by Kirk Dooley
The Scots are serious about taking care of business this week. They need to be.
Highland Park faces Frisco Independence, Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at Globe Life Park in the second round of the playoffs. This should be he most competitive second round game for the Scots in several years.
Don’t let the Knights’ 5-4 record fool you. Forget their first three games. They are 5-1 over the past six weeks and are averaging 52 points per game. Their only loss during this stretch was to Denton Ryan.
Coach Randy Allen believes that Independence may be hitting its stride. The Knights have one of the best passing quarterbacks in North Texas in Braylon Braxton. What makes him so dangerous is that in addition to his 1,639 yards passing, he has also run for 798 more, averaging 9.6 yards per carry. He has thrown for 21 touchdowns and run for a dozen more. He reminds me of Mansfield Legacy’s Jalen Catalon (now an Arkansas Razorback) and Denton Ryan’s Spencer Sanders (now the QB at Oklahoma State). Great arms. Great legs.
Braxton has D-1 talent but he’s not the only one. His favorite receiver is 6-5, 220 lb. tight end Elijah Arroyo, who will play for the University of Miami next season. He has caught 12 of Braxton’s 19 touchdown passes. When defenses double team Arroyo, Braxton hits Jordyn Tyson.
While Dwayne Orr is their top running back (7.8 ypc. this season), keep an eye on Reggie Bush, an explosive athlete who lines up at running back, wide receiver and kick returner. Last time I looked, he was averaging 50 yards per kickoff return. And ironically, he is also the team’s kicker.
Braxton is so good that Frisco Athletic Director David Kuykendall figured out a way to clone him. The result is sophomore DB Jaylon Braxton who is averaging 30 yards per kickoff return. He’s back there with Bush with his 50 yards return average.
My advice is to wind up Jack Stone and have him kick it over their heads.
Caleb Ellis is the Knights’ star safety, a D-1 athlete who makes plays all over the field. The Scots would be best served to put the ball where he is not.
Denton Ryan is the only team in the past six weeks go hold the Independence offense to under 55 points. The Highland Park defense is looking forward to the challenge. In the epic star quarterback battle between Schager and Braxton, my money is on the Scots defense.