It’s back to Hanby Stadium for the Scots on a perfect Texas high school football night. This week’s Mesquite host will be the original Mesquite Skeeters, a team that has been a rival of Highland Park’s since Mesquite was a dusty little farm town lost somewhere between Dallas and Shreveport.
Today that farming community is a major Dallas suburb that dwarfs the Park Cities in population and has five large high schools. Part of the school district lies inside of the LBJ Freeway loop, so it’s not considered far away anymore.
Last year the Skeeters snuck into the playoffs with a 3-3 district record before they were eliminated by Sachse in a razor-thin close game. This year’s version of the Skeeters is 2-5 but have playoff potential with a 2-2 district record. Last week Mesquite used a 21-point fourth quarter to put away Richardson Berkner, 28-7.
But two weeks ago the fireworks were flying when the Skeeters battled a red-hot Richardson Pearce team. The Mustangs prevailed but it was exciting. With three minutes left in the game Skeeters quarterback Dazmon Scott hit wide receiver Jordan Rider with a 91-yard touchdown pass to tightened the score to 45-41. But the Mustangs held the ball on their final drive and scored at the end of the game to win, 52-41. Both teams combined for 1,256 yards of total offense along with 64 first downs. It was a track meet. In that game, Pearce quarterback Hank Hughes completed 32 of 41 passes for 498 yards and four touchdowns. Not a bad day at the office. He also ran 22 times for 97 yards. The Skeeters allowed Pearce receiver Jake Griffin to grab 17 passes for 269 yards. Conversely, the Scots defense managed to keep a lid on Griffin.
Mesquite is battling for a playoff spot so its players will be desperate for a win. To do that they’ll need their tandem quarterbacks – Anthony Tennison and Scott – to be on target. The Skeeters’ top two receivers are Chance Fisher (90 receptions for 607 yards and six TDs) and Scott, who has caught 34 passes for 286 yards and five touchdowns, presumably when he was not playing quarterback.
On paper, Mesquite will not be as challenging as the two other Hanby hosts, but they have beaten Berkner and Lake Highlands over the past three weeks. So this is no time for the Scots to look past their opponent. To have a 2-2 district record puts the Skeeters on the playoff bubble, and as we’ve seen over the years, anything can happen when high school football players pull together with a quest to make the playoffs.
They won’t be Horn, but they could be a thorn.