From the Sports Editor: Ex-Senator Harris shines in college debut

Four years ago, Triston Harris was just an untested backup quarterback on the Dover High football team.

But he got thrown into the starting lineup in a game at St. Mark’s when No. 1 QB Nick Spadafino was sidelined by illness.

“It seems like just yesterday coach (Colin) Thomas was telling me I was starting that game,” Harris said a couple years later. “At that point, I just knew I had to take advantage of the opportunity. Whenever there’s an opportunity like that, you have to take it.”

Opportunity found Harris again last Saturday.

Now a redshirt freshman QB at Towson, former Dover player Triston Harris played the last three quarters vs. Richmond. He completed 15-of-28 passes for 153 yards with an interception while running for 22 yards. (Towson sports information photo)

Now a redshirt freshman QB at Towson, Harris got thrown into the Tigers’ game against Richmond in the second quarter when the starter was struggling.

Harris, who went to Towson as a walk-on, ended up playing the last three quarters. He completed 15-of-28 passes for 153 yards with an interception while running for 22 yards.

All in all, it wasn’t too bad for a collegiate debut.

“I think that he played within himself,” said Towson coach Rob Ambrose. “He really wasn’t expecting to get that call. He’s probably annoyed with himself that he didn’t prepare as well as he could have. He made some mistakes.

“It shows some of the training that he’s had that he was able to step into that spot.”

Probably the highlight of Harris’ day came in the middle of the second half when he led the Tigers on a 15-play, 57-yard drive to set up a short field goal. Those were Towson’s only points of the day in the 23-3 loss to the No. 13 Spiders.

Twice, the 6-foot-2, 190-pound Harris ran for first downs on third-down plays while completing a 10-yard pass to convert on another third down.

“I was pleased with how Triston stayed within the scheme of the offense to give us a chance to be successful,” said Ambrose.

“I thought he did some good stuff — some very good stuff,” Ambrose said about Harris after the game. “I thought he did some bonehead stuff but that’s what freshmen do. I think he prepared like a starter and that gave him a chance to have some success.

“The second half was different because we played to his strengths. He made mistakes but he also made some good plays.”

It’s hard to say what Harris’ showing will mean for his future. He’s one of three QBs listed as the potential starter for the Tigers’ game against New Hampshire on Saturday.

Towson then hosts Delaware on Oct. 28.

Man in the middle

As difficult as Aaron Rodgers’ broken collarbone is for the Green Bay Packers, it certainly opened a door for Joe Callahan.

The former Wesley College star quarterback was signed off the Packers’ practice squad as the backup to new starter Brett Hundley on Monday.

Callahan has been with the Packers for most of his two-year NFL career.

But the situation also opened the door for some probably unwanted attention for Callahan. His name is being thrown around a little bit nationally because Green Bay stuck with an unknown QB instead of signing controversial free agent Colin Kaepernick.

For instance, Sports Illustrated had a headline on its website reading, “Packers Promote QB Joe Callahan After Aaron Rodgers Injury: Who is he?”

But Wesley coach Mike Drass, who talks to Callahan regularly, said his former 5,000-yard passer is taking it all in stride. He said Callahan simply stays away from social media.

“Now that he’s on the sidelines, he’s preparing like he’s going to be on the field,” said Drass. “I think that’s how Coach (Alex) Van Pelt (Green Bay’s QB coach) and Coach (Mike) McCarthy teach those guys. You have to prepare that you’re going to be under center and you’re going to help the team win.”

Odds & ends

• Defending state champion Smyrna, host Cape Henlopen, Caravel and Howard are the four instate boys’ basketball teams who will play in Slam Dunk to the Beach this December. It’s the fourth straight year that the defending state champion has been in the Slam Dunk field.

And for the last three seasons, the eventual state champion has played at Slam Dunk.

• There was a good turnout for the first Dover and Caesar Rodney High alumni baseball game on Saturday. About 30 former former Riders and Senators took part in what is hoped to be an annual event.

• Polytech and Cape Henlopen High will play their postponed field hockey matchup on Nov. 2 in Lewes. The DIAA state tournament then begins on Nov. 7-8.

• Speaking of which, a few downstate teams will take part in the annual Turf Bowl event on the University of Delaware’s Rullo Stadium on the weekend weekend of Oct. 27-29. Rullo, of course, is where the DIAA usually holds its state semifinals and finals.

Among the Henlopen teams slated to play are, on Oct. 28: Caesar Rodney (vs. Caravel, 10 a.m.) and Dover vs. Delmar (12:30 p.m.); and on Oct. 29: Polytech (vs. St. Georges, 3:30 p.m.). A total of 16 games are scheduled for the three-day event.

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