Written by Matt Wixon
Wixon: Highland Park extends home win streak to 78 with 41-26 victory over Mesquite Poteet
UNIVERSITY PARK — With an undefeated record and some hard-earned swagger, Mesquite Poteet seemed to be a serious threat to Highland Park’s 77-game home winning streak. But on Friday night, the Scots were the team that looked serious.
Seriously intense, seriously focused and seriously motivated. It all showed in a 41-26 victory that gave Highland Park its 78th straight win at Highlander Stadium and the inside track to another district title.
“I’ve seen these guys do this so many times,” Highland Park coach Randy Allen said. “They know what’s at stake and they play harder and better than you think they can. This was an outstanding football team that we played.”
It was the 31st straight district win for Highland Park (5-1, 3-0 in 10-4A), which is No. 6 in the area 4A rankings. Quarterback Brooks Burgin led the way, completing 26 of 39 passes for 345 yards and accounting for five touchdowns: three passing and two rushing.
Highland Park scored touchdowns on four of its first five drives, and had the Scots not lost a fumble, they might’ve been 5-for-5. Poteet (5-1, 2-1), No. 2 in the area 4A rankings, was in a 28-0 hole by early in the second quarter.
Burgin was sharp from the start, and when the offensive line gave him time, he cut up Poteet’s secondary. When Poteet’s front did put some pressure on Burgin, he was able to escape and find one of the seven Highland Park players to catch at least two passes in the game.
“We’re just getting more comfortable out there,” said Burgin, who also led HP in rushing with 15 carries for 89 yards. “We’re getting to know our strengths and weaknesses, and the offensive line has improved a bunch.”
The Scots’ receivers found space in the middle of the field, and Highland Park effectively used screen passes against Poteet’s blitzing fronts. The Scots also picked up several key third downs, including two on perhaps their biggest drive of the night: a 15-play, 75-yard touchdown march after Poteet had trimmed the lead to 28-12 in the first minute of the third. Highland Park also had a fourth-down conversion on the drive, which drained nearly seven minutes off the clock as the Scots stretched the margin to 35-12.
A snapshot of Highland Park’s offensive efficiency came on its third drive, when a fumbled snap and back-to-back penalties left the Scots with a second-and-28. Burgin passed to Andrew Frost for 8 yards, then to Cole Feigl for 16 yards. On fourth-and-4, Burgin rolled to his right and found Campbell Brooks for 20 yards to the Poteet 9-yard line. Two plays later, Burgin scored on a 5-yard draw play.
“He was phenomenal,” Allen said. “He’s a guy who takes a bad play and makes a good play out of it.”
Poteet’s first five drives ended in three punts, a turnover on downs and a lost fumble. Given one more opportunity before halftime, the Pirates drove from their 8 to set up a first-and-goal in the final minute. Lane Novy’s 10-yard pass to Deandre McNeal with three seconds left cut the margin to 28-6 at the half.
Poteet added another touchdown on its second play of the third quarter, a 27-yard pass from Novy to Kody Edwards, who finished with 12 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns.
But the Pirates couldn’t stop Highland Park’s offense consistently enough to get closer.
Follow Matt Wixon on Twitter at @mattwixon.
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