Highland Park is dangerous enough without extra preparation time. But after a bye week to recuperate and refocus, the Scots found another gear on Friday.
HP pounded winless Mansfield Legacy from the outset during a 76-6 victory at Highlander Stadium that kept the Scots unbeaten in District 6-5A Div. I play.
HP has outscored its three league foes by a combined margin of 224-6. Better competition lies ahead, of course, but it will be difficult for anyone to slow down an offense that has surpassed 60 points in four of its six games.
The Scots (5-1, 3-0) reached the end zone a season-high 11 times against the overmatched Broncos, and they led 48-0 at halftime. Chandler Morris threw four touchdown passes and ran for two scores, and he didn’t play a snap in the second half.
“We were fresh. You don’t know how you’re going to play after a bye week because you’re not in your routine, but our guys came out and started fast,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “That’s about as good of a half as we can play on both sides of the ball.”
HP scored touchdowns on all seven of its first-half possessions, and five of those drives consisted of five plays or fewer. Despite slowing down considerably after halftime, the Scots racked up 608 yards of total offense.
Meanwhile, the HP defense narrowly missed its third consecutive shutout when Legacy’s Ayo Adeyi scored on a 27-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Adeyi accounted for more than half of the offensive output for the Broncos (0-6, 0-3).
Morris completed 17 of 21 throws for 279 yards, with the biggest plays coming on a 53-yard pass over the middle to Ben Smith and a 31-yard strike to Case Savage on the final play of the second quarter.
Morris also scored two of the five rushing touchdowns for the Scots, with Will Anderson returning from injury to add a pair of scores.
Six different HP receivers caught touchdown passes. Drew Scott led all pass-catchers with six grabs for 108 yards. Paxton Anderson, Will Pettijohn, and John Rutledge also crossed the goal line.
“It helps that we’ve got everybody back. We had two or three guys who were out, and when we got them back, we started clicking,” Allen said. “We’re getting some confidence and getting some momentum.”
The HP reserves continued the scoring onslaught after halftime, as Brayden Schager threw a pair of touchdown passes and Doak Walker scampered for a score.
HP forced three turnovers, including second-half fumble recoveries by Spencer Harper and Owen Copley. Maxson Smith also pounced on a muffed kickoff return late in the second quarter.
In full rebuilding mode, Legacy has managed just 29 points all season. Adeyi has scored all four of his team’s touchdowns.
The Scots will look to continue their midseason momentum next week when they travel to Pleasant Grove Stadium to meet Samuell.