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BELTON — Five days after Temple went to 0-2, junior safety Naeten Mitchell spoke about the Wildcats’ frame of mind as they dealt with a bit of unfamiliar territory. There was no panic, he said. He could sense a turning of the corner, that good things were brewing.

Temple offensive line coach described, rather nonchalantly, the Wildcats’ starters in the trenches this season as characters. Generally, that is accurate, however, a specific disclaimer to go with it might be necessary — when in conversation with the five, be prepared to laugh, a lot, and sometimes at one’s expense.

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Been there and done that. Go ahead, add in did it again.

For the second straight season, Temple fell into a three-touchdown, first-half hole against Harker Heights and for the second time found a way out of it in dramatic fashion for an exhilarating District 12-6A victory, the latest installment a 44-34 triumph Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.

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Temple’s offense piled up more than 500 yards and its defense didn’t yield a touchdown last Friday in the Wildcats’ most thorough victory to date this season.

Harker Heights, meanwhile, attracted the largest home-side crowd to Leo Buckley Stadium in five years last Thursday and promptly produced a 41-point win over Killeen Ellison to move to 4-0.

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BRYAN — One day after verbally committing to Air Force, Temple senior running back Samari Howard took flight, and he and the rest of the Wildcats are off and running in District 12-6A.

Howard hurdled a defender on his way to one of his three touchdowns, Mikal Harrison-Pilot had a 95-yard TD catch among his two scores and Temple’s defense hunkered down against Bryan’s physical rushing attack for an emphatic 49-7 victory Friday night in the league opener for both at Merrill Green Stadium.