Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Football: Switch to tailback proves smart move for F-FC's Harris

By Joe Paisley Published: September 14, 2013

HIGHLANDS RANCH - Fountain-Fort Carson running back Drue Harris was simply too much man for Rock Canyon to handle.

The junior linebacker-turned-tailback burst free for 206 yards in the first half, including touchdown runs of 62 and 91 yards, in a 47-16 romp for the visiting Trojans at Shea Stadium on Saturday night. He added a 68-yard TD run in the fourth quarter to finish with 283 yards on 16 carries.

"I felt good coming in," Harris said in only his second game as a high school running back. "We made some adjustments this week and worked hard in practice. It paid off in a great team win."

The victory also erased the memories of an 0-2 start to the season for the Trojans (1-2, 1-0 5A Pioneer League).

"This was a must-win game for us," Harris said. "We pushed those past two weeks out of our heads. Now we have to do that for this week and get ready for Palmer next week."

Harris soon took over the Class 5A Pioneer League game, ripping off a 62-yard TD run by breaking two arm tackles near the line of scrimmage and outrunning the Jaguars to make it 12-3 with 2:30 left in the opening period.

"Drue is a big, strong, fast kid who plays with a lot of determination and he will put his pads down to get the tough yards," coach Mitch Johnson said.

The Jaguars (1-2, 0-1) would answer, driving to the Trojans 2, but tailback Trevor Howard was stopped six inches from the goal line on fourth down by three Trojan defenders with 9:12 left. Two plays later, Harris burst free for the 91-yard back-breaker to make it 20-3 with 8:06 remaining.

The Trojans, No. 2 in the 5A Pikes Peak rankings, used its hard-hitting defense to hold the Jaguars to 31 yards rushing in the first half and only 59 for the game, led by 53 by Howard in 22 totes.

To add salt to the wound, F-FC junior lineman Tracy Hancock tore the ball from Howard's hands and returned the ball 38 yards for a score nine seconds into the fourth quarter and a 34-3 command for Fountain-Fort Carson.

"We talked a lot about finishing this week," Johnson said. "As a team, we grew up a bit tonight. We still have a lot of growing to do."

Rock Canyon had its chance to tie early. The Jaguars recovered a botched punt return at the Fountain-Fort Carson 20 but could only move the ball 12 yards thanks to tough interior run defense led by senior Kadim Phillip, who also recovered a fumble and tallied a sack. The field goal trimmed the lead to 6-3 in a game in which the Trojans never trailed.

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