by Kirk Dooley
This Friday the HP seniors’ parents will join their Scots in the Highland March as they walk across Grassmere Lane from the indoor practice facility to Highlander Stadium before the Richardson game. None of the parents will suit up and play but they will make an excellent entourage for their sons on the final regular season home game of their high school careers.
While it would be absurd for parents to suit up and play in the game, I don’t think there’s a rule against grandparents. So this Friday let’s allow Beau Lilly’s 83-year-old grandfather to play one more game. He could be a one-man Doomsday Defense.
There will be a 90 percent chance of rain during the game this Friday so look for a sea of golf umbrellas in the stands and 22 drenched teenagers on the field. Before the game the seniors will be introduced but there might be more folks on the field than in the stands. Keep in mind that if Highland Park Coach Randy Allen asks for the rain to stop, it will stop.
The Richardson Eagles fly into Highlander Stadium on a one-game winning streak. They shut out the Irving Tigers 21-0, last weekend. The Scots are also coming off a shutout win, 52-0, over Irving MacArthur.
Richardson’s other district win was the 50-7 trampling of Irving Nimitz, a game in which the Eagles had 412 yards of total offense, 124 in the air and 288 on the ground. They can move the ball and they can score points. In addition to the 50 points they put on Nimitz, they also scored 54 against Bryan Adams. But they lost to Berkner (49-0), MacArthur (55-21), Pearce (28-14) and Lake Highlands (45-10), so they give up points also.
The Richardson quarterback is Howard Armstrong, a big, physical senior. At times the Eagles will roll out a sophomore QB, Cole Cage, a smaller, shiftier athlete who gives a different look.
The Eagles’ running back is sophomore Miles Buckley, who has picked up 487 yards and five touchdowns on 72 carries for the season.
Last week the Scots defense had a great game, forcing four turnovers and pitching a shutout against a potential playoff team. The stars of the show were safety Brady Dauterive and linebacker William White, two Player Committee members who had breakout games. Dauterive returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown while White had seven tackles, two forced fumbles, a hurry and a blocked field goal. Collectively, the Scots defense held the Cardinals to 151 yards of total offense for the night.
The 8-0 Scots will battle the 3-5 Eagles in the rain, so how will the weather affect the game? First of all, there won’t be any mud. I still have a hard time with that concept. What would Willie, Lilly, Jethro and George think of artificial turf? They would tell you that a muddy field on a rainy day is part of football.
Assuming a potential downpour will drench the passing game, the Scots might try my creative rainy day offense: Line up offensive linemen Lawson Petty (6-4, 285) and Robert Sweeney (6-5, 280) next to each other in the backfield in a double-wildcat formation. Snap the ball directly to one and have the other as a lead blocker. Then rotate. At worst they will fall forward four yards every play. At best they will be first-down machines and light up the scoreboard.