HP vs Mansfield Timberview for Outright Title

by Kirk Dooley

Get the facts The season really started last Friday for Highland Park.
The Scots traveled to Lancaster last week to get a reality check. How good were the Scots? It was hard to say until they battled the Tigers and came away with a 42-35 overtime win. The good news and the bad news was that the Scots won despite masquerading as turnover buckets. They stubbed their toes then “found a way” to win.
Note to selves: Work on eliminating fumbles and interceptions.
The Tigers looked as fast and talented as the HP coaches predicted. Even after the loss to the Scots, the Tigers are still ranked in the state’s 5A top 10.
The first play from scrimmage was a flea flicker gadget play that resulted in sophomore Jack Curtis catching a 75-yard touchdown strike from Chandler Morris. Talk about making an opening statement.
The teams traded touchdowns and HP found itself on its own 7-yard line, leading 14-7. Hunter Heath, who had scored the Scots’ second TD, took a handoff and broke into the Lancaster secondary and started sprinting up the sideline. A couple of Lancaster defensive backs plugged in their GPS angle finders and screamed toward the 5’6” Heath. Everyone in the stands could see where they would collide. As the Tigers speedsters caught up with Heath, he turned on an afterburner and outran the Tigers to the end zone. What?!
Let me repeat that. Hunter Heath scored on a 93-yard sprint by outrunning the Lancaster secondary, maybe the fastest DBs in the state. I had to adjust my glasses. Did I just see a mirage? A miracle?
A couple of weeks ago Heath broke a Highland Park record and tied a statewide record by running 99 yards for a touchdown. But his 93-yard performance against Lancaster was more dramatic.
The win gives the Scots at least a share of the district title. This Friday they can win it outright with a victory over Mansfield Timberview. But let me warn you: The Wolves are capable of beating the Scots.
New quarterback Jaden Hullaby is a transfer who accounted for 1,600 yards and 19 touchdowns last season. His backfield includes our old friends Stacy Sneed (1,250 rushing yards last year) and Montaye Dawson (1,020 rushing yards last year). When was the last time the Scots faced an opponent with THREE thousand-yard rushers? Never.
Playing Timberview will be like playing a Big 12 team. Hullaby has committed to Texas. His younger brother Landon, has more than a dozen offers. Sneed and Dawson have 30 offers between them. Jalen Kimber  is a four-star recruit who has committed to Georgia. And there are others. The Wolves went into this season expecting to win the state championship. They still feel that way right now.
The trick play the Scots used to start the Lancaster game was introduced to Coach Allen by his son, Zac, who sent a replay of Kyler Murray scoring an Arizona Cardinals touchdown with it. Coach Allen then saw a replay of Matthew Stafford using it for a Detroit Lions touchdown. Coach Allen incorporated it and the magic Chandler Morris bought enough time to make it work.
Coach Allen showed me the replays of both NFL teams running the play to perfection. I asked him if he knew the significance of those NFL TDs. He hesitated and I said, “You know both of the quarterbacks.”
He thought about and nodded. But the real question is, “Do Kyler Murray and Matthew Stafford know that Coach Allen just won his 400th high school game? And that only three coaches have accomplished that in the history of Texas high school football?”
To me that’s as impressive as Hunter Heath outrunning the Lancaster secondary for a 93-yard touchdown.
I still can’t believe my eyes.