By Kirk Dooley
Moving into the second game of district play, it is probably a good time to note the fact that the 3-1 Highland Park Scots have played one team with a winning record.
HP had been one of the state’s Top 10 teams before the Waxahachie loss, but the Scots shouldn’t worry about the polls at this point. They should focus on being one of the Top Four teams in 15-5A.
Rockwall (1-3), Waxahachie (4-0) and Lovejoy (1-3) all challenged the Scots while Mansfield Timberview did not.
Waxahachie turned out to be one of the better 5A teams in North Texas and deserves to be in the state’s Top 10. It’s star receiver, Jalen Reagor, leads the Area in receiving with 513 yards and seven touchdowns, and is second in scoring (62 points) behind a gentleman we will see on November 4, Eno Benjamin (74 points).
Benjamin is the star athlete for Wylie East and he may turn out to be the difference between Highland Park winning the district championship or not. He currently leads the Dallas area in rushing with 808 yards on 94 carries. He has scored 12 touchdowns in four games and leads the area in that category also. The last time I looked, the Wylie East coaches put him at quarterback so fasten your seat belts for the final district game, when the Scots face Benjamin and the Raiders in Wylie.
Go ahead and mark Nov. 4 on your calendar. Just write “Eno” across the page.
But that is then and this is now. The Scots travel to North Forney for a game between two 3-1 teams. The Falcons have beaten Mount Pleasant (50-21), Creekview (33-14) and Spruce (49-13) and then last week lost to Wylie East (56-28). So far this season the Falcons have score more points than HP or Wylie East. Quarterback Colby Suits has completed 59 of 110 passes for 1,001 yards and 15 touchdowns. He’s ranked fourth in 5A passing, one spot above HP’s John Stephen Jones (69 of 110 for 980 yards and seven TDs). Falcons receiver Barclay Ford (sounds like an HP name) is fifth in receiving with 21 catches for 398 yards and three scores. The Falcon defense is ranked 10th in the Area, holding teams to only 273 yards of total offense per game.
North Forney is a good team with solid skill players, a tough defense and a well-earned 3-1 record. The Falcons will face an HP team led by Dallas Morning News 5A Defensive Player of the Week Matt Gahm, better known as the second coming of Mitchell Kaufman. Gahm’s pick six propelled the Scots to victory last week. Cornerback O’Neil Sitzer had two key interceptions and was a runner-up for the DMN Defensive Player of the Week against Lovejoy. Two Scots. Three picks.
Traditionally the Scots transform from boys to men during the bye week as they get serious about moving into district play. But this season the bye week won’t take place until next week and by then HP will have two district games under its kilt. The Scots survived a serious Lovejoy scare last Friday and on paper North Forney looks better than Lovejoy.
The Falcons must be taken seriously. The Scots need to get serious and mature quickly or they could go into the bye week with a big ‘ol black eye.