Moments after their marathon defeat at Lake Highlands last weekend, Highland Park coaches and players were talking about getting back on the field to make amends.
They will have a second chance to earn their first District 7-6A win on Friday against winless Irving at Highlander Stadium.
After all, there are still seven regular-season games remaining, which will be critical in terms of potential postseason seeding and a chance to earn another league title if the opportunity presents itself.
The defeat in the district opener should also help HP identify areas of improvement after the Wildcats accumulated more than 600 total yards — more than half of those from standout running back Deonte Dean.
It was the first loss in a district game for HP since 2016, and snapped a 21-game overall regular-season winning streak that spanned more than two years.
In a game that spanned two days because of weather delays, the Scots (2-1, 0-1) made their share of big plays but couldn’t close the gap after Lake Highlands opened up a 23-point lead in the first half.
Warren Peck rushed for more than 200 yards and five scores, which was a bright spot. However, consistency remains elusive in the passing game. Plus, a young defense that looked sharp two weeks ago in a win over Lewisville seemed to take a step back.
At any rate, a meeting with Irving could provide the ideal opportunity to bounce back and gain some confidence as the season nears the halfway point.
The Tigers (0-2) have dropped 10 straight games, a streak that began with a 63-0 loss to HP last year, and they have averaged less than seven points per game during that span. After defeats against Fort Worth Paschal and South Garland, Irving had a bye last week and will be playing its first 7-6A game on Friday.
Irving has shown promise on defense in its first season under new head coach Brent Nickerson. However, it appears to be a mismatch, especially if the Scots start fast and put the Tigers on their heels early.