Re'Shaun Sanford scored three touchdowns and the Harker Heights Knights kept their quest for the playoffs rolling with a 52-23 win over the Killeen Kangaroos on Friday at Leo Buckley Stadium.
Sanford scored on runs of 21, 1 and 59 yards for Heights (5-3), which remained in a fourth-place tie with Belton at 3-2 in District 12-6A. Both teams are just a half-game behind second-place Bryan and Shoemaker in a four-team race for the final three playoff spots after Temple clinched the district title Thursday night.
"It’s a big win for us,” said Heights head coach Jerry Edwards. “We needed to come out and execute. We did some good things, especially in the second half. ... Overall I thought our kids played extremely well.”
The Knights never trailed on Friday, but didn't take total control until pulling away midway through the second half. The only sour note for Heights was losing starting quarterback Shaun West to an injury in the second quarter. Terrance Carter moved over from wide receiver to replace him and finished out the game.
“Terrance Carter came in at quarterback and did a tremendous job.” Edwards said.
The teams combined for three TDs in the opening 2 minutes and 18 seconds of the game.
Sanford opened the scoring with a 21-yard run just 52 seconds in, and wide receiver La Princeton Dixon added the two-point conversion to put the Knights up 8-0.
Less than a minute later, the Kangaroos (2-5, 1-4, 12-6A) fumbled on their first drive. The ball bounced all the way into the end zone where Knights linebacker Eric Moore jump on it to increase Heights’ lead to 14-0 after a missed PAT by kicker Diego Fierro.
The Roos rebounded from that devastating start with a big play of their own. Quarterback Jacobia Thomas threw a pass down the sideline for John Scott, who caught it and raced away from his defender. Killeen kicker Noriel Gomez missed the PAT and the Roos trailed 14-6 with still 9:42 left in the opening period.
The Kangaroos struck again with 3:55 left in the quarter when running back Kadarius Marshall squeezed into the end zone from 2 yards out.
Killeen made the extra point and trailed 14-13.
In the second quarter, the Knights widened their lead with 7:48 left in the half as running back Aimeer Washington pushed his way through from 6 yards out to grow the Heights lead to 21-13.
On their next series, the Knights drove all the way to the Killeen 2, but had to settle for a Fierro 24-yard field goal and 24-13 lead with 1:35 before the break.
The Kangaroos answered with a field goal of their own with five seconds left. Tra-bi Diakite connected from 42 yards out and the Roos trailed 24-16 at halftime.
On Heights' first drive of the second half, Roos defensive back Jayden Hill picked off Carter at the Knights 21. But Killeen couldn't take advantage as Diakite missed a 32-yarder.
With 4:21 left in the quarter, Sanford scored on a 1-yard run and the Knights led 31-16.
The Kangaroos struck the board almost two minutes later when running back Emory Arthur took it to the house from 11 yards.
The Knights answered with with 2:50 left when Sanford broke away from 59 yards out
That made the score 38-23 heading into the fourth quarter.
In the fourth quarter, with 7:57 left, Carter tossed a pass to wide-open running back Quintin Howard from a yard out to run the score to 45-23.
Knights' running back Tyree Trammel took it in from 6 yards out for the final margin with 4:58 remaining.
The Knights host Copperas Cove on Friday at 2 p.m. The Roos travel to 12-6A champion Temple next Friday. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m.
Because of COVID issues, Cove hasn't played a game since Oct. 30.
They will come in fresh and ready and there is no telling what they have been working on,” Edwards said
Harker Heights 3-2
Copperas Cove 0-5
y-clinched district title
- Temple 27, Shoemaker 24
- Belton 56, Ellison 33
- Bryan def. Copperas Cove, forfeit
- Harker Heights 52, Killeen 23