Randy Allen’s 400th career win — an overtime thriller against Lancaster — proved Highland Park will be difficult to dethrone in its quest for a fourth consecutive Class 5A Division I state title.
The 401st victory for the longtime HP head coach could give the Scots another District 6-5A championship.
That’s the prize HP can earn on Friday in the regular-season finale against Mansfield Timberview at Highlander Stadium. The Scots will look to wrap up an unbeaten run in league play and a top seed in the playoffs.
HP has won six straight games, none more dramatic than its 42-35 triumph last week. In that game, the Scots squandered a 21-point lead in the second half only to battle back in the extra session.
Dual-threat quarterback Chandler Morris engineered the late heroics, which culminated with his second touchdown run of the game in overtime. The Arkansas commit also threw a pair of scoring passes, including one on a flea-flicker, giving him 30 for the season.
But HP has plenty of other weapons in its high-powered offense, too, such as running back Hunter Heath, who finished with 151 yards and two touchdowns against the Tigers. He has 612 yards and eight scores on just 44 carries this season, for an average of almost 14 yards per attempt.
The Scots (8-1, 6-0) also have five receivers who have at least 15 catches and 300 yards. That group — Ben Smith, Case Savage, Paxton Anderson, Will Pettijohn, and Drew Scott — also has combined for 26 touchdowns.
HP defeated Timberview twice last season, including once in the playoffs, by a combined margin of 94-14. However, the Wolves (6-3, 5-1) are more experienced and significantly improved while returning almost all of the playmakers from that squad.
Timberview’s potent ground attack is built on speed. Dual-threat quarterback Jaden Hullaby (a Texas commit who transferred from Bishop Dunne) has rushed for a team-high 786 yards and 12 scores, and has also thrown nine touchdown passes.
The trio of Stacy Sneed (committed to Colorado), Deuce Jones, and Montaye Dawson collectively have run for almost 1,400 yards and 20 scores. And they’re all receiving targets out of the backfield.
On defense, HP has three shutouts this year. So does Timberview, and that doesn’t count a 19-2 win over Mansfield Legacy.
If the Scots win, they would be the top playoff seed from the district, followed by Lancaster and Timberview. If the Wolves pull the upset, it would create a three-way tie atop the standings, but HP would retain the first seed if the margin was 10 or fewer points.
At any rate, postseason play begins on Nov. 15, when the Scots will face an opponent from Frisco ISD (not Lone Star) in the bi-district round.