Scots Cautiously Optimistic After Scrimmage

Highland Park's Stephen Dieb looks for running room against Plano West during Friday's scrimmage. (Photo: Chris McGathey)
HP’s Stephen Dieb looks for running room against Plano West during Friday’s scrimmage. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

PLANO — If the purpose of a scrimmage is to discover your team’s strengths and weaknesses, then Highland Park coaches saw some of each on Friday against Plano West.

They saw the Scots move the ball consistently on offense, only to fall short of the end zone on multiple occasions. And on defense, they saw some new faces make some key stops while surrendering a few big plays along the way.

“I was pleased. I liked our hustle and our effort,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “I think we have a chance to be a really good football team and I think we’ll get better as the season goes on.”

The starting offense for HP scored once during the controlled portion of the scrimmage, during which each possession started on the 30-yard line. Brooks Burgin hit Campbell Brooks on a 53-yard pass that set up an 8-yard scoring strike to Hayden Black. Another drive for the Scots ended on an interception in the end zone.

Meanwhile, the Wolves scored twice with their first-team offense, including a 70-yard touchdown pass from Robert Colmery to a wide-open Alex Prince.

The defenses shined during a scoreless live quarter, with the Scots forcing Plano West into a three-and-out that included two stops of standout Wolves running back Soso Jamabo.

“I thought our defense played a really good series in the live quarter,” Allen said. “Our defensive line and our linebacker play — coming into the season, those were question marks, and I think those guys did a nice job and got better. Defensively, we just need some experience.”

Allen said he was happy with the work of new starter Stephen Dieb at running back, as well as some timely third-down catches by receivers that helped extend drives. Burgin managed the game effectively at quarterback, he said.

“Offensively, we moved the ball, and the things that stopped us, we can correct,” Allen said. “The reason you scrimmage is to find out what you need to work on.”

Now, the Scots will have a week to prepare for the regular-season opener on Aug. 30 against Frisco Centennial in the Tom Landry Classic. The Titans have won three straight district titles at the Class 4A level, so Allen knows there will be plenty of fine-tuning on the agenda before then.

“If you come out of a scrimmage feeling really good about yourself, you’d better be careful and you might be in for a rude awakening,” Allen said. “If you come out of a scrimmage not satisfied, and going into next week with the idea that we need to improve if we want to be a good team — that’s the attitude that we need to have.”

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