With a program built on tradition, Highland Park got back to its traditional season-opening result at the Tom Landry Classic on Saturday.
The Scots did so in emphatic fashion by crushing Frisco Centennial 47-0 at Ford Stadium, earning their 10th victory in 13 tries in the Landry event.
HP lost each of the past two openers against Aledo, including 44-3 a year ago, but dominated the Titans from start to finish behind an experienced offense and an aggressive defense.
Brooks Burgin rushed for three touchdowns but was even more prolific through the air. Burgin completed 17 of 23 passes for 326 yards and three scores before exiting midway through the third quarter with the rest of the starting unit.
All three of Burgin’s touchdown passes went to Campbell Brooks, who had seven receptions total for 155 yards.
“Brooks had a good night throwing the ball to a lot of receivers,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “There were some great catches made tonight and a lot of big plays. I thought our pass protection was solid.”
Meanwhile, the relatively inexperienced HP defense was equal to the task, limiting a typically powerful Titans offense that returned several key components from a squad that won a district title in 2013. It was the first regular-season shutout for the Scots since October 2011 against McKinney North.
“The defense played with enthusiasm, and they’ve been practicing that way. I’m glad that it paid off tonight in a shutout,” Allen said. “Our guys played with a lot of leverage, we played great in the secondary and didn’t give up a big play.”
The Scots were limited in the rushing game, but it hardly mattered with Burgin showing the same form as he did much of last season, when HP reached the Class 4A Division I state semifinals.
Stephen Dieb set up the first Scots touchdown with a 32-yard punt return. Burgin found Sam Welfelt on a long pass on the next snap. He later scored on a 10-yard scramble.
HP broke the game open in the second quarter with four consecutive touchdown drives. Burgin scored his second rushing touchdown of the game to make it 14-0, capping a drive that included a 39-yard pass to Andrew Frost and a third-down pass in the red zone to Kevin Ken.
The Scots took advantage of good field position in the first half thanks to a combination of Centennial penalties, short punts, and turnovers.
HP started each of its next two possessions in Centennial territory, and needed less than a minute to score each time. Burgin found Brooks on scoring passes of 32 and 37 yards, and suddenly the score was 27-0.
Four plays later, Stephen Briggs intercepted a pass by Titans sophomore Court Walker near midfield, setting up another short drive that included a 34-yard reception by Brooks. Burgin capped the possession with a 4-yard plunge to extend the advantage to 34-0 at halftime.
Burgin found Brooks again on a 17-yard scoring pass on HP’s first possession of the second half. Carter McDade added a touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 12-yard run.
For Centennial, Walker finished 14 of 30 for 172 yards in his first varsity start. Anthony Pegues posted a game-high 76 rushing yards but struggled to break into open space for much of the night.
The Scots will have a short week of practice before returning home on Friday to face perennial powerhouse Pulaski Academy from Little Rock, Ark.