In its final appearance in front of its home fans this season, Highland Park put on a pretty good show.
The Scots made several big plays on both sides of scrimmage during a 43-0 throttling of Richardson in the regular-season finale on Friday at Highlander Stadium.
HP won its fourth straight game and will enter the Class 6A Region II playoffs as the top seed from District 10-6A in the Division II bracket. That means the Scots (9-1) will meet Irving Nimitz (5-5) at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 14 at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton.
Brooks Burgin threw for a career-high 450 yards and six touchdowns, and three HP receivers surpassed the 100-yard mark. Kevin Ken and Andrew Frost scored two touchdowns apiece.
On defense, Stephen Briggs stole the show with three interceptions, including two in the third quarter. One came in the end zone and stopped Richardson’s best scoring opportunity of the game.
Overall, the Scots forced four turnovers and recorded their fourth shutout of the season, smothering the Eagles (3-7) while the HP offense rolled to a big early lead.
“Offensively, we spread the ball around and executed well,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We’ve just got to keep getting better, and we know what we need to work on. We’re excited to be in the playoffs.”
The Scots scored on their first two drives despite starting inside their own 20-yard line. Burgin hit Campbell Brooks on a 38-yard scoring strike on the first possession, and found Kevin Ken from 49 yards out on the next series.
It’s worth noting that following the first touchdown, HP successfully executed a trick play for a two-point conversion that involved center Clayton Woods throwing a pass to Ken.
While the Scots were efficient early — racking up 205 yards in the first quarter — the Richardson offense sputtered. The Eagles were forced to punt on their first five possessions, and threw an interception on the sixth.
HP cashed in twice more before halftime, including a 92-yard drive in just three plays — Burgin to Frost for 39 yards, Burgin to Stephen Dieb for 44 yards, and Burgin to Ken for a 9-yard touchdown.
Following an interception by Briggs, Burgin’s hot streak continued on the next drive, when he was for 4-for-4 and found Frost for an 8-yard score. After his first two passes were incomplete, Burgin connected on 20 of his final 23 throws in the game.
“Brooks did a good job of getting the ball to different receivers. We were very efficient throwing it,” Allen said. “We could have run it, but the way they were playing us, we had better numbers by throwing it.”
The third quarter featured more of the same, with two more Briggs interceptions leading to HP touchdowns. He picked off a pass near midfield on Richardson’s first possession of the second half and returned it to the Eagles 25-yard line. Two plays later, Burgin connected with Frost from 21 yards out.
The Eagles drove to the HP 29 on their next series before Briggs intercepted another pass, this time in the end zone to stifle the threat. Burgin went to work again, leading an 85-yard march that culminated with a 52-yard touchdown pass to Sam Welfelt on the final play of the third quarter. It also was Burgin’s final snap of the night.
Richardson drove into HP territory on all three of its fourth-quarter drives but came up empty. Trey Crumbley recovered a fumble inside the 10-yard line to stop the most serious threat. The Eagles also failed to execute a fake punt, and were stopped again on downs in the final minute.
Having successfully defended their home turf five times this year, the Scots will carry an 84-game home winning streak into next season.