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.