Scots QB Competition Heats Up in Spring

Some questions were answered during Highland Park’s three weeks of spring football drills, but one significant issue remains unresolved: Who will play quarterback for the Scots next season?

There are four candidates legitimately battling for the starting spot, and HP head coach Randy Allen expects the competition to continue into August, perhaps until the week leading up to the Aug. 29 season opener at Rockwall-Heath.

“It’s still very competitive,” Allen said. “We’re evaluating our quarterbacks every time we go out to practice or a scrimmage. But that’s a good thing.”

Incoming seniors Sam Montgomery and Anderson Jackson, along with junior Chuck Smith and sophomore Buck Randall, have played for HP at the subvarsity levels. And each of them brings different skills to a potential varsity promotion.

“They all have good experience in our system. It’s finding out what each quarterback’s strengths are,” Allen said. “Every quarterback is only as good as his protection and his running game. The defense has been putting a lot of pressure and getting a lot of sacks and even some interceptions.”

Allen has tried to test the quarterbacks in a variety of live-action situations and has taken a more active role in play-calling during spring intrasquad scrimmages in the three-week practice window that ended on Thursday.

“We always have a lot of good quarterbacks and people understand that about our program,” Allen said. “All you can do is keep objective statistics and use your gut feeling and my 50 years of experience coaching high school football to make a final decision.”

Allen said he’s been pleased with the offseason progress especially on defense, where the Scots will feature five returning starters led by all-district linebackers Jack Morse and Anders Corn.

“As far as commitment, leadership, and enthusiasm, it’s been great,” Allen said. “Our defense has looked strong. Offensively, we’re still a work in progress.”

HP should benefit from three experienced returnees along the offensive line along with a talented group of receivers. Running back James Lancaster should be fully recovered after a knee injury.

The Scots will begin fall practice on Aug. 12 and will travel to Plano East for a scrimmage on Aug. 22 in preparation for a return to Class 5A Division I after spending the past two seasons in the 6A classification.

“There are good teams in every division. The worst thing to think is that it’s going to be easier,” Allen said. “Our district may be as strong this coming year as it was the last two years in 6A. The difference will be in the playoffs.”

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