And even with standout quarterback JR Lucas under center Friday night at Western, the game’s leading receiver was an unlikely source — mostly because he doesn’t even play offense.
Collins sophomore defensive back Cam Harris had all four of his career-high interceptions in the first half alone as the Titans stymied the host Warriors, 43-6 in the Class 4-A, Region 2 quarterfinals.
“If I was a quarterback and I got picked off four times to the same person, I’d stop throwing to that guy and I’d stop throwing that way for sure,” Lucas said of Harris, who took over his school’s single-season interception record with seven.
Lucas ran for 55 yards and one touchdown and threw for four more scores en route to 169 yards through the air on 11 of 20 tries.
Two of Harris’ three second-quarter picks set up touchdowns as Lucas found Payton Hawk for a 31-yard strike before the duo hooked up again from 36 yards out.
“It was just nice go back on the field and play offense after he would just pick it off,” Lucas said. “Right when you least expected it, he had another interception.”
Behind the play of Harris, Lucas, Hawk and others, the banged-up Titans (7-4) were able to band together without the services of second-leading rusher Nasean Roseberry (hamstring) and Jaden Wilson (possible concussion).
Zach Stucker, who hadn’t scored a touchdown since middle school, ran for 93 yards and one touchdown and caught three passes for 25 yards and another score. Dalton Maggard, one of the state’s leading receivers, caught four passes for 70 yards and a touchdown to surpass the 1,200-yard receiving mark for the year.
“I thought we did a real good job early of controlling the line of scrimmage and playing the run,” said Collins coach Jerry Lucas, whose team gave up first downs on the Warriors’ first three third downs. “As it wore on, I thought we got a little more pressure on them.”
Backup quarterback Demarcus Avery broke of the Titans’ shutout bid with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Collins’ victory sets up a rematch next week with rival Shelby County. The Rockets won the teams’ regular-season meeting, 39-6 in the Titans’ most-lopsided loss of the season.