Highland Park has shown it can win with offense (in the season opener against Rockwall) and defense (in a shutout of Mansfield Timberview). So why aren’t they satisfied?
Consistency has been an issue for the Scots. While they’ve flashed signs of dominance on both sides of scrimmage, they’ve faltered during other stretches. Fortunately, with the season just nearing the halfway mark, there’s still plenty of time for improvement.
Still, HP seems to be hitting its stride as it prepares for its second road game of the season on Friday at North Forney.
The Scots (2-1, 1-0) will look to build off a resilient 27-20 win over Lovejoy in the District 15-5A opener last week, and will try to capture their first road victory of the season after squandering a late lead against resurgent Waxahachie earlier this month.
Against the Leopards, a healthy Jack Kozmetsky boosted the offense by rushing for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, the defense forced four turnovers, including an interception that Matt Gahm returned for a key second-half score.
HP easily won both of its previous meetings against North Forney in 2012 and 2013, when the two teams last shared a district. The Falcons haven’t been to the playoffs since 2011 at the Class 3A level.
However, the Falcons (3-1, 0-1) swept their three nondistrict games to start this season with an offense that has averaged 40 points per game. Their only loss came to Wylie East 56-28 last week in the District 15-5A opener.
Junior quarterback Colby Suits has already surpassed 1,000 yards passing this season and thrown for 15 touchdowns. His favorite target is Barclay Ford, with 21 catches for 398 yards.
The Scots have a talented junior quarterback of their own in John Stephen Jones, who has passed for 962 yards and seven scores. Scully Jenevein is the top receiver for HP with 308 yards and four touchdowns.
It’s worth noting that HP head coach Randy Allen reached 350 career wins in the Lovejoy game, becoming just the fourth coach in state history to hit that plateau. More than half of those have come at HP, where he’s been since 1999. He has an overall record of 350-85-6 in 36 seasons, and ranks second in wins among active coaches, behind only Phil Danaher of Corpus Christi Calallen with 420.