If the past three weeks were a dress rehearsal of sorts, Friday should better reveal the challenges of December playoff football for Highland Park.
The Scots will face Mansfield Lake Ridge in the Class 5A Division I Region II final at AT&T Stadium, likely its toughest hurdle so far in their quest to repeat as state champions.
After all, the teams sport identical 12-1 records, and have each won 12 straight after an opening loss to a Class 6A opponent. Both squads feature high-powered offenses and hard-hitting defenses. And both have recent experience with deep postseason runs.