In a late-season game against an overmatched opponent, everything went according to the script for Highland Park on Friday.
The Scots reached the end zone on all five of their first-half possessions and cruised to a 49-3 victory over Royse City in their home finale at Highlander Stadium.
HP clinched at least a share of the District 15-5A title with its seventh straight victory overall, and will have one more chance to prepare for the playoffs next week with a game at Wylie East.
John Stephen Jones and Michael Clarke each tossed two touchdown passes, while Jack Kozmetsky rushed for two scores. Meanwhile, the HP defense held its third opponent this season to three points or fewer.
The lopsided advantage allowed the Scots (8-1, 6-0) to rotate plenty of players into the game throughout the second half for some meaningful reps against the struggling Bulldogs (2-7, 0-6).
“I wanted to get ahead early so we could get a lot of guys in the game,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We got a lot of good experience. We gave a lot of different players a chance to show what they can do.”
Kozmetsky opened the scoring with a 3-yard touchdown run, and crossed the goal line again on a 1-yard plunge midway through the second quarter.
Jones, who was perfect on six throws in the game for 105 yards, finished off two other drives with scoring passes — a 30-yard strike to Parker Alexander and a 10-yarder to Jack Toohey. Jones needs just seven more passing yards to surpass 2,000 for the season.
While the Scots built a 49-0 lead through three quarters, Royse City only once drove inside the HP 40-yard line, and that possession ended with a James Herring interception in the end zone.
The Scots responded with an 80-yard drive in the final two minutes before halftime, capped by a 9-yard pass from Clarke to Cade Saustad that stretched the advantage to 35-0.
HP added a pair of scores in the third quarter, including a 3-yard toss from Clarke to Jon Welfelt followed by a 13-yard run by Jack Fain.
The Bulldogs dropped their seventh consecutive game overall, and needed a field goal in the final minute of the game to snap a streak of eight straight scoreless quarters. Brett Martinez posted a game-high 89 yards rushing for Royse City, but almost half of those yards came on the final drive.