Could Highland Park win a district title in just its second season at the state’s highest classification?
Despite being among the smallest Class 6A schools in the state in terms of enrollment, the Scots (5-1, 3-0) could go a long way toward answering that question tonight against Lake Highlands at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
With both teams unbeaten so far in league play, the winner will take over sole possession of the top spot in the standings, and therefore will control its own destiny with regard to the 10-6A title.
While it might seem presumptuous to declare a champion in mid-October, consider that HP has three games remaining after this week. Those opponents have a combined record of 5-13 so far this season, and two of them are at home.
By contrast, the Wildcats (3-3, 3-0) have to finish the year against North Mesquite and Mesquite Horn, two obvious postseason contenders that the Scots already have beaten.
Give credit to Lake Highlands, however, for bouncing back after a tough nondistrict slate that included losses to Plano East, Rowlett, and Colleyville Heritage. The Wildcats have averaged 53 points per game in 10-6A play.
Dual-threat quarterback Brendyn Gettens leads the way. He’s rushed for eight touchdowns and thrown for seven, while averaging more than 20 years per completion. The ground attack has several contributors, including Bryan Cooper, Ja’Lynn Sidney, Shannon Nunnery, and Octavion Warren.
The Scots, of course, knocked off defending district champion Horn 24-17 last week to put themselves in the driver’s seat. Perhaps more importantly, HP is learning to win in different ways. The offense scored three first-half touchdowns against the Jaguars, while the defense recovered from a shaky start to hold Horn out of the end zone after halftime.
The rushing game turned in another impressive performance in the Horn win. Running backs Stephen Dieb and Jack Kozmetsky have combined for 15 touchdowns this season, and everybody else has just 14 combined. In all, the Scots have scored 18 of their 29 touchdowns on the ground.