The biggest challenge left in the regular season for Highland Park might be staying focused.
The Scots can clinch a playoff spot if they win their final road game of the season tonight against last-place Richardson Berkner, which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. at Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
At this point, it appears HP will likely get the top seed in the Division II bracket from the district, since league champion Mesquite Horn will go to the Division I bracket.
Some shuffling still could occur among the logjam of teams below those top two, but the key is the fate of Richardson Pearce, which looks to be in decent shape for making the playoffs, and thus — based on enrollment — would go to Division II behind the Scots.
That means that in the bi-district round, the best guess has HP facing the winner of tonight’s game between Irving Nimitz and W.T. White, which will likely determine the fourth playoff seed in District 9-6A. If Pearce somehow falls out of the playoff picture, Horn would be bumped to Division II and HP likely would meet Jesuit, which currently is tied for second place in 9-6A and looks poised to claim the top Division II seed from that district.
So now the Scots (7-1, 4-1) will try to keep building momentum for their inaugural postseason run at the Class 6A level. All four of their league wins have been by margins of 20 or more points, including a 45-14 drubbing of Mesquite last week.
In that game, Brooks Burgin had perhaps his most efficient game of the season, completing more than 80 percent of his passes with three touchdowns. He also ran for a game-high 77 yards and two scores.
He keeps distributing the ball fairly evenly among his top four receivers — Kevin Ken, Andrew Frost, Campbell Brooks, and Sam Welfelt — who have combined for 1,844 yards and 16 touchdowns.
The Rams (2-6, 0-5) have dropped six games in a row following a 2-0 start, but they’ve had some close losses during that span, including a 27-24 defeat against rival Richardson last week.
However, the Berkner offense hasn’t scored more than 24 points in any of its 10-6A games. The Rams are led by quarterback Davis Steelman (1,288 passing yards) and running back CaDarius Edwards (845 rushing yards).