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.”