Highland Park and Rockwall seem to bring out the best in one another, at least on offense. During the past three years, they’ve demonstrated a knack for playing close, exciting, high-scoring games.
As the nondistrict rivalry between perennial powerhouses is renewed on Friday at Wilkerson-Sanders Memorial Stadium, there’s no reason to think Round Four will be any different.
HP has won two of the prior three meetings, including a 66-59 thriller in last year’s opener, when the squads combined for more than 1,500 yards of total offense. The Yellowjackets wound up advancing to the Class 6A Division I state semifinals, while the Scots went three rounds deep in the 5A Division I playoffs.
After getting a late start this season, the Scots (1-0) will face a daunting first road test of the season that also serves as their final tuneup before the start of District 6-5A Div. I play.
HP held off a late Coppell rally for a 42-36 victory last week. Senior quarterback Brayden Schager shined in his first varsity start, throwing for 310 yards and two touchdowns — both to Crockett Corwin — while also rushing for two scores.
The Jackets (3-0) have a new head coach this season after Rodney Webb left for Denton Guyer and offensive coordinator Trey Brooks was promoted. Perhaps not surprisingly, the offense has continued to flourish under returning quarterback Braedyn Locke.
Rockwall has averaged 54.3 points in its first three games against Denton Braswell, Jesuit, and Southlake Carroll. Locke already has more than 1,000 passing yards this season, with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions.
However, the Rockwall defense has allowed at least 38 points in each of its games. And the Jackets have struggled to hold HP in check in each of the past three seasons, surrendering an average of 56.
“They throw the ball extremely well and they score a lot of points,” said HP head coach Randy Allen.” We’ve got to be very efficient on offense and need to improve on our pass defense and ball security.”
Regardless of how they spell their identically pronounced first names, expect both quarterbacks to lead some offensive fireworks.