Oct. 10, 2003
By Austin Corder
The Toreros come into Saturday's Homecoming game against Drake looking to continue their winning streak and build on their 4-1 record. The early formula for success has been a tough defense and a balanced offense anchored by the efforts of running back Evan Harney (Fallbrook, CA). Harney, a 6-foot-1 sophomore, is a newcomer to the Torero Football team who transferred to USD from UC Irvine where he played baseball. After taking a year off from the gridiron, Harney knew he needed to get back on the football field.
"I had a burning desire to play football again," says Harney. "I was at Irvine for baseball and I really had that desire to get back into football and USD gave me the opportunity to play both sports here, so it has really worked out."
Coming into training camp this summer, Evan was unsure of what role he would play on his new team. Hoping to earn the starting spot, he was eager to see how his year long hiatus from football would affect his play.
"I really didn't have much expectations other than getting back on the field," Harney replied. "I knew it would be extremely tough coming into a new program and get to play. I just knew I had to work hard."
The hard work certainly paid off as Harney won the starting spot and hasn't looked back since. In the first five games of the season Harney has averaged nearly 30 carries and over 135 yards rushing per game. He was named the PFL Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for 215 yards and 3 TDs against La Verne. His addition has helped the team find the catalyst they need to achieve a balanced attack of running and passing that is essential to effectively run the West Coast Offense. Despite taking a year off, it is clear the lapse has had little effect on his ability to run the football.
In only five games this season, Harney has rushed for 678 yards and scored seven touchdowns for the Toreros. Two of those touchdowns came during the overtime win against Holy Cross in what was a coming out party for the running back from Fallbrook. In that game he carried the ball a whopping 43 times and rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns while carrying the load for the offense during both overtime periods.
"I think I came into my own against Holy Cross," says Harney, "I had so many carries and it was something new for me to get the ball that many times. It was a lot of fun to play in those overtime situations."
With the team at 4-1, Harney and the rest of the team look forward to the big Homecoming game this Saturday afternoon. Drake is a physical team, but the offense expects to continue their momentum.
"They are going to be tough, but I think we should be successful with both the run and the pass," says Harney. "It's definitely going to be another good battle."