After playing two home games and twice at neutral sites so far this season, Highland Park will face its first true road test tonight against Richardson Pearce.
The Scots (3-1, 1-0) will enter the game with some momentum after rallying late for a 28-27 win over previously unbeaten North Mesquite in their District 10-6A opener last week.
HP was far from perfect in that game, struggling on defense early and on offense for most of the second half, but the Scots showed toughness during the comeback, which was capped by a 12-yard pass from Henry Allen to Cy McCullough with 2:12 remaining in the game.
The winning drive wouldn’t have been possible without the efforts of Stephen Dieb, who finished with 115 rushing yards — almost half of which came on the final possession — and a touchdown. Also credit the HP defense, which allowed just 55 yards in the second half after surrendering 326 before halftime.
At any rate, the win could be pivotal as HP and North Mesquite become likely playoff contenders later in the season.
McCullough and Chris Buell have emerged as Allen’s top targets in the passing game. McCullough has 21 catches for 276 yards while Buell — who also caught a scoring pass against the Stallions — has 17 receptions for 273 yards. Both have two touchdowns.
Pearce was on the wrong end of a comeback last week, falling 54-50 in a shootout against previously winless Richardson, which scored 42 points in the second half. It was the second straight loss for Pearce to its main rival.
The Mustangs (2-2, 0-1) have allowed an average of 51 points in their two losses, although their offense has been prolific, scoring more than 41 points per game for the season. Dual-threat quarterback Hank Hughes leads Pearce in both rushing and passing, with 12 touchdowns through the air and five on the ground. Jake Griffin is the leader among several receivers with 293 yards and six scores.
In an interesting side note, all three of HP’s road games this season will be against Richardson ISD teams. The Scots will travel to Lake Highlands on Oct. 16 and Richardson on Nov. 6.