by Kirk Dooley
It’ll be Thursday Night Lights for the Scots as they travel to Mansfield to challenge the Timberview Wolves this week. For those of you not taking the family helicopter to the game, I urge you to leave early so that you don’t arrive late. There’s a lot of Metroplex rush-hour traffic to be navigated before the 7:00 p.m. kickoff.
The 1-1 Scots face the 1-1 Wolves in a rematch of last year’s HP shutout, 31-0, at Highlander Stadium. It was the Scots’ first shutout in two years and it set the tone for a dominant season for the HP defense.
In its opening game two weeks ago, Timberview trounced Everman, 44-8, then last Friday the Wolves fell to a very good Frisco Lone Star team, 45-21. QB Jyron Russell is back for the Wolves and he is the team’s top runner and top passer. The most electric player on the team is Jalen Knox. Last week Knox caught two passes for 137 yards. You do the math on his yards per catch. I’ll spot you a 93-yard touchdown reception and you guess how many yards his other reception was for. We’ll be able to tell whether you went to Armstrong, Bradfield, Hyer or University Park.
In last year’s game HP safety James Herring had 10 tackles and a fumble recovery. Two weeks ago he was injured in the Rockwall game and did not play against Waxahachie. He may or may not play this week. The same goes for fellow team captain Paxton Alexander, the hero RB of last year’s Scots playoff run. The bad news is that two key Scots are banged up. The good news is that Ryan Khetan has filled in well at safety, while running backs Conner Allen and Benner Page have covered Alexander’s running back spot well. Khetan was a Player of the Week for his performance last Friday. Allen carried the ball 12 times for 108 yards while Page gained 59 yards on 10 carries. Together they averaged 7.6 yards per carry, which is where Alexander left off.
Quarterback John Stephen Jones had another impressive night, completing 18 of 26 passes for 290 yards and two touchdowns (both to Finn Corwin). He was even highlighted on national television when the NFL Sunday Night Football broadcast team showed film of the Scots’ win over Waxahachie, coached by former Cowboys quarterback Jon Kitna.
After two games the most amazing statistic in Highland Park is that Scots receiver Cade Saustad has already caught 13 passes for 343 yards. That’s a pretty good season for most humans. Corwin has jumped up to the second best on the team, with 123 yards. Meanwhile, running backs Page and Allen are both averaging at least six yards per carry. That speaks well of their abilities as well as the offensive linemen’s performances, including Thomas Shelmire, who is having another all-state season so far.
The Defensive Players of the Week against Waxahachie were Khetan (with a key pick) and lineman Jack Jurgovan. Note to the HP defense: On Thursday night keep Jyron Russell in the pocket and keep Jalen Knox out of the end zone. If you’ll do those two things you can take Friday off.