STORY BY: CHACE MURPHY
– KILLEEN – The fourth quarter held all the excitement for Bryan High, but Harker Heights held on to defeat the Vikings 17-14 Friday night at Leo Buckley Stadium in Killeen.
The teams traded jabs in the first quarter before Harker Heights raced to a 17-0 halftime score.
Harker Heights (5-3, 3-2) first score came with 8:16 left in the first half. Marcus Anderson’s 45 yard gain to the Bryan 5 set up quarterback C.J. Rodriguez’s five yard touchdown run on the next play to put Heights on top 7-0.
Bryan’s ensuing possession ended with a Tim Willett punt, allowing Rodriguez to hit Jamal Williams in stride for an 82 yard touchdown with 4:54 left in the second quarter. The completion extended the Knights lead to 14-0.
Vikings quarterback Zach Alvarado threw an interception on Bryan’s next possession, giving Harker Heights the ball at the Bryan 42.
The Knights worked their way to a first-and-goal at the Bryan 5 but were denied three plays later when V.J. Banks broke up a third-and-goal pass. The Knights settled for a 20-yard field goal from Jake Harler to lead 17-0 at halftime.
The third quarter closely resembled the first as neither team put points on the board, but the fourth quarter proved quite different.
After tackling Harker Heights punter Jake Harler on a fourth down play, the Vikings got an acrobatic touchdown catch from Zach Alvarado to Tim Willett with 5:30 left in the game to make it 17-7.
After recovering the onside kick, Alvarado hit Ziquarius Webber from 27 yards out. The Vikings second touchdown in 11 seconds made it 17-14 with 5:19 left in the game.
The Bryan defense held Harker Heights on the ensuing possession, setting up another Knights punt that backfired. Harler again lost possession of the snap and was swarmed by the Vikings’ Barry Densey, setting up the Bryan offense at the Harker Heights 30.
Bryan (4-4, 2-3) was unable to convert and the game down to a 43-yard field goal attempt from Chris N. Johnson that sailed wide right. The Knights took over with 0:46 left and ran out the clock.
The Vikings were led on offense by running back Derrick Smith. Smith finished with a career high 159 yards on 22 carries.
Score by Quarters 1 2 3 4 Final
Bryan 0 0 0 14 14
Harker Heights 0 17 0 0 17
HH, 8:16 C.J. Rodriguez 5 yard TD run (Jake Harler kick), 7-0
HH, 4:54 Jamal Williams 82 yd TD pass from C.J. Rodriguez (Harler kick), 14-0
HH, 0:06 Jake Harler 20 yd FG, 17-0
Bryan, 5:30, Tim Willett 11 yd TD pass from Zach Alvarado, (Chris Johnson kick) 17-7.
Bryan, 5:19, Ziquarius Webber 27 yd TD pass from Alvarado (Chris Johnson kick), 17-14.