The saying goes that defense wins championships. Well, the Highland Park defense is two wins away from leading their team to a state championship.
“Our defense is a strength of the team,” head coach Randy Allen said after his teams 14-7 win against Mansfield Legacy to advance to the 5A Division I state semifinal. “They just continue to make plays for us and I always have confidence in them.”
The Scots went through the first two rounds of the playoffs not allowing a single touchdown, only allowing three points, and in their third game the shut out Mansfield Lake Ridge for the first half. 10 quarters with out giving up a touchdown in playoffs is some pretty filthy stuff, especially against some of the teams they’ve played.
The last two opponents for Highland Park were some of the most potent offenses in the state, Mansfield Lake Ridge and Mansfield Legacy. Both teams were averaging 50 points a game and they were able to hold them to 27 and 7 points respectively.
The Scots defense doesn’t do anything really flashy, they just make plays; they are fundamentally sound when they tackle and they know their jobs and do them correctly.
On Friday when the defense needed to make a play, defensive back George Stewart was the guy who made the game winning play, swatting the ball headed for Troy Edwards JR. Other games, it could be linebacker John House who makes plays. Different guy, different game, and that’s why they’re so good.
The Highland Park defense that is allowing 13 points per game has an enormous task this week as they face Spencer Sanders and Denton Ryan, who have one of the top offensives in the state. Sanders, a 2018 Oklahoma State commit, could be the best QB they have faced this year, but facing Legacy’s QB Keaton Catalon should’ve be a good test run for what Sanders has to offer.
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