With the game down to one play last Friday night, Arkansas linebacker commit De’Jon Harris (6-1, 230) just wanted to make one more play to send his Marrero, La., John Ehret team to the state championship game for the first time in 30 years.
But that was taken out of his hands when Mandeville field goal kicker Joseph Bulovas trotted out for a 69-yard field goal attempt and so a sack of the quarterback from his linebacker spot was off the table.
John Ehret led 7-6 with 12 seconds left and everything on the line and Harris doing a little praying.
“Most times you would think we have got this, but I know that kid has made a 70-yarder in practice,” Harris said. “I got to say that when he hit it, it was like going in slow motion and it looked like it was going to get there.
“But right there at the end, it came up a little short.”
That means that ninth-seeded John Ehret (12-2) will face second-seeded Zachary (13-1) for the Class 5A state title Saturday night at 7 p.m. inside the Mercedes Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
It is Zachary’s first ever trip to the state championship game while John Ehret has not been since it won it all in 1985.
“It really, really is a big deal for us,” said Harris, who has been nicknamed Scoota almost since he was born. “We have put in all the effort and come together as a team to give us this shot.”
Harris not only starts at linebacker and has 80 tackles, but also become the starting quarterback early in the season when an injury left the job vacant.
Harris, who is also his team’s kicker and punter, has flourished at quarterback while rushing for 999 yards and 15 touchdowns despite not having taken a snap at quarterback since the seventh grade.
He basically has become the Slash 2 version of former Ehret quarterback Kordell Stewart did for the the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I only play really important downs on defense, at least after I became quarterback,” Harris said. “I do get some time off on the return teams.”
Harris, who got a visit from Razorback assistant Michael Smith earlier this week, chose Arkansas over Oregon - a place he took an official visit - as well as Arizona State and others.
“I am still super solid with Arkansas,” Harris said. “That is where I going to play my college football.”
He has been happy with what he has seen from the Razorbacks this season.
“I really think they have come together as a football team, just like we have,” Harris said. “I know we have some great defensive players coming in our class and are going to get some more.”
Harris knows that he will get a shot to play early at linebacker for the Razorbacks.
“I know they need some help there and I am going to come in ready to play and take my best shot,” Harris said. “The coaches have told me just to come in and work hard and we’ll see what happens.”