by Kirk Dooley
In 1994 Lake Highlands had a good quarterback who was replaced by a once-in-a generation talent by the name of Marcus Stiggers. The replaced QB moved to defense and had a good season. Stiggers ran for 1,600 yards as a quarterback. He had 2,000 all-purpose yards and ran for 20 touchdowns. I recall coaches telling me that he was one of the best talents to ever play high school football in Dallas. Stiggers went the University of Colorado but didn’t live up to his potential.
The other QB-turned-DB never gave up his dream of being college quarterback and he wound up at the United States Naval Academy and played quarterback for the Midshipmen. After graduating he served his country and became a Navy Seal. After retiring from active duty, he returned to Dallas. In 2011 he and another Navy Seal created a non-profit to restore the true meaning of Memorial Day. It now honors our nation’s heroes 365 days a year.
The non-profit is Carry the Load. The QB who co-founded it is Stephen Holley. Carry the Load has raised more than $33 million that is distributed to non-profit partners that provide services to our nation’s veterans.
So what does Carry the Load have to do with the Highland Park-Lake Highlands football game?
Plenty. The starting quarterback for the Wildcats is Stephen’s son, Tripp Holley, a 6’3” 190-lb. legacy who in two games has thrown for 277 yards and five touchdowns and has run for 188 more yards.
The Wildcats were 10-2 last season and are now ranked among the top 6A teams in the Dallas area. They shut out Mesquite Poteet, 21-0, in Week One and beat Flower Mound, 27-17, last Friday.
This is the first district game. It will go a long way to determine the eventual 7-6A district champion.
The Scots are coming off two tough pre-district games. They beat Flower Mound Marcus and Lewisville by 14 points each. Both games were close and went back and forth until the Scots broke serve and scored the final touchdown to go up two scores at the end of the game.
The Scots passing game has set the pace this season. Quarterback Brennan Storer returns after passing for 2,514 yards and 25 touchdowns last season as a junior. With a solid offensive line and a clown car full of great receivers, Storer has thrown for 584 yards and seven touchdowns over the first two games. He is ranked third among Dallas area 6A quarterbacks in total yards. It is hard enough to try to cover all four HP receivers but when running back Jay Cox comes slithering out of the backfield covered by a linebacker in the open field, he can take it to the house at any time.
There are two other factors in play that have helped create a sold-out game at Highlander Stadium. First, HP coach Randy Allen can become the second-winningest coach in Texas high school football history with a win on Friday. And during halftime former Scots quarterback Matthew Stafford will be honored and his Scots jersey (#7) will be retired. The Super Bowl winning QB will be at Highlander Stadium Friday night for this special night. There is so much electricity in the air that I think the Scots could have sold out AT&T Stadium for this game.