It’s one rematch down and one to go for Highland Park in the Class 6A Division II playoffs. Only this time, the Scots hope to reverse the outcome.
HP will again meet Waco Midway in the area round of the Region II bracket, setting up another opportunity to advance to the regional quarterfinals after stumbling a year ago.
So should HP use that 35-28 defeat from last November as motivation this time around? Or should the Scots wipe the slate clean amid a new playoff run with a mostly new roster?
Either way, it should be an intriguing matchup at 2 p.m. Saturday at AT&T Stadium.
The Scots (10-1) enter the game with the same overall record as last season’s matchup, only this time HP has a nine-game winning streak and a District 10-6A title under its belt.
HP dominated Irving Nimitz for the second straight season in the first round, cruising to a 38-12 win in which Henry Allen passed for 269 yards and a career-high five touchdowns — two apiece to J.T. Dooley and Chris Buell.
While the offense racked up 464 yards against Nimitz, the HP defense has shown steady improvement throughout the season, allowing more than 17 points just once in its past six games.
Meanwhile, the high-scoring Panthers — who were unbeaten at this time last season — carry an 8-3 record that might be a bit deceiving. They lost their first three games during a brutal nondistrict schedule, and have won eight in a row since then, including an undefeated run through District 12-6A and a 41-20 victory over Garland in the bi-district round.
Midway has been held under 40 points just once in the past eight games, and that was during a 34-7 win over Harker Heights. So the Panthers will be difficult to slow down, just like they were last year, when they accumulated 600 yards of total offense and 35 first downs against HP.
Eric Clayburn, who led that powerful rushing attack with 39 carries for 203 yards and four touchdowns, returns in the backfield for Midway. The Panthers also are a threat through the air with quarterback Sam Glaesmann, who has verbally committed to Rice.
The winner will face either Lake Travis or Spring Westfield next week in the regional semifinals.