COPPELL — Playing its first true road game of the season, Highland Park looked right at home on Friday.
The HP defense smothered Coppell in the first half while the offense sustained scoring drives, resulting in a 28-13 victory at Buddy Echols Field.
After defeating two District 6-6A foes in consecutive weeks, the Scots will return home next week to wrap up nondistrict play against Rockwall.
Brennan Storer threw for 234 yards and two first-half touchdowns, connecting on 16 of 23 throws to lead the Scots (2-1) — posting the best numbers of any of his three varsity starts so far.
“We did improve, but we’re still not where I want to be,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “In the first half, our defense was outstanding, and our offensive line did a great job of blocking for the passes. We’ve got three good running backs and some receivers that can really go.”
The Cowboys (1-2) punted on their first five possessions, managing just 50 total yards with two completed passes in the first half.
Meanwhile, HP’s first touchdown came on a 46-yard first-quarter strike from Storer to a wide-open Ben Croasdale, capping a 94-yard drive.
Luke Rossley also caught a scoring pass from Storer in the second quarter. Christian Reeves, who finished with a team-high 72 rushing yards for HP, reached the end zone in the final minute of the first half to stretch the advantage to 21-0.
That left the Cowboys scrambling to close the gap, beginning with an impressive 17-play drive to open the second half that consumed almost 7 minutes off the clock. After a fourth-down penalty for roughing the passer against the Scots, Jack Fishpaw scored on a 3-yard scamper.
“We made some plays to keep drives alive,” said Coppell head coach Mike DeWitt, whose team averaged 41 points per game during the first two weeks of the season. “Jack settled in and used his legs more in the second half.”
Coppell had a chance to narrow the gap further following a fake punt late in the third quarter, but that 18-play possession ended on downs inside the HP 10-yard line.
“I’m really proud of our defense. [Coppell] had a lot of three-and-outs,” Allen said. “Then we came up with a huge fourth-down stand in the fourth quarter.”
From there, the Scots went into ball-control mode, methodically marching down the field and draining the clock with a lengthy drive of their own.
With 14 runs and just one pass, HP capped a 94-yard possession with a Storer touchdown plunge in the final minutes to seal the victory.
“Our linemen were blocking and our backs were doing a great job of running with the ball,” Allen said. “Our defense was tired, so we tried to take time off the clock and score.”
Fishpaw rushed for 77 yards and also threw a late scoring pass, while Dylan Nelson tallied eight receptions for a game-high 89 yards.
Jay Cox added 70 rushing yards on eight carries as part of a balanced attack for the Scots. Eight different receivers caught passes, including four apiece by Rossley and John Rutledge.