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Elkins survives OT to beat Marshall

Elkins Knights look for same end of season Rally

Missouri City Ken Hall Stadium-  Fort Bend Elkins Knights Coach Dennis Brantley knew to keep feeding his star tailback Leonard Harris III.  In fact he had seen it all before.  Twenty-five years ago he was Leonard Harris Jr.’s running back’s coach at Fort Bend Willowridge.  Now he hopes to keep feeding his Knights.  Tonight they fought hard for their playoff lives in a double overtime win against rival Fort Bend Marshall Buffalos, 48-41.

With the win, Elkins effectively jumped right back in the District 23-5A playoff race dropping Marshall to 6-2, 3-2 district.  Elkins moves to 3-5 on the year and all their wins are in district.

“I was fortunate to coach his dad in 1990, 91”, Brantley beamed.  “His dad made all state as a running back and I told him today you played better than your dad.”

The Buffalos got on the score board first after a big 35 yard run from Tailback Jerry Davis to the 15 yard line. The Buffs went hurry up and scored on the very next play on a pass from Quarterback Jabari James to Korey King, 7-0.  King finished with 5 receptions for 154 yards.

Elkins answered back on a 7 yard QB Luke Leblanc TD pass to senior Javion Glass, evening things up 7-7.

James and King hooked right back up again.  This time James found King wide open on a receiver screen where no one was around him. He zigged and zagged through four defenders to open field and then housed it from 84 yards out for the 14-7 lead.  That was the score at the half.

King was revved up to start the second half too.  But not as freakishly fast as Harris as we were about to learn.  He took the 2nd half kick of back 50 yards, then took a reverse for 9 more yards on the first play from scrimmage.  Four plays later James hit Henry Thomas on a long pass to the back of the end zone from 2 yards out, PAT failed, 20-7.  Thomas had 5 receptions for 59 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Coach Brantley said this about being down 20-7, “Yeah, I told all our guys our motto this year is never quit.  We have been struggling this year, had a lot of young guys and its never quit.  I believe in them and we got to believe in each other.”

Elkins fought right back.  Senior Jordan Colesante, the do-it-all receiver/wildcat QB filled in for Leblanc at quarterback and gave to Leonard Harris for his first of 5 touchdowns.  This on a zone read from 11 yards out cutting the edge to 20-14.

Marshall again responded quickly.  Jabari James rushed in from 13 yards out to stretch the Buffs lead to 27-14.  It was his ninth rushing TD of the season.  He finished 12-19 for 234 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Unfazed, Elkins bounced right back when Leblanc hooked up with wide open tight end Vernon Harrell for 38 yards in the middle of the field.  A quick strike to Harris III on the next play for 13 yards, tightened it up once again 27-21.

Harris' next touchdown was his second best jaw dropper of the night as he burned one in from 61 yards out for the score. After missing the extra point, the score was tied 27-27.

The first lead of the Knights came with 5 minutes and 43 seconds left in the game.  Jordan Colesante operating from his wildcat QB ran in off the right side from 3 yards out to make it 34-27.

The biggest play from the Buffalos occurred on 4th and 9 from the Knight 22 yard line.  Jerry Davis took the handoff turned and pitched back to his QB Jabari James.  He calmly hit Henry Thomas for the big flea flicker TD pass and another tie 34-34 with 3:11 left in the game.

The late game hysterics were not over.  After an Elkins drive ended with a punt, Marshall was driving and executing their 2 minute drill.  Marshal then sent their field goal kicker out to attempt a game winning field goal with less than 10 seconds left.  The kick was short and Coach Brantley wisely put a returner back to attempt a kick 6.  The return nearly won the game as he made it past mid field but he was run out of bounds to end regulation play.

Elkins won the over time toss and elected to defend first.  Jabari James found Henry Thomas and he steps by his defender and takes it in from 25 yards out for the 41-34 Buffs lead once again.

Junior Jailon Howard carried for 10 yards and a first down on the first play.  Then Colesante showed off his arm for his first time with a 14 yard pass down to junior Patrick Ballard at the 1 yard line .  Harris finished it off to make it 41 all.  The teams headed to double overtime!

On the very next play Harris had the best run I’ve seen all year.  He side-stepped, side-stepped again then 360'd and jetted off his left side from 25 yards out.  All the Knights needed to do was keep the Buffs out of the end zone to hold on for the win.

Eight plays later on 4th and 3 from the 7, Senior Kenneth Orji from his hybrid linebacker/end spot nailed Jabari James on a QB keeper and ended the game 48-41.

Five touchdown Leonard Harris said this about his night, his vision and in the zone, “I would just see it open, and I would hit it every time.  No holding back, no hesitation that’s how we are, that’s how we work as a team.”

Manvel sits atop the district at 7-0.  Texas City is at 4-3, 3-1 district.  Galveston Ball sits at 2-5, 2-2 district.  Elkins faces Ball next weekend in Galveston.  Marshall travels to Texas City.

Players of the Game
Offense- RB Leonard Harris III
Defense- LB Kenneth Orji

By Glenn McCarthy


Scoring         1st         2nd         3rd          4th         OT      Final
Elkins            7           0            14          13         14         48
Marshall       7           7            6            14         7           41

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