HP vs J.J. Pearce
October 3, 2014
An old rivalry renews tonight as the Highland Park Scots and J.J.
Pearce Mustangs battle for the first time as 6A warriors.
Reunited in District 10-6A, the two schools are known for the
similarities in their sports teams, student bodies and winning traditions.
While the Scots lead the Mustangs in wins on the gridiron,
nobody can forget the 2001 double-overtime thriller in
Richardson when Pearce handed HP one of its only two district
losses during the Randy Allen era, dating back to 1999.
“Our games with Pearce are always emotional,”
said Allen. “They were excited
when we joined their 10-6A district. Their
school is in close proximity to ours and our
kids know their kids. This game renews an
This is a rebuilding year for the Mustangs.
They are coming off a 5-6 season in 2013
where they squeaked into the playoffs. This
season they come into Highlander Stadium
with a 1-3 record. Pearce has been defeated
by McKinney, 26-22, McKinney North,
54-16, and Richardson, 48-30. In Week 2
the Mustangs beat South Garland, 49-42.
In last week’s contest against the Richardson Eagles, Pearce used
two quarterbacks, Hank Hughes (#11) and Austin Noland (#7).
Hughes completed 11 of 21 passes for 117 yards while Noland
connected on 10 of 14 passes for 75 yards. The top three wide
receivers are Jake Griffin (#6) with 22 receptions for 261 yards,
Hughes with 10 receptions for 143 yards and Ryan Hart (#4) with
six catches for 122 yards.
The Mustangs have three runners with over 100 yards. Hughes
leads the team with 197 yards on 39 carries while Jake Hercamp
(#27) has 118 yards on 20 carries and Alex Silva (#22) has gained
112 yards on 23 carries. The number to remember is that each of
these Mustangs is averaging more than five yards per carry.
The Scots will try to keep Hughes bottled up wherever he lines
up and keep Griffin from nabbing too many passes.
A potent Highland Park offense that is averaging 44.5 points per
game will face a Pearce defense that is allowing 42.5. Conversely, a
Scots defense that is allowing 13 points per game will square off
against a Mustang offense that averaging 29.
In last Friday’s 29-9 win over North Mesquite, the Scots started
slow, falling behind 9-0 in the second quarter. The spirited
Stallions defense bottled up the Scots, keep them from a first down
until midway through the second quarter. Then HP quarterback
Brooks Burgin (#5, 6-2, 189) hit wide receiver Andrew Frost (#3,
6-0, 180) with a 24-yard touchdown strike to allow the Scots to go
into halftime with a small 9-7 deficit.
During halftime the Scots players made adjustments and decided
that they’d like to play more efficiently. The second half Scots
looked like a new team. The offense scored 22 points while the
swarming defense shut out the Stallions, allowing them only 48
total yards in the second half. The game ended after HP’s 29 unanswered
points propelled them into the new
world of 6A football.
“We need to start faster,” said Allen.
“North Mesquite was emotional and they
executed well. We were a little stale after
our open date. Once we got in sync we
were able to score 29 points and hold
them. We played a good team and got our
first 6A win. We won the fourth quarter.
Our defense was consistent throughout the
game and our offense showed signs of running
the ball well. Our kicking game was
solid all night and we had two play-action
passes for touchdowns.”
Running back Stephen Dieb (#34, 5-7, 145) made some NM
defenders think he was 6’3″ and 240 lbs. as he ran over, ran
around and ran through several Stallions en route to a 140-yard
game. Dieb averaged more than eight yards per carry.
Burgin finished the night completing 12 of 27 passes for 175
yards and three touchdowns. Frost caught three passes for 89
yards and two TDs, Kevin Ken (#17, 6-0, 170) grabbed six passes
for 57 yards and one touchdown.
Linebacker Michael Linehan (#35, 6-1, 230) had a monster
game against North Mesquite, with 17 tackles (nine of which were
solo) and earning The Dallas Morning News Defensive Player of
the Week honorable mention. Hayden Schnieders (#40, 5-10,
195) had 14 tackles, Matthew White (#49, 6-2, 205) had 12,
Danny Gouskos (#94, 5-9, 210) had nine, Nick Waterman (#44,
6-2, 217) had eight while Benji Walzel (#31, 5-10, 170) and Zach
Snelling (#32, 6-0, 205) each had seven.
Injured linebacker Mitchell Kaufman (#10, 6-3, 225) is expected
to rest again tonight. In his place the Scots will continue to play
Snelling and Josh Block (#41, 5-10, 180).
HP vs Prosper
September 12, 2014
The Prosper Eagles soar into Highland Stadium for the first time
to battle the Scots, who boast an 80-game home winning streak.
That streak looked vulnerable last Friday with five and half minutes
left in the first half against Pulaski Academy of Little Rock.
The Bruins had just scored to go up 28-14, testing the Scots, the
coaching staff and the jam-packed home crowd.
A minute later the Scots offense reached into its own quiver of
electricity and pulled out a lightening bolt as scatback Stephen
Dieb (#34, 5-7, 145) scored on a nine-yard
run to tighten the score, to 28-21.
Then lightening stuck again 20 seconds
later as linebacker Mitchell “Pick Six”
Kaufman (#10, 6-3, 225) stepped in front of
a Pulaski pass and returned it 33 yards to tie
the contest and change the complexion of
the battle. It was a game-changing play.
With the momentum dramatically shifted
in Highland Park’s favor, the defense smothered
Pulaski’s fourth down attempt on its
own 32-yard line and then it took quarterback
Brooks Burgin (#5, 6-2, 189) two
plays to put the Scots ahead at halftime. He hit Sam Welfelt (#9,
6-2, 180) with a 22-yard strike, then Dieb ran it in from the
10-yard line with 2:32 remaining in the half.
That third lightening bolt put HP ahead 35-28. The Scots had
scored 21 points in less than two minutes and never trailed again.
In the third quarter the Scots defense stopped the Bruins again
on a fourth down attempt at the Pulaski 30-yard line. (Maybe it’s a
good idea to punt sometimes.) Burgin hit Andrew Frost (#3, 6-0,
180) with two strikes for 21 yards, Dieb picked up two more then
Burgin ran it in from the seven, giving the Scots a 42-28 cushion.
In the fourth quarter Dieb scored his third touchdown to put the
Scots up, 48-28. The Bruins came back strong at the end of the
game, scoring twice and tightening the score to 48-42 but the HP
kickoff return team warriors recovered the Bruins’ final onside
kick … as they had done with every onside kick all night, giving
the HP offense nice field position throughout the entire game.
“Our ability to get the onside kicks was important,” said HP
head coach Randy Allen . “Our defense got better as the game
went on. We scored 34 unanswered points and had a seven-point
halftime lead, which was important. I think that Mitchell
Kaufman’s interception return for a touchdown was important.
“Pulaski was as good or better than we had thought. They had
solid blocking and good players at skill positions. Their quarterback
was good and their team is used to winning. I think it is
important that we didn’t play our best game and still beat a good
team. Their offense ran 93 plays – 60 is normal – so our defense
was on the field a lot. We had players cramping but they were
never demoralized. I give them credit for adjusting to the fourthdown
plays and finding a way to win. It was an exciting game and
we came out healthy and came out with a win. Plus we were
exposed to some new formations and schemes. We’ll be better prepared
next season when we play them.”
Tonight the Scots face Prosper, which
beat Birdville, 41-20, and lost to Justin
Northwest, 42-19. The Eagles were 3-7 last
season after graduating star quarterback
Davis Webb (Texas Tech) and receiver
Torii Hunter (Notre Dame), who had led
Prosper to gridiron glory.
“Prosper is good offensively,” said Allen.
“They’ve got a running back (Robert
Mahone ) who ran a kickoff back 90 yards
for a touchdown against Justin Northwest.
Their quarterback (Colton Hepp ) wears
number 90. He’s a good passer and good runner. Prosper has a lot
of pride and good school spirit. They are a classy group and they
want to be the best.”
Against Birdville, Hepp passed for 210 yards and Mahone had a
95-yard touchdown run. The Bruins kicker, Liam Gamboa , connected
on a 40-yard field goal.
In the first two games of the season, Scots QB Burgin has completed
33 of 48 passes (69 percent) for 517 yards, four touchdowns
and one interception. Dieb leads the team in rushing with
136 yards on 23 carries (six yards per carry) and three touchdowns.
Campbell Brooks (#2, 6-0, 175) has caught nine passes
for 228 yards and four touchdowns to lead the team in receiving.
Leading the Scots in tackles against Pulaski were linebackers
Matthew White (#49, 6-2, 205) and Michael Linehan (#35, 6-1,
230), followed by defensive ends Michael Thornton (#95, 6-2,
215) and Nick Waterman (#44, 6-2, 217) and linebacker Hayden
Schnieders (#40, 5-10, 195). The HP defense will have a healthy
Danny Gouskos (#94, 5-9, 210) back at nose guard tonight.
“Our depth was important in our victory over Pulaski,” said
Allen, “and it will be just as important against Prosper.”