Over the past two decades, Highland Park has achieved legendary regular-season success at Highlander Stadium.
More recently, the Scots seem to have adopted AT&T Stadium as their second home field during the playoffs. HP is 9-0 at the home of the Dallas Cowboys during the past three seasons, including a trio of Class 5A Division I championship games.
The Scots will look to continue that success when they return to the mammoth Arlington venue on Thursday to face Magnolia in a Region II area round clash. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
Many key players who were on the field for HP’s triumph over Alvin Shadow Creek in December are back, including that game’s offensive and defensive MVPs — quarterback Chandler Morris and defensive end Prince Dorbah.
Both shined for the Scots (10-1) during a 33-10 win over Frisco Wakeland in their playoff opener last week. HP earned its eighth straight victory this season, and extended its postseason winning streak to 19 games over three years.
Almost half of those have come within the climate-controlled confines of AT&T Stadium (which was also the site of HP’s most recent playoff defeat against Waco Midway in 2015).
Although the Bulldogs (8-3) don’t have the same level of experience on that particular field, they’ve already proven to be road warriors. Magnolia traveled to Mesquite last week and pummeled Poteet 34-14 in the bi-district round.
It was the fourth consecutive lopsided victory for the Bulldogs, who haven’t advanced past the second round of the playoffs since 2008. Magnolia, which is about 40 miles northwest of Houston, tied for second place in a rugged District 8-5A during the regular season.
The high-powered Magnolia offense is led by Mitch Hall, who rushed for 215 yards and three touchdowns against Poteet. The junior workhorse was one of the top running backs in the Houston area this season with almost 2,000 yards.
The winner of Thursday’s game will meet either Frisco Lone Star or College Station next week in the regional quarterfinals.