Scots Travel to Lewisville for Game 2

by Kirk Dooley

   HP’s second step into the 6A waters should be as challenging as the first. After dispatching the Flower Mound Marcus Marauders, 38-24, last week in the season opener at Highlander Stadium, the Scots travel to Lewisville this Friday to tangle with the Lewisville Fighting Farmers.

   For the second week in a row the Scots will be picked to lose by The Dallas Morning News. The Farmers, who beat up Garland Naaman Forest last week, 28-6, are the eighth-ranked 6A team in the area. The Scots are still ranked 10th after beating the 11th-ranked team last Friday.

This will be the last week we can talk about Highland Park being a 5A school that just got bumped up to 6A. Next week the Scots will be just another veteran 6A team.

Is life in 5A really different than 6A? Coaches will tell you that 6A has more depth and larger linemen. By the time the playoffs hit some of the bigger and stronger 6A teams will resemble college teams. That’s because many of their guys will be playing on Saturdays next season.

And for what it’s worth: Highland Park has an enrollment of 2,245 while Lewisville’s enrollment is 4,285. I could even the playing field by merging Jesuit into Highland Park. Our new Scottish Catholic high school would have an enrollment of 4,533 and be about the size of Lewisville High.

The Fighting Farmers built up a 28-0 lead against Naaman Forest and had a shutout in their back pocket until NF scored with less than a minute left in the game. Lewisville looked good on both sides of the line. They had four fourth-down stops and recorded five sacks. Forced turnovers consistently created good field position, which led to several scores.

The key to the Lewisville offense is quarterback Ethan Terrell who last Friday was 7 of 11 for 52 yards passing while picking up 114 yards on the ground. On four runs.

What stands out about the Fighting Farmers is that their offensive line is mammoth. It’s the 300-pound club.

The Highland Park – Flower Mound Marcus contest was as exciting as was predicted. The Scots won by 14 points but it was 24-24 in the fourth quarter when Jay Cox took a Brennan Storer pass and zipped 75 yards for an electrifying touchdown that put the Scots up by seven (again) with 8:52 left in the game. The Marauders had matched each HP score all night but this time the Scots defense broke serve and stopped the Marcus offense. Nobody in Highlander Stadium could relax until Storer scored from the two with less than two minutes to play.

That gave the Scots their first 14-point lead which held up and the game ended, 38-24.

Cox was the HP’s leading rusher with 67 yards and leading receiver with 116 yards. Storer completed 20 of 29 passes for 288 yards and three TDs in a classic quarterback duel with the Marauders’ 6’6” nationally-ranked junior quarterback Cole Welliver , who threw for 310 yards.

Storer and HP defensive lineman Spencer Brown were both honorable mention Dallas Morning News Players of the Week. Brown had six tackles, a TFL, seven QB pressures and a forced fumble.

   Fact to keep in the back of your mind: Last week Lewisville was flagged for 16 penalties for 166 yards.

Scots Host Flower Mound for Season Opener

by Kirk Dooley

The 2022 edition of the Highland Park Scots will take the field on Friday to host the Flower Mound Marcus Marauders. What gives this game some extra picante sauce is that it will kick off the 100th season of Highland Park football. Muy caliente!

We should pause for a moment during the opening of this centennial season to acknowledge that the 100-year-old Scots have the winningest football program in the history of Texas high school football.

There. That was nice. Now let’s concentrate on the Marcus game. The Marauders already are.

Tonight the Scots rejoin the world of 6A football where district 7-6A consists of our old friends from Richardson and Irving, as well as Jesuit. The Scots’ two preseason opponents (Marcus and Lewisville) are both excellent teams and will give HP the challenge the Scots want.

“Getting off the bus, Marcus looks like a  college team,” said Highland Park head coach Randy Allen. The Marauders are big, tall and athletic. They’ve got a 6’6” junior quarterback, Cole Welliver (#10), who is a four-star recruit and is ranked as the 19th best QB in the nation for the class of 2024. For Welliver, the best part of his first start is that he inherits four-star receiver Ashton Cozart (#6) who is committed to Oregon.

And it doesn’t stop there. Wide receiver Isaac Khattab (#1) and RB/DB/WR Jake Ballard (#2) are also outstanding receivers. Coach Allen uses one word to describe the Marcus offense. “Scary.”

Just as frightening for the Scots is the Marauders pass rush, led by two future college stars – defensive ends Will Upshaw (#35) and Devin Strange (#17).

This is only the first game of the season and Coach Allen already acknowledges that Marcus has one of the best pass-rushing sets of defensive ends the Scots will see all year.

The Scots roll into their home opener with plenty of fireworks. Quarterback Brennan Storer (#7), who threw for 2,525 yards and 25 touchdowns as a junior last season, has one of the deepest and most impressive receiver corps in Scots history. Jackson Heis (#3), Grayson Schrank (#2), Beau Lilly (4) and Luke Herring (#6) each have 1,000-yard potential. Jay Cox (#5) returns as a shifty running back who is deadly as a receiver coming out of the backfield with a linebacker covering him.

The Scots offensive line, led by left tackle Lawson Petty (#76) and center Andrew Maroulis (#58), is big and fiesty. The defensive line will rotate six players while the linebackers and secondary will rotate five each. A lot of guys are competing for playing time and that will work itself over the next few games.

Coach Allen is pleased with the work his quarterback has put in to get better during the offseason. “Brennan is one of the best quarterbacks in the area,” said Allen. “He’s got a good arm, is accurate, explosive and has improved significantly from last season.”

   What will be the difference in this game? Whichever quarterback has the most time to throw. If they both have time, the team that wins will be the last one with the ball in one of those 62-58 explosions.

Scots Host 1st Round Rematch vs New Caney

by Kirk Dooley

The 2021 playoffs begin this Friday and for the second year in a row, the Scots will host the New Caney Eagles at Highlander Stadium.

A reminder for HP season ticket holders: When you go to find your seat at the game and someone else is sitting there, you’ll need to find another seat. This game is general admission and season ticket holders need to get to the game very early if you’d like to sit in “your” seats.

New Caney comes into the bi-district game with a 7-3 record. The Eagles were flying high at 7-1 until they ended their district run with two losses. They were beaten by Magnolia West, 31-24, and Magnolia, 52-21. Earlier in the season they had lost to College Station, a team that went on to win the district championship …. is undefeated at 10-0 …. is ranked second in state …. is averaging 53.9 points per game (and allowing 6.4) …. and could be a Scots playoff opponent a couple of weeks down the road.

The Eagles are good. They are balanced. They average 203 yards per game on the ground and 198 in the air. Their quarterback is Cornelius Banks. (Wasn’t that the father’s name in “Mary Poppins”?) Banks has completed 67 percent of his passes this season. He has connected on 134 of 201 passes for 1,926 yards and 20 touchdowns. But their most dangerous Eagle is running back Kedrick Reescano, who averages 7.3 yards per carry and 139 yards per game.  As a junior he was good for over 1,000 yards and 14 touchdowns. This season he has already picked up 1,393 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Keep an eye on receiver Cameron Thomas who is Banks’ favorite target. Thomas has caught 46 passes for 808 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Scots are coming off two wins that were not glamorous but they wound up being convincing. And although West Mesquite and Wylie East finished at the bottom of district standings, they both were talented and had a lot of spunk. Like most teams, they gave their best effort when trying to knock off the Scots. I feel like West Mesquite and Wylie East, compared to all the teams who finished at the bottom of their district standings, are the best two teams in Texas.

Coach Allen’s theory of playing very good 6A teams in pre-district is a good one when the playoffs roll around. The Scots finished 3-1 with a loss to Southlake Carroll and victories over Coppell, Flower Mound and Rockwall. All four of those 6A teams are in the playoffs and undefeated Carroll could go all the way. Those teams gave the Scots the critical blueprint on where they needed to improve. And once they find themselves in a firefight with a great playoff team, they won’t be surprised because they’ve seen it before.

And they’ll see some of it this Friday night. Did I mention that New Caney running back Kedrick Reescano averages 7.3 yards every time he touches the ball?