The Knights’ losing streak is finally over.
After four consecutive defeats, Harker Heights reversed its fortunes last week, beating Shoemaker 14-7 in a low-scoring affair to collect its first District 8-6A victory.
With the win, the Knights improve to 3-4 overall and 1-2 in district, placing them in a tie with Copperas Cove for fourth place. Only the top four teams advance to the playoffs.
Harker Heights will look to improve its positioning in the standings tonight by upsetting district unbeaten Ellison.
The Eagles (4-2, 2-0) are coming off a 34-23 win at Copperas Cove last week, when senior standout Tavon Gwynn produced an impressive all-around performance. The playmaker finished with 116 rushing yards, 106 receiving yards and 104 passing yards, and he was responsible for three touchdowns in the victory.
But the Knights proved to have explosive weapons on offense as well last week.
Trailing 7-0, Harker Heights senior running back Jameel Hodges broke free for a 33-yard touchdown to tie the score in the second quarter.
Then, after defense dictated the game for almost two quarters, Knights senior Jaquan Tillis scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12-yard run, capping off a 10-play, 73-yard drive in the fourth quarter.
A victory tonight at Ellison would give Harker Heights sole possession of fourth-place in the district as Copperas Cove is idle.
Regardless, the Knights’ fate could be determined next week, when the Bulldawgs host Harker Heights with the winner holding the head-to- head tiebreaker entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
Since 2013, when Jerry Edwards was named head coach for the Knights, Harker Heights is 2-2 against Ellison, losing each of the previous two encounters, including a 35-33 defeat last season.
The Lady Knights’ hopes of reaching the playoffs came to an end this week.
Desperately needing victories against Ellison and Belton to stay in contention, Harker Heights lost both contests in straight sets, eliminating them from the postseason picture with two matches remaining in the regular season.
Last Friday, the Lady Knights traveled to Ellison and lost 25-16, 25-15, 25-13, and on Tuesday, the Lady Tigers beat Harker Heights 25-16, 25-20, 25-18.
The losses dropped the Lady Knights’ District 8-6A record to 3-7.
Playing for pride, Harker Heights returns to the court tonight, hosting No. 20 Copperas Cove, which captured the district title Tuesday, before facing perennial power Midway on Tuesday at home in the season finale.