RB Harris makes debut with Redhawks

Friday, September 12, 2008

University of Memphis transfer Henry Harris, who played sparingly for the Division I-A Tigers last year, saw his first action of the season for Southeast Missouri State.

Harris, a sophomore tailback who missed the first two games with a knee injury, immediately made his presence felt Thursday night against Tennessee Tech in the Redhawks' Ohio Valley Conference opener.

Harris rushed for 43 first-half yards on 11 carries, including his first Southeast touchdown, a 1-yard plunge with 18 seconds left before the intermission that tied the contest 17-17.

Harris finished the game with 70 yards on 14 attempts, the yardage total being the highest by a Southeast ball carrier this year.

"It felt really good to be out there," Harris said. "I was looking forward to it."

A 5-foot-8, 185-pounder noted for his speed and quickness, Harris displayed impressive power as he broke tackles on several of his runs.

"I surprise people by it," said Harris of his power. "Sometimes I even surprise myself."

Harris said there are things he needs to work on, especially his timing.

Southeast coach Tony Samuel came away impressed by Harris.

"He's still not 100 percent," Samuel said. "But he showed some good things."

Statistical leaders

Southeast senior quarterback Houston Lillard, who entered the game fifth nationally in passing yards per game at 292, was held to 187 yards during the Redhawks' 29-27 loss.

Lillard, who completed 61 percent in the first two contests, managed just 50 percent Thursday (18 of 36). He did throw two touchdowns without an interception, giving him five TDs against one interception on the season.

Junior wide receivers Walter Peoples and Brad Stewart both caught five passes, while sophomore wide out Miles Edwards had four receptions. Peoples scored a touchdown.

Defensively, senior linebacker Nick Stauffer was credited with 13 tackles while senior safety Vincent Anderson added 11 tackles.

True freshman Jacob McKinley continued to shine as a return man for the Redhawks.

McKinley averaged 27.7 yards on three kickoff returns, including a 48-yarder.

For Tech, junior quarterback Lee Sweeney completed his first nine passes and finished 22-of-31 for 229 yards. He was intercepted twice.

Tech sophomore tailback Henry Sailes rushed for 113 yards on just eight attempts, including a 63-yarder for a touchdown.

Cottner out for year

Southeast's Kris Cottner, a true freshman defensive back from Perryville High School, will miss the remainder of the season.

Cottner, who played sparingly in the first two games, suffered a knee injury in the fourth quarter of Saturday's loss at Missouri.

Cottner walked with the aid of crutches as he spent Thursday's contest on the Southeast sideline in street clothes.

A Southeast official said Cottner should be able to regain this season's year of eligibility as a medical hardship.


* Southeast true freshman quarterback Matt Scheible saw his first collegiate action last week against Missouri as he played much of the second half during the 52-3 loss.

Scheible came in for one play Thursday, in the first quarter during a third-and-three situation. He gained four yards to pick up the first down.

* ESPNU brought in a large portable light standard to aid with the lighting for Thursday's broadcast at Houck Stadium.

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