There might be three games left in the regular season, but the District 10-6A title is within reach for Highland Park.
Players and coaches wouldn’t dare look that far ahead, but others who aren’t subject to such restrictions can put the pieces together.
Heading into tonight’s home game against Mesquite (early 7 p.m. kickoff, by the way), the Scots (6-1, 4-0) are the only undefeated team in the district race. Three teams — Mesquite Horn, North Mesquite, and Lake Highlands — have just one loss, each coming to HP.
Therefore, the Scots’ final three games are against opponents with losing records trying to climb into postseason contention. It would take a major upset for HP to drop any of them.
A 10-6A crown would be quite an accomplishment for a school in just its second season in the state’s highest classification — with one of the lowest enrollments in 6A, to boot.
And it would be a great reward for a team that suffered the disappointment of seeing the Scots’ 84-game home winning streak end on its watch on Sept. 4 against Pulaski Academy.
HP has seen its resiliency turn a slow start into a promising finish. The Scots took control of the district race with a 34-6 win over Lake Highlands last week.
In that game, HP rallied from an early 6-0 deficit behind four touchdowns from its resurgent rushing game, which has accounted for 22 scores this season. Along the way, Stephen Dieb has evolved from a change of pace to perhaps the most potent weapon in the HP attack. He has 11 touchdowns this year, and has surpassed 100 yards in three of four district games.
The Skeeters (3-4, 2-2) have battled back after a slow start with back-to-back wins over fledgling Richardson Pearce and Richardson Berkner during which Mesquite averaged 55.5 points per game. Chance Fisher has keyed the turnaround by rushing for a remarkable 526 yards and nine touchdowns in the past two weeks.
So expect yet another high-scoring game with lots of offense, and with defenses trying to keep up. That’s a challenge the Scots have met on multiple occasions this season.