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Football Player of the Week: Johnson's Cedric Harris

Sophomore's 4 TDs help Knights to win

POSTED: October 25, 2010 8:22 p.m.

Player of the Week: Johnson's Cedric Harris

High school football player of the week.

OAKWOOD — Last Friday night was senior night at Johnson High as the football team played host to Oconee County, but it was a sophomore that stepped into the spotlight and led the Knights to a 40-27 win.

Running back Cedric Harris had 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns in the first half for the Knights, who went into halftime with a 27-13 lead over Oconee County. Harris finished with 219 rushing yards (246 all-purpose) and four touchdowns as the Knights put themselves in good position for a spot in the state playoffs.

For his efforts, Harris is The Times’ Football Player of the Week.

“Our seniors just asked us to get up for the game and give everything we had,” Harris said. “We really wanted to give them a win, so we left everything out on the field.”

Harris wasn’t the only underclassman that had a strong performance Friday. Junior Joey Brooks also broke the century mark on the ground, tallying 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns. The Knights finished with 365 rushing yards as a team.

“(Joey) played hard too, like he does every week,” Harris said. “We both play defense and offense, a lot of us around here do, and so we have to go hard the whole game.”

Both Harris and Brooks are starting linebackers for the Knights (2-6, 2-2 Region 8B-AAA), who need a win this week over Monroe Area to secure the No. 2 seed in the subregion behind Gainesville. The No. 2 seed from the south will play the No. 3 seed from the northern half of the region and the winner earns a berth in the state playoffs.

Johnson coach Paul Friel is quick to point out that, no matter what the standings and playoff scenarios are, his Knights have to win out to make the playoffs.

“I’m not sure of how all of it will play out, but I do know that we just need to win,” Friel said.

After starting the season 0-5, Johnson earned a key last-second victory over subregion foe West Hall on Oct. 8 for its first win of 2010. In that game, Harris had 147 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries before being taken off the field on a stretcher in the third quarter. Harris said he had a sharp pain in his neck and the medical staff was being cautious.

“I was a little worried in the hospital, but I didn’t think that it was serious,” Harris said.

The injury turned out to be “just a stinger,” according to Friel, and Harris was back in the locker room that very night.

While waiting in the hospital, Harris said his brother called and told him that the Knights had actually lost to West Hall.

“I just started crying,” Harris said. “I felt so bad that I couldn’t be there but then I got back and everyone has celebrating and I was just really relieved and happy.”

The win over West Hall was the second straight for Johnson in the series and came at an important time for the Knights.

“A lot of teams, especially teams as young as we are, would have quit after the rough start,” Friel said. “But not this group. They just kept playing hard and trying to get better and now we have a shot to make the state playoffs.”

Johnson visits Monroe Area at 7:30 p.m. Friday.



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