Revenge won’t be the primary motivator for Highland Park during Friday’s playoff rematch with Frisco Lone Star, but it certainly heightens the stakes.
The next hurdle for the Scots in their quest for a fourth consecutive Class 5A Division I state championship is a daunting one against the unbeaten Rangers in a Region II semifinal, with kickoff set for approximately 3:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium.
After all, Lone Star soundly defeated HP on its home field 10 weeks ago, and that’s something no other Texas team has done in more than two decades.
The Scots (11-1) have won nine consecutive games since then, including a 63-28 thumping of Magnolia last week in the area round. That game included a 35-point outburst in the third quarter that might be the best stretch of football HP has played all season.
Among the individual milestones reached last week: Chandler Morris threw his 40th touchdown pass of the season, while Hunter Heath surpassed 1,000 yards rushing. Case Savage’s three touchdown catches give him 12 scores this year, while Tanner Schrank scored HP’s second defensive touchdown with an interception return.
Likewise, the Rangers (12-0) have showcased plenty of offensive firepower and defensive prowess during their 12-game winning streak, which included a 45-30 victory over College Station a week ago.
Marvin Mims, who switched his verbal commitment from Stanford to Oklahoma earlier this month, had 285 receiving yards and three scores in that game. He racked up 236 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the 30-19 triumph over HP on Sept. 13.
Mims has more than 2,100 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns this season. His quarterback, Garret Rangel, has thrown for almost 3,800 yards and 43 scores, with five interceptions. Plus, Jake Bogdon and Jaden Nixon have combined for more than 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns out of the backfield.
As the Scots put their 20-game postseason winning streak on the line, the winner will face either Frisco Independence or Lancaster in the regional final during the first weekend in December.
Incidentally, Friday’s clash will be the middle game of a tripleheader at the home of the Dallas Cowboys. Arlington Martin and Duncanville will kick off at noon, with Aledo and Red Oak capping off the day at 7 p.m.