.
“Within the locker room, at halftime, we were like, ‘They’re not going to score again,’” senior linebacker Ryan Turck said. “The only time they did score was because we fumbled in the red zone.”
After Waco accumulated 150 yards in the first quarter, including 114 passing, the Knights held Waco to just 35 total yards in the second, including just 16 passing on two completions.
Heights, meanwhile, kept scoring.
The Knights regained the lead when Smith scrambled to his right and found a wide open Mitchell behind the defense for an 80-yard touchdown on the first drive of the second.
Smith opened the Knights’ next drive with a 34-yard run, then seven plays later, got the edge on fourth-and-4 for a 9-yard touchdown that put Heights up 25-14 with 6:49 to play in the half.
Smith surpassed the 300-yard mark by halftime as the Army commit tallied 75 yards and a touchdown on eight carries and 244 yards and two touchdowns passing.
He added a passing touchdown in the third quarter when Jordan Weller caught a slant and slipped a tackler for a 41-yard touchdown, and he added a rushing touchdown to cap the Heights scoring in the fourth.
Smith finished with 105 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and 313 yards yards and three touchdowns through the air. Josh Ellis added 87 rushing yards and a touchdown for Heights.
And while the Knights were happy with the victory, Smith, Turck and head coach Jerry Edwards said the team can be better, which they will try to be against Round Rock Stony Point on Friday.
“We’ve got to work on a few things,” Smith said. “I have to work on a few things personally myself and come out next week and get the job done again.”