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 Play Frisco Wakeland in Round 2 at Allen Eagle Stadium Friday (7pm Kickoff)

by Kirk Dooley

The Person of Interest this Friday will be Jared White.

Mr. White is a 5’10”, 190 lb. senior running back for the Frisco Wakeland Wolverines. Every team has a running back or two or three, but few put up numbers like he does consistently.

As a junior he gained 1,563 yards (1,158 on the ground and 405 in the air) and scored 20 touchdowns. This year he already has racked up 1,733 yards on the ground and 215 in the air, with 26 TDs under his belt.

Last week we made a big deal about New Caney running back Kedrick Reescano averaging 7.3 yards per carry going into the HP game. The Scots defense held him to 5.5 yards per carry. He got his 148 yards rushing but the Highland Park defense kept him out of the end zone most of the night. He scored twice, from the one-yard line and from the two, after the game was out of reach.

This week we will make a big deal about Mr. White averaging nine yards per carry going into the HP game. He’s like a first-down ATM machine. Last week he picked up 248 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns while his supporting cast scored three more.

Throughout the season the Scots have shut down some great running backs and disarmed some outstanding offenses. This Friday they’ll need to do it again. With either Frisco Lone Star or College Station looming next week and Denton Ryan the week after, these Scots need to focus on the game this Friday and slowing the Wakeland running attack enough to allow Highland Park to live another week.

Last week’s 45-13 win over New Caney was the Scots’ ninth straight first-round win. As the winningest program in the history of Texas high school football, every game the Scots win is a new record. They can keep it up if they continue to stay focused on one game at a time.

The Scots’ three-headed running game continues to be successful as Christian Reeves, Ben Croasdale and Jay Cox bring different skill sets that are hard to prepare for. Reeves has a slashing style and a nose for open field. Croasdale is a power runner with sprinter speed. Cox is a huge receiving threat and very dangerous in space. Plus he can punt, return kicks and work in the concession stand.

Quarterback Brennan Storer’s goal is to be the best quarterback named Brennan on the field this Friday. Wakeland QB Brennan Myer has the same goal. Only one of them will survive to play next weekend.

   What will Wakeland do slow down the Scots? They probably will wear out the film of the HP–West Mesquite game. The Wranglers finished in last place in district but they gained 595 total yards against the Scots. Over the past three weeks the Scots have given up an average of 229 yards per game rushing. This week’s opponent could exploit that if they had a good running back.
   Uh, wait a minute …

So the game boils down to this: If the Highland Park defense can focus on Wakeland’s Person of Interest and neutralize this first-down ATM machine, do the Wolverines have enough other tools in the box to keep moving the ball and scoring?

If so, they’ll need to match the HP offense which could light up the scoreboard with 35 to 45 points.

By the way, don’t forget that the game starts at 7:00 p.m. It’s a trick to keep you in Friday rush hour traffic.