After two consecutive victories, Harker Heights is in control of its own destiny halfway through the District 12-6A schedule.
With a 2-2 record, the Knights are in a three-way tie for third place in the standings with Ellison and Belton, and they own tiebreakers over Killeen and the Eagles via their recent two-game win streak, including Thursday’s 24-21 overtime victory against Ellison.
While much work remains to reach the playoffs, Harker Heights’ current position is a vast improvement from last season, when its only win came against Waco — the team the Knights host Thursday.
And Harker Heights head coach Jerry Edwards is focused solely on the Lions.
“I think at this point,” he said, “every win is critical.
“We’re thankful that we got two district wins. It keeps us in the hunt, but we have to focus in on a week-to-week basis.”
The Knights have not made the playoffs since 2016, and their remaining opponents following the Lions include Waco Midway, Copperas Cove and Shoemaker.
Edwards said his team needs to clean up a few things to make sure they are ready for Waco, especially not allowing scores before halftime.
“We’ve given up a touchdown right before the half in five of the six games we’ve played,” he said.
Harker Heights surrendered a
touchdown to Ellison with only 17 seconds remaining in the first half Thursday, inflating its halftime deficit to 14-6, but the Knights swung momentum back in their favor by successfully completing an onside kick to start the third quarter.
After the overtime win, Harker Heights receiver Jaron Millender and quarterback La Princeton Dixon agreed the team’s confidence is quietly rising.
“As a team,” Millender said, “we have to stay humbled, go on to the next game and just do better than we did last game.”
It starts at practice, according to Dixon.
“When we go into practice,” he said, “Coach always tells us, ‘How you practice is how you’re going to play.
“I feel like that now, we’re at a point where we feel like we can go beat any team we play against.”