HP Takes on Rockwall in Game #2 of 2020

by Kirk Dooley

the original source Since two of the games in Highland Park’s 2020 pre-district 6A world tour were cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns, this Friday’s shootout against Rockwall will be the Scots’ second game of the season.

And I use the word “season” loosely. While the Scots rose to the occasion last Friday and beat a good Coppell team, 42-36, it’s still one game. The Scots hadn’t even scrimmaged anyone before they were thrown into the fire and they looked good playing an area top 20 6A team that was 2-0 and averaging 40 points per game. So now, instead of catching their breath, the Scots face a rock wall that is an area top 20 6A team that is 3-0 and averaging 54 per game.
And last week the Yellow Jackets beat Southlake Carroll, the number seven 6A team in the state. It is extremely rare to play a team that has just knocked off the Dragons. What’s amazing is that the Dragons feature the nation’s top ranked quarterback in the Class of 2021 and he came in second place to the Rockwall quarterback, Braedyn Locke, last Friday. Locke was 31 of 44 for 352 yards while Carroll QB Quinn Ewers (who, ironically, is coached by former Scots QB coach Tristan Weber) was 19 of 30 for 326 yards.
The plot thickens now that Southlake Carroll has cancelled its marque game against Denton Guyer this weekend due to a Carroll athlete testing positive for COVID-19 at an athletic event on Oct. 8. Hmmm. That’s the day when Carroll played Rockwall.

The Scots came together quickly last Friday to topple Coppell and HP may still be a work in progress this Friday against a team that is averaging 54 points per game. This Friday’s game has the potential to be a high scoring shootout. The Scots unleashed their Brayden Schager era as the Hawaii commit completed 19 of 31 passes for 310 yards. Not a bad start. But conversely, Rockwall’s Locke has already thrown for 1,000 yards.
Indeed, this rivalry has been a shootout. Over the past four years the Scots have won three and lost one. The Jackets won in 2017 (53-49) while the Scots prevailed in 2016 (43-21), 2018 (49-42) and 2019 (66-59). All those games were as electric as the scores indicate. Incredible, high-octane, nail-biting thrillers. Texas high school football at its best.
The Jackets no longer have five-star receiver, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who thankfully graduated and went on to terrorize the Big 10 at Ohio State. Rockwall has reloaded with a trio of receivers – Jax Johnson, Brenden Bayes and Goodnews Iwuamadi – who are 100-yard-per-game guys for Braedyn Locke on any given night.
Coach Randy Allen summed it up by saying, “This is going to be a classic high school football game.”
Most sportswriters are predicting a Rockwall win. I’m going with the Scots Friday night for the strangest of reasons. In another thrilling shootout HP gets the nod because its star quarterback knows how to spell Brayden.