E.A. Sports Today

Saks’ Harris on a roll

Saks quarterback Devin Harris has accounted for 10 touchdowns the last two weeks and now is in the running for Homecoming king.

Saks quarterback Devin Harris has accounted for 10 touchdowns the last two weeks and now is in the running for Homecoming king.

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Devin Harris was sitting in an air-conditioned office just off the weight room talking about the eye-popping stretch that has been his last two games when the conversation was broken by the crackle of announcements coming over the loud speaker.

The news within the principal’s end-of-the-school-day report made the Saks senior quarterback smile.

In addition to being the focal point of the third-ranked Wildcats’ three-headed rushing attack the last two weeks, as of Monday afternoon Harris is a part of the school’s Homecoming court.

“I like it,” he said when his name was called. “I kind of knew it was going to happen, but it’s kind of shocking to me still.

“I’m very proud to be in the Homecoming Court; this is my first time. Now I have to find a nice car to ride in around the track for the Homecoming parade.”

He already has one – a new-to-him 1998 white Lincoln Navigator with flashy rims and booming speakers that heralds his arrival wherever he goes – but he had something more fitting of the occasion in mind.

“I want a drop-top for the parade,” he said.

The way things have gone for him lately, he probably could have his pick.

He has been responsible for 10 touchdowns the last two weeks as the Wildcats have extended their regular-season winning streak to 16 games. He ran for five against Cherokee County and last week at White Plains he ran for two, threw for two and returned an interception for one.

It’s the best run he’s enjoyed since scoring three touchdowns in three straight games last year as the Wildcats’ slotback. One of those games came against Weaver, this week’s opponent.

“You don’t expect anybody to have five touchdowns every night, obviously,” Saks coach Jonathan Miller said. “But with our offense built around the quarterback position and the things we do, the quarterback is going to have opportunities every week to make plays.”

Harris was thrust into the position after the dynamic Tre Smith took his game to Central Arkansas. In the shuffle that ensued, Harris has assumed Smith’s role, speedy Demetrius Powell has assumed Harris’ old role and Calvin Figueroa has remained the hard runner between the tackles.

The combination has been brutally effective; it’s just been Harris’ turn in the spotlight lately. Powell ran for four touchdowns in the opener and Figueroa ran for three in the second game.

Through the first four games, the trio has rushed for a combined 1,462 yards and 18 touchdowns, with Harris going for 563 yards and nine touchdowns on 46 carries. He also is 10-of-22 for 290 yards and three touchdowns passing. He rushed for 203 yards against Cherokee County and accounted for 262 yards of total offense against White Plains.

“We’re just running our offense,” Miller said. “(Harris) is going to have a chance to make plays all year for us and we need him to make plays for us to be successful. A lot of what we do on offense is centered around the quarterback position. … He’s got to do a lot of things for us to be successful.”

Actually, Harris had “no idea” he was going to play quarterback this season. He thought he might remain at his old position when Smith left because there were still two quarterbacks on the depth chart. But he became the best option when the heir apparent suffered a knee injury in the spring.

“We didn’t know exactly what we were going to do at the end of the season last season,” Miller said. “He was such a good receiver and slash guy, we didn’t know if we wanted to move him out of that spot. But in the end we thought it would be beneficial for us to move him to quarterback.”

Harris hadn’t played the position since ninth grade, when he was playing on the B Team running a slower-paced offense than the one he controls now, but he certainly knows how to find the end zone. He scored 21 touchdowns last season, so his production this year is not unexpected.

“The last two weeks have been great to me,” he said. “But without my team I couldn’t get in the end zone five times the last two weeks. Without them, I can’t do anything.”

That extends to being Homecoming king. Harris isn’t the only football player on the court. Defensive star Monty Young and all-state center Austin Kilgore also are among the five guys in the running for king. They’ll all be presented and a king crowned before the game with Crossville in two weeks.

He said scoring five more touchdowns and being crowned homecoming king would be “very nice,” but he has a grander goal in mind.

“It’s been a pretty good season for me,” he said. “I hope we can take it one game farther than last year and win it all.”

Al Muskewitz is Content Editor/Senior Writer of East Alabama Sports Today. To comment on this story or pitch a story idea, he can be reached at musky@wrightmediacorp.com and followed on Twitter @easportstoday1.

SAKS RUSHING LEADERS

Calvin Figueroa: 92-614, 5 TDs
Devin Harris: 46-563, 9 TDs
Demetrius Powell: 32-285, 4 TDs

Figueroa — 31-243-1, 28-190-3, 21-110-0, 12-71-1
Harris — 18-177-1, 14-88-1, 12-203-5, 4-95-2
Powell — 13-128-4, 10-41-0, 5-71-0, 4-45-0
Opponents — Wellborn, Sardis, Cherokee County, White Plains



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