ARLINGTON, Texas — The Highland Park High School set the tone early, cruising to victory against the McKinney North High School 73-20 behind an impressive performance by John Stephen Jones and valiant defensive effort at AT&T Stadium.
McKinney North (8-4) was able to overcome adversity on their first possession of the game, putting together an eight-play drive and capping it with a Cameron Constantine 2-yard touchdown run.
Highland Park (11-1) had already held the lead 7-0 over the Bulldogs, by the time McKinney North found the end zone. Paxton Alexander took the opening kickoff of the game 81 yards for a Highland Park touchdown and in the process set the tone for the remainder of the game.
The Scots dominated the first half, scoring six touchdowns and putting up 45 points by halftime. Alexander was able to score once more, hauling in a 7-yard touchdown pass from Jones, putting Highland Park up 14-7.
Jones threw three touchdowns in the first half and ran for two more.
Cade Saustad was able to snag a 55-yard touchdown pass and the Scots increased the advantage to 22-7 over the Bulldogs. McKinney North was able to manage one more touchdown in the first half, as Parker Brehm got open and Constantine found him for a 7-yard touchdown pass.
Jones finished the first half 15-for-21 for 242 yards and three touchdowns while Constantine was 8-for-12 for 120 yards and a touchdown. Highland Park had 374 total yards to end the first half, while McKinney North tallied up 208.
The Scots continued their dominance during the second half, as they scored three touchdowns during the third quarter. McKinney North put together an impressive drive behind the running abilities of senior RB Lamar Lucas. The Bulldogs were able to get in the end zone on a Cameron Constantine keeper, but it was too little, too late.
The Scots defense played outstanding all game long and Zak Folts was able to get a pick six, that he took 37 yards increasing the Scots lead to 59-13. Jones contributed two more touchdowns for Highland Park during the third quarter, first with a 7-yard pass followed by a 1-yard keeper.
Conner Allen and Chandler Morris both scored on rushing plays for Highland Park in the second half, Allen got in from one yard out, while Morris took it 33 yards on a Qb keeper. Highland Park finished the game with 590 total yards of offense and McKinney North finished with 417.
Jones was 17-for-23 passing for 263 yards, three touchdowns, and one
interception. Constantine was 13-of-21 with 157 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. Highland Park will play the winner of Mansfield Summit and Spruce next week in the regional finals.
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