Josh Harris will start at quarterback for Morehouse on Saturday after his performance in the opener.
Coach Rich Freeman said he liked what he saw from Harris in the 27-16 loss to Howard, so he’ll earn his third career start when the Maroon Tigers play at Lane College (1-0).
“He figured things out pretty quickly and was doing the things we need him to do to be successful,” Freeman said. “He was setting the pace, the tempo, and hitting the throws that were wide open. The only times we were stopped, we stopped ourselves.”
Freeman entered the opener with a plan to start Harris and have him play three series, and then turn the offense over to freshman Jordan Tarver (Stephenson) for three series.
Harris, a junior who transferred last year from Grand Valley State and started the final game of 2012, led Morehouse to a field goal and threw an interception in the first three series, but “we drove the ball pretty good,” Freeman said.
Tarver completed all three of his attempts before leaving with a knee injury. Freeman said he should be able to return by October.
That left Harris to finish the game.
He had 78 yards rushing – 127 before negative yardage plays – and was 18-of-31 for 193 yards and a TD pass.
Harris and Tarver also were sacked nine times, a total that Freeman said was a combination of poor offensive line play and mishandled snaps.
“He knows the offense and he did something we didn’t know he could do. He ran the football,” Freeman said. “Josh had almost 200 yards passing and should have had 100 yards rushing. That’s pretty good.”
LaGrange’s Marsalis Jackson, Morehouse’s Lake McGuffie and West Georgia’s Marcus Sayles won’t forget their first collegiate games.
A new home
Entering the season, Clark Atlanta coach said freshmen Montavious Taylor (Carver-Atlanta) and Jordan Dooley (Duluth) likely would share time at running back.
But senior Bradley Battles led the Panthers with 50 yards rushing in their opening loss to West Alabama.
Battles played three years at South Florida before he was suspended in the spring and transferred to Clark this summer.
He was highly recruited out of Marianna (Fla.) High, was redshirted in 2009 and had 17 carries for 59 yards in his career at South Florida.
Taylor rushed for 42 yards and scored Clark’s lone touchdown and Dooley added 28 yards.
The attendance for Berry’s first game officially was announced at 6,500, which is capacity for Rome’s Barron Stadium, but some estimates put the actual crowd at somewhere between 7,500 to 8,000.
Bob Lowe, Berry’s sports information director, said he found only one other Division III game – Millsaps at Mississippi College (6,934 fans) — that was better attended.
Around the state
West Georgia LB Bobby Liggins (Hephzibah), who had a team-high 70 tackles last year, will miss the season with a knee injury, coach Daryl Dickey said. S Donovan Jackson was the only senior to start on defense in the opener. … Albany State WR Jessie Atkins (Mitchell County) had 11 catches for 162 yards and two TDs. … Fort Valley State’s Ja’Bioas Glenn (Dooly County) made eight tackles, an assist, forced a fumble and intercepted a pass. … LaGrange QB Graham Craig set team records for yards passing, passing TDs, attempts, completions and total offense. He was 35-of-57 for 450 yards and five TDs. … Valdosta State has won the past 10 meetings with Fort Valley State. … Georgia Military College (3-0) is No. 6 in the NJCAA Top 20. RB Jovon Robinson, the nation’s leading JUCO rusher, had 107 yards and two TDs, giving him 534 yards and six TDs. … Savannah State has rushed for 35 yards on 43 carries in losses to Georgia Southern and Troy. The Tigers have given up 827 yards on the ground, including 576 by Georgia Southern.