use this link So district play begins this week in the craziest football season we’ll ever see on our lifetimes.
Forget El Paso Eastwood. Forget Flower Mound Marcus. Forget Skyline. Forget Austin Westlake. Forget Mesquite Horn. Those five teams were on Highland Park’s schedule and none of them happened.
The Scots wound up playing two 6A teams in pre-district games and came away with two wins despite no scrimmages, no practices during quarantine and no games. The Scots played 2-0 Coppell in HP’s delayed home opener on Oct. 9 and came away with a big win. Coppell averaged 40 points per game and the Scots knocked them off, 42-36. In game two, the Scots met Rockwall for the fifth year in a row. The Yellow Jackets were 3-0 and averaging 54 points per game. It looked like humility time for Highland Park.
But when the dust cleared, the Scots had squished the Yellow Jackets, 46-18. The HP defense humiliated one of the top offenses in the state and made a statement that caught the attention of Texas high school football.
Now as the Scots start the real season, they are ranked second in state (behind Denton Ryan, as usual) but before anyone gets a little too full of themselves, keep in mind that next week the Scots travel to Longview for a district game against the state’s third-ranked 5A team. Last year they won the 6A state championship and this year they dropped down to 5A and landed in HP’s district. And, by the way, the Lobos are picked to win the district championship. The Scots are picked to finish second.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The Scots face the Sherman Bearcats this Friday.
Sherman is 2-3 for the season but its most recent game is the only one to focus on. Last Friday the Bearcats opened their district season by smashing Wylie East, 45-7. And the game was not that close. With six minutes left in the game, Sherman led, 38-0.
The Bearcats are led by quarterback Tate Bethel, who has a baseball arm and a supporting cast of great skill players. Keep an eye on Benji Omayebu (#10), who will line up in the backfield or as an inside receiver. The running back, Andrew Nehrbass (#8), is a very hard-nose runner. On defense, the middle linebacker Brandon Bonilla (#50), sets the pace as the defensive playmaker. Defensive end Teyvian Knight is the team’s top pass rusher. Two safeties, Jeffrey Banks (#1) and Phoenix Grant (#13) will challenge the HP’s passing attack.
As a little boy I remember going to see the Scots play Sherman in 1964 when my brother, Pat, played. I remember Pat’s friends thinking the Scots could win state if Johnny Mac Bergen had played football instead of choosing to be a rock and roll drummer, hoping to be the next Ringo Starr. As it turned out, the Scots beat the Garland Owls, then finished second in district to the Owls, who went on to win the state championship.
Now a half century later, Highland Park and Sherman are still duking it out in the same district. My only advice to the Scots is to focus on the challenge this Friday, and not look ahead to the big game next week.