Highland Park High School’s football team opened their Class 6A Division II playoff run with a 45-17 win over Arlington on Friday night at Highlander Stadium.
Highland Park (10-1, 7-1 District 7-6A) opened the game quickly with Parker Thompson throwing a 39-yard touchdown pass to running back Brian Rapp to give the Scots a 6-0 lead after a blocked extra point.
The two teams proceeded to exchange field goals to make the score 9-3 at the end of the first quarter.
Highland Park took over in the second quarter as the Scots scored 22 unanswered points in three possessions.
Thompson rushed for two more touchdowns, and running back Wilson Axley contributed one rushing touchdown.
On the other hand, the Colts were unable to create much offense in the second quarter.
Arlington (4-7, 3-3 District 8-6A) was held scoreless on three possessions that included a missed field goal, fumble, and punt.
By halftime, the score was 31-3 in favor of the Scots.
Arlington opened the second half with possession and drove the ball 75 yards down the field, capping the possession off with a three-yard touchdown rush by wide receiver Isaiah Robertson.
Highland Park was unable to respond with a score on the next possession, as the team punted the ball away.
Arlington’s next possession also resulted in no points, but rather a turnover on downs after a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.
Highland Park took advantage of the turnover, completing a 19-yard drive with a six-yard touchdown rush from running back Keller Holmes.
A punt by Arlington on the ensuing possession set up an 83-yard drive that was finished off with an explosive 59-yard touchdown run from Holmes.
The final score of the game came from Arlington when quarterback Mason Hensley rushed the ball for a 5-yard touchdown.
As a team, Highland Park rushed the ball for over 240 yards and five touchdowns.
When asked about the strong rushing attack, Head Coach Randy Allen said the team has “explosive players and we’ve got a good offensive line.”
“I was also proud of the way we threw the ball. So hopefully we had a little balance in there,” Allen added following the game.
“We executed really well on both sides of the ball. I thought the defense holding them right before half, keeping them from a touchdown, took a little momentum away from them.
Because if they had scored there, and they scored the first possession of the second half, that would have been more of a ball game.”
Holmes paced the Highland Park rushing attack with 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns, followed by Axley with 75 rushing yards and one touchdown.
The Scots will face McKinney High School in the area round of the playoffs on Friday, though it is still unknown where and when that game will take place.