In the strangest high school football off-season since World War II, the Scots spent the spring and summer staying six-feet apart while staying in shape. When the players finally got the green light to get on the field as a team, the first two games of the season were cancelled due to COVID-19. Austin Westlake and Mesquite Horn were two 6A opponents that never got on the team busses.
While the rest of the world played games one and two, the Scots didn’t even practice while they quarantined. We all have been challenged by the coronavirus restrictions and protocols but the Highland Park Scots learned how to be good teammates without being in the presence of their teammates.
When the quarantine was lifted, the Scots had a few days of practice for this Friday’s kickoff at Highlander Stadium against the 6A Coppell Cowboys. While the action on the field will be standard, nothing else will be. Seating will be limited. Fans will be socially distanced from each other. The visiting band and drill team will not make the trip. The HP stands will be sparse and the Coppell side will be a ghost town on each end. Masks will be required.
Coppell will be led by standout quarterback Ryan Walker who has a 2-0 record while his team is averaging 40 points per game. The Cowboys beat Mesquite, 36-21, two weeks ago and then outlasted a good Sachse team, 42-35. Walker threw for 230 yards against Mesquite and 348 yards and four touchdowns against Sachse.
The Scots will face one of their most challenging wide receivers Friday when they line up against KJ Liggins. It will be hard to keep him from hitting the 100-yard mark and it will be imperative to keep him out of the end zone. He has the big play ability to take over a game. And the worst part of it is that Coppell has two other receivers, Dylan Nelson and Anthony Black who average over 27 yards per catch. Pick your poison.
The good news for the Scots is that the Cowboys gave up 507 total yards and 35 points to Sachse. So it appears that the Scots can move the ball and that HP-Coppell game could be a horse race.
On offense the Scots return four of their five starting offensive linemen. They have the senior quarterback – Brayden Schager – who will start in his first game for the Scots and he already has several major college offers and has committed to play at Hawaii. He’s got a clown car full of skilled receivers and three running backs who can each make big plays.
It will be exciting to see the HP defense come together. There is some real talent, especially at linebacker.
The HP defense will be challenged by the high-octane Coppell offense but if the Scots can keep the Cowboys to 40 points or below, they should prevail.
As the great philosopher Randy Allen said, “We have a lot of catching up to do.”