For Highland Park, the Class 4A Division I Region II final on Friday might come down to keeping momentum.
The Scots will meet Wylie with a berth in the state semifinals on the line, looking for their 13th consecutive victory overall. HP also sports a 14-0 record against the Pirates in a once-contentious rivalry that dates back to 1994.
Their most recent clashes came as district foes in 2010 and 2011, when HP won both matchups by identical 24-21 scores.
But both teams know this renewal will be more about advancing in the postseason than about past grudges. The Scots (12-1) and Pirates (9-4) have never met one another in the playoffs.
HP dominated Mansfield Legacy 48-0 last week, earning its first playoff shutout since topping Marshall 59-0 in the 2005 state title game. It also allowed HP to advance past the Thanksgiving weekend for the first time since 2007.
The Scots have won all three of their playoff games by at least 21 points and appear to be peaking at the right time of the year. HP quarterback Brooks Burgin has thrown nine touchdown passes with no interceptions in those victories.
The Pirates enter the game with four losses on their resume — an unusually high number for this stage of the playoffs — but also with plenty of momentum following a 64-46 win over South Oak Cliff last week in the regional quarterfinals.
It marked the highest offensive output of the season for a Wylie offense that has averaged more than 50 points during its playoff run and should provide another test for an HP defensive unit that already stifled the high-powered Legacy attack a week ago.
Friday’s game will be played at Eagle Stadium in Allen, the same site where Wylie eliminated SOC last week and where the Scots knocked off The Colony in the bi-district round.