Harris accounts for 5 TDs in victory

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Brookhaven quarterback Duwone Harris produced a career gameFriday night at Stone County. He ran for four touchdowns and passedfor another in leading the Panthers to a 43-40, triple-overtimetriumph.

For his performance, Harris has been selected The DAILY LEADER’sOffensive Player of the Week. He passed for 124 yards and rushedfor 142.

Ole Brook head coach Tucker Peavey said Harris had anexceptional game against Stone County in the Region 3-5A showdown.”Duwone obviously played well. He made plays and created plays whenthey weren’t there. He has gotten better and better each week.”

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Harris made a major move from wide receiver to quarterback lastspring. At times it has been a bumpy transition but Harris made thebest of it and adjusted.

“Duwone’s athletic ability has always been there,” said Peavey.”Quarterback has been a learning process for him. He has strengthand power and he moves well. He’s a good athlete.”

Blessed with athletic ability, Harris runs a 4.6 in the 40-yarddash. In the weight room, he bench presses 270 pounds and squatswith 380.

Harris (5-11, 193, jr.), the son of Karen and Duain Gayten,grinned when he was informed of the offensive honor. “I couldn’t doit without Him (Jesus),” pointing to the cover of an FCA sports NewTestament.

He has two older sisters, Alexis Smith and Shanequa Harris whois a BHS senior. His mother wore jersey No. 12 when she was playingsoftball in the A.L. Lott summer league and he keeps that numbervisible on the football field.

Asked about the victory at Stone County, Harris said, “It feltgreat. We were down 14-0 (first quarter) but everyone started tostep it up. Our offensive line blocked well; so did our receiversand running backs. Our defense played hard and made some bigplays.”

Harris said the unsung heroes in the offensive line were avaluable part of the offense. They include Derrick Henderson atleft tackle, Stone Underwood at right tackle, Sam Ballard at rightguard, Mitch Case at center, Tameas Hooker at left guard and NickPeavey at tight end.

Harris said the Panthers had something to prove, especiallyafter the previous week’s lopsided loss at Picayune. Alreadysaddled with 3 region setbacks, they desperately needed a win tostay in playoff contention.

“We had to dig deep in overtime,” said Harris. He scored all 3touchdowns in OT, including the game-winner on a 10-yard,third-down sweep as running back Semmie Smith provided a keyblock.

“Jacoby Cooper blocked a PAT to keep it (score) tied,” Harrisrecalled. “There were a lot of big plays.”

Obviously, he’s becoming more comfortable with the high-pressurerole of quarterback.

“I love playing quarterback right now,” said Harris. “At first,it wasn’t my cup of tea. But coach (Peavey) said I had to make thebest of it.”

Apparently, Peavey’s patience and persistence have paid off.”Coach Peavey and I have had our ups and downs but I love playingfor him,” said Harris. “He pushed me and made me a betterplayer.”

To his advantage, Harris was familiar with the passing routesand that helped him make mental connections with his receivers. “Ican let the ball go because I know where they make their cuts.”

Harris said the region losses to No. 1 West Jones, No. 2 WayneCounty and No. 3 Picayune have been a learning experience in thenew alignment. “As a team we have come together. We found out wecould play with West Jones and Wayne County. We beat StoneCounty.”

The Panthers (4-4, 2-3) have home dates with McComb (2-6, 2-3)Friday night and Forest Hill (4-5, 1-4) Nov. 6, both must-winsituations if they want to make the playoffs. Harris believes histeam will win if they pull together.

His father played cornerback at BHS for Les Bumgarner in theearly 1980s. “He was a really good player.”

In his free time, Harris said he enjoys listening to rap musicand watching the Alabama Crimson Tide on television. He watches thePittsburgh Steelers on Sundays. His favorite NFL player is strongsafety Troy Polamalu, a former 2-time All-American at Southern Caland an All-Pro with the Steelers.