All of the pieces are in place for Highland Park to claim at least a share of the District 7-6A title, from a favorable closing schedule to improvement on both sides of scrimmage.
The Scots will host struggling Irving MacArthur on Friday at Highlander Stadium with a chance to get closer to that goal, as well as moving toward a top seed in the upcoming Class 6A Division II playoffs.
HP already has dominated the other two Irving ISD schools by a combined margin of 124-16, including a 61-13 win over Irving Nimitz last week.
The Scots (6-1, 4-1) erupted for 51 points in the first half of that game and were able to rotate reserves into the game for extended playing time. Meanwhile, the HP defense has allowed just 10.5 points per game during its four-game winning streak.
The most impressive — and perhaps most surprising — element of the HP offense continues to be the stout rushing game, led by Keller Holmes, Wilson Axley, and quarterback Warren Peck, who has proven to be a dual threat.
Peck has 1,234 passing yards and 10 touchdowns through seven games, to go with a team-high 589 yards and 14 rushing scores. Collectively, Holmes and Axley have amassed more than 700 yards and seven touchdowns. Axley also leads the team with 24 catches out of the backfield.
The Scots are also working reserve quarterback Parker Thompson into the mix at receiver with positive results. Thompson, who is verbally committed to Air Force, has accounted for seven touchdowns this season — four rushing, two receiving, and one passing.
The Cardinals (2-5, 2-3) earned narrow victories over both Nimitz and Irving but have been outscored by at least 27 points in each of their defeats in 7-6A play.
Dual-threat quarterback Tyler Littleton leads the MacArthur offense with six touchdown passes and another five scores on the ground. Maxmilian Reviere surpassed 100 rushing yards with two touchdowns as the Cardinals rallied to beat Irving a week ago.