by Kirk Dooley
Some people think that it’s a trick that the Scots play Woodrow Wilson this Friday at Hillcrest High School.
The fear is that the HP players, coaches, band, cheerleaders, Belles and fans show up at Franklin Stadium on the Hillcrest campus only to find that Woodrow is winning the game by forfeit at different stadium.
But it is no scheme. Each of the DISD stadiums belong to all the schools even if some stadiums stand proudly on certain school campuses. There was a time when the Scots did not play on the HP campus. Does anyone remember when Highland Park games were held at SMU while the new Highlander Stadium was being built?
This Friday’s game is the only away game in your lifetime to which you could easily ride your bicycle. As a matter of fact, Franklin Stadium in half a mile closer to HPISD’s new Boone Elementary School than Highlander Stadium.
Woodrow is a proud school with a great tradition and loyal alums. And it produces elite athletes. It is the only public high school in the nation to boast two Heisman Trophy winners. While the Scots were winning state in 2005, Woodrow had the best football player in Texas. His name is Sergio Kindle. He was the only player in Texas to be first team all-state on offense and defense. A running back, he gained 5,627 yards and scored 86 touchdowns. As a linebacker he was named a Parade Magazine all-American and was a finalist for Player of the Year. He also started at center on the Wildcats’ basketball team and ran the 400m in track.
In other words, he was the Prince Dorbah of his era.
While playing for the Texas Longhorns Kindle was the first player ever to be a finalist for both the Butkus Award (best linebacker in the nation) and the Ted Hendricks Award (best defensive end in the nation).
This Friday the Wildcats come into the game 0-4 for the first time since 1999. They lost 45-17 to Frisco, 43-28 to Frisco Heritage, 21-18 to Wylie East and 50-14 to Mansfield Timberview. The Wildcats are led by quarterback Sam Fennegan who has thrown for 573 yards, and running backs Evan Blackmon, Jack Wilkenson and Matthew Jackson. The most electrifying skill player is Mileek Gipson, who caught a 47-yard TD pass at the end of the second quarter of the Wylie East game to give the Wildcats a 15-14 halftime lead.
Once again, Woodrow is one of the better DISD schools in our district, and they have the nucleus to challenge the Scots if the Scots don’t have their heads in the game.
Last Friday quite a few HP backups got some serious playing time. Quarterback Brayden Schager hit WR David Sherer with at 16-yard TD strike at the end of the third quarter and Sherer danced into the end zone in one of the most impressive touchdowns of the season. Unfortunately, Sherer was injured later in the game.
Starting QB Chandler Morris completed 16 of 19 passes for 353 yards and five touchdowns.
In the first half!
WR Ben Smith was a Dallas News Player of the Week finalist as he caught eight passes for 215 yards and three TDs, also in one half.
Woodrow has a wide receiver named Ben Smith on its roster. Be careful. It could be a trick.
by Kirk Dooley
The Scots are still one of the best 5A teams in the state.
They got knocked off their throne last Friday night at Highlander Stadium by a Frisco Lone Star team that now sits upon that throne – and deservedly so. With the state’s longest winning streak (33) coming to an end, the number-one ranking now out the window and the Scots’ first home loss to a Texas school in the Randy Allen era (21 years) the Highland Park football team now comes back down to Earth.
But let’s stop a moment and review. To win 33 games in a row means a team had to win at least two straight state championships and this program has won three. To put that into perspective, the storied Highland Park football program won exactly one state championship between 1946 and 2004. Those in AP Math can tell us that we’re talking about more than half a century. Then here comes these new high-voltage Scots who have won three in a row. What would legendary 1940s running back Doak Walker think?
Well I’m sure he’s up in that Highlander Stadium in the sky bragging to his buddies in heaven that his grandson is the starting at running back for the Scots this week. Original Doak – who several sportswriters said was the best running back to ever play football – never won a state championship but grandson Doak has.
The number one ranking in the AP state poll? The Scots won three state titles and were never ranked number one during those seasons. Being the underdog has served this locker room well.
The home record is the most amazing of recent HP superlatives. With last week’s loss, the Scots now stand at 102-2 at home during the Randy Allen/Grayson Wells regime. A big reason this coaching staff is so successful is that the coaches emphasize getting better every week. And their teams do. The quarterfinals Scots will be a totally different team that the pre-district Scots. That’s why my money is still on the coach’s son.
Bryan Adams stands in the way of HP being undefeated in district play after game one. The Cougars come into the contest with a one-game winning streak after beating Fort Worth Southwest last week, 12-0. They won one game last season so they already have a better start. BA quarterback Amari Jones (#7) has thrown for 42 yards this season compared to Chandler Morris and his 990 yards. Top BA receiver Diaron Carey (#1) has 27 yards receiving while Ben Smith leads the Scots with 319.
The Cougars have two good defensive linemen to keep an eye on. Tackle Chimeremeze Nwanju (#44) and end Semaj Kimbrough (8) are plenty talented. Safety James Murphy (#9) and linebacker Antoine Murphy (#5) each had an interception last week. Antoine also had a TD in the first game when he returned a fumble 83 yards for a score.
Highland Park has 111 more players on its roster than Bryan Adams, 148 to 37. Counting only juniors and seniors, the Scots have 146 compared to the Cougars’ 24. Of course, each team can play only 11 at a time.
If the Scots take care of business, quite a few reserves will be able to play this Friday. And they can be key parts of their team kick-starting another home winning streak.