While the offense has been as advertised, the Highland Park defense might be the primary reason why the Scots are on the verge of a 3-0 start for the first time since 2011.
HP began the season with a shutout of Frisco Centennial — a perennial playoff team, by the way — then held off Pulaski Academy from Little Rock, Ark., last week in a 48-42 thriller.
Now the Scots (2-0) turn their attention to Prosper for their final nondistrict test at 7:30 p.m. today at Highlander Stadium.
While the numbers might not be pretty — 42 points and 467 yards allowed — the defense played a key role in the win over the Bruins, an opponent known for its fast-paced offense that doesn’t punt. That type of system naturally lends itself to extra plays, extra possessions and extra yardage.
Yet in spite of that, HP held Pulaski off the scoreboard for more than two full quarters during a 35-0 spurt that put the Scots ahead for good. The Scots forced two turnovers during that span, including a momentum-changing interception by Mitchell Kaufman that was returned for a touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half.
That’s an impressive effort for a defensive unit that generally lacked varsity experience entering this season, especially on the line and in the secondary.
Now HP will prepare to battle the Eagles (1-1), who opened the season with a 41-20 victory over Birdville before stumbling against Justin Northwest in a 42-19 loss last week.
Prosper is led by quarterback Colton Hepp, a Plano West transfer who has thrown four touchdown passes this season, including three to Zack English. Robert Mahone leads the rushing game with an average of more than 11 yards per carry.
For the Scots, Brooks Burgin has thrown for 517 yards through two games, including four touchdown passes to Campbell Brooks. He also has rushed for four scores. Stephen Dieb added three rushing touchdowns against Pulaski.
After the Prosper game, HP will have a bye week before starting its inaugural District 10-6A campaign on Sept. 26 at North Mesquite.