Physical Scrimmage Preps HP for Opener

Highland Park’s Chris Read and Brock Bakich sandwich a Plano East ball carrier during Friday’s scrimmage at Highlander Stadium. (Photo: Melissa Macatee)

Highland Park will be able to directly apply many of the lessons from Friday’s scrimmage against Plano East.

The idea behind scrimmaging the Panthers was to play a Class 6A opponent with similar size and speed to Rockwall and Mesquite Horn — the first two regular-season foes on HP’s daunting nondistrict schedule.

“We see two teams just like them. It’s great for our guys to play this kind of competition,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We got a lot of good work in and we’re relatively healthy, so we can get ready for Rockwall. That’s the game that counts.”

The scrimmage was the final dress rehearsal of sorts for the Scots prior to hosting the Yellowjackets on Aug. 31 at Highlander Stadium. That will mark the first career start for junior quarterback Chandler Morris and several others who should become key contributors for HP this season.

During the live portion of the scrimmage, Plano East’s Trevion Jones-Scott provided the only points with a 61-yard touchdown run.

The Scots lacked some consistency on offense, with the first-team offense failing to reach the end zone either during the controlled or live portion of the scrimmage. However, Allen said such growing pains are normal with so many new faces in the starting lineup.

“We showed a lot of promise,” he said. “It’s going to take you a while to get used to the speed of the competition and get comfortable with what’s going on.”

The scrimmage was physical, and even a bit chippy at times, which reflected an energy and intensity built up during two hard weeks of practice.

“This is the first opportunity they’ve had to tackle somebody in live competition,” Allen said. “I’m very pleased with the effort and the progress we’ve made. We’re right where we want to be.”

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