As it awaits stiffer competition down the line, Highland Park continues to flex its muscles against some overmatched opponents.
The latest example was a 56-6 throttling of Samuell on Friday at Pleasant Grove Stadium, which marked the fourth consecutive lopsided win for the Scots.
In fact, HP has outscored its first four District 6-5A Div. I foes by a combined margin of 260-12. But the Scots still view such contests as an opportunity rather than a chore.
“You have to focus on improvement and peaking at the right time,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We get to play everybody, we keep everybody healthy, we get our morale high, and we get experience for guys who don’t get to play a whole lot.”
The starters on both sides of scrimmage were efficient once again, building a 42-0 lead before exiting at halftime. Chandler Morris tossed three touchdown passes and ran for a score on his only carry of the game. His passing 139 yards put him over the 2,000-yard plateau for the season.
Two of Morris’ scoring throws went to Case Savage, along with a 46-yard strike to Crockett Corwin. Hunter Heath rushed for a 96 yards and a score on just six attempts. The Scots (6-1, 4-0) took advantage of consistently favorable field position, in part because of Samuell’s inability to sustain drives.
The HP defense intercepted three passes, one of which was tipped and returned for a score by Patrick Turner as part of a 28-point barrage in the first quarter. It marked the first touchdown for the Scots defense this season. Tanner Schrank and Maxwell Warren also recorded takeaways, both of which set up quick scoring drives.
After halftime, Doak Walker added a rushing touchdown and Brayden Schager connected with Will Pettijohn on a short scoring pass.
Jon’Than Shaw rushed for a game-high 100 yards for the Spartans (2-5, 1-3), including an opportunistic 59-yard touchdown in the third quarter that resulted from a busted play.
The offensive numbers were modest by HP standards, yet still impressive when you consider that the Scots scored seven touchdowns on just 44 offensive plays — 11 of which came on a final drive to run out the clock.
The Scots did not commit a penalty but did have one turnover, when Samuell’s Javeon Busby picked off a first-half pass to stop a scoring threat at the goal line.
HP will have one more game as a prohibitive favorite next week — in the fourth of four matchups with undermanned Dallas ISD rivals — when it hosts perennial bottom-feeder Sunset.