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New Oxford High grad Erik Harris returns interception for TD to seal Oakland Raiders' win

ANTHONY GALAVIZ
The Fresno Bee (TNS)
Erik Harris
  • Erik Harris returned an interception 30 yards for a TD on Sunday.
  • The pick helped the Oakland Raiders earn a 31-24 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
  • The 29-year-old Harris is a New Oxford High School graduate.
Erik Harris

Oakland Raiders safety Erik Harris had three interceptions during his NFL career, but never a pick-6.

That changed Sunday and it came in a big spot for the New Oxford High School graduate.

The 6-foot, 2-inch, 220-pound Harris picked off Jacoby Brissett and took it 30 yards for a touchdown that sealed the Raiders’ 31-24 victory over the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.

"It was kind of surreal," Harris said in an interview on raiders.com. "It was kind of weird to be honest because there was nobody in front of me. I'm like 'is this real life, is this happening, should I start running.' So I scored the touchdown."

Brissett was impressed by Harris' play.

“I mean he made a good play,” Brissett said. “It was a dumb decision on my part, uncharacteristic on my part, but he made a great play. And then I saw him run in.”

The 29-year-old Harris was inserted in the lineup over Curtis Riley (Fresno State), and it paid off for the Raiders, who needed a victory ahead of a month-long road trip.

Erik Harris discusses his pick-six and the defensive mentality

He finished with seven tackles, including his fourth career interception that occurred with 2:09 remaining in the fourth quarter that gave the Raiders a 31-17 lead.

“We needed that and it couldn’t happen to a better guy,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said. “This guy has paid a lot of dues in this league ... and great play for the Raiders. I’m proud of this win as I’ve ever had before.”

Before joining the Raiders in 2017, Harris played for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2013-15 before joining the New Orleans Saints in 2016.

"(This is) kind of like my whole story, just capitalize on your opportunities," Harris said on raiders.com. "I'm a big believer in that. You stay humble in the process and believe in yourself and your faith in god, and all good things will happen."

Harris played his college ball at California University of Pennsylvania, but was undrafted by the NFL.