Lamont Harris Jr. waited two years for last Friday.

The St. Augustine Prep junior rushed 22 times for 242 yards and three touchdowns as the Hermits opened the season with a 48-14 win over Middle Township.

The 5-foot-7, 180-pound Harris did not play varsity as a freshman. He started some games at linebacker as a sophomore but an ankle injury forced him to miss several contests.

On offense last year, Harris sat behind standout running back Calvin Cass, who rushed for 2,001 yards and is now a freshman at Navy.

"I just had to wait for my chance," Harris said. "Now it's my turn. I finally get to get my name out there. I didn't expect to have that big of a game, but it felt good to show what I could do."

In a telephone conversation Wednesday night, Harris, a Washington Township resident, discussed a few topics, including what he learned from Cass. St. Augustine plays its home opener against Lower Cape May Regional at 6 p.m. today. St. Augustine dubs the day "Hermit Fest" and has numerous pre-game activities for students and parents.

On how he started playing football: I started when I was 7 years old. I kept begging my mom (Alice), but she didn't let me play football at first. She said, 'I don't want you get hurt.' Finally she let me play, and I haven't turned back.

On how he became a running back: It was my first year in football and we had a skill competition. I was always the fastest guy, so I started at running back right from the jump.

On playing for St. Augustine head coach Mark Reardon and offensive coordinator Charlie Roman: It's great. Coach Reardon was at the college level with Villanova and coach Roman won state championships with Holy Spirit. They are winners. They know what it takes to win. They have a winning attitude and that carries over to us.

On what he learned from Cass last season: I learned what it takes to win. His work ethic was unbelievable.

On Hermit Fest and tonight's home opener vs. Lower Cape May: Everybody comes out to the game. It's a dress down day. There's hot dogs and hamburgers. People get their face painted. It's crazy.

Told to Michael McGarry

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