This weekend, like the Longhorns, I also travelled to Dallas for a big football game. On Friday, I covered a top-five ranked matchup in No. 4 Longview versus No. 3 Highland Park. Headlining a talented Longview Lobos team, I was excited to see 2023 five-star wide receiver Jalen Hale in action against a talented Scots secondary.
Entering Friday's game, both Highland Park and Longview had one loss apiece, losing to top-five ranked teams in Southlake Carroll and Denton Ryan respectively. However, both teams have legitimate hopes of winning a state title at the Class 5A Division I level.
While I was excited to watch some offensive focused football, it turns out that I was in store for a defensive slugfest. Early on, it was apparent that the Scots would not let Jalen Hale beat them down the field. To achieve this, the Scots defense made sure to assign multiple defenders to shadow Hale on the outside. However, despite the heavy attention, Hale was still able to finish the game with a couple of catches, albeit they were limited to short gains thanks to a swarming defense.
For Highland Park, I was looking forward to watching 2023 quarterback Brennan Storer sling the rock. Other than a third quarter pick-six off of a throw in the flats, Storer was in control of the game and hit his mark when he needed to, passing for two touchdown passes. According to 247Sports, Storer has received four collegiate offers from schools such as Kansas and Texas State.
Defensively, led by 2022 three-star EDGE Jack Curtis, the Highland Park defense did a fantastic job of quelling any signs of life from the Lobos. Furthermore, Curtis forced a Longview fumble which was recovered and taken to the house to give the Scots a 14-3 third quarter lead. Curtis, who stands in at 6'3", has received 12 offers from schools such as Arizona and Hawaii.
However, despite a solid effort from the entire Scots team, the real killer for Longview was penalties. Seemingly, it appeared that the Lobos were penalized on every drive for extracurricular activity. These penalties extended several drives for the Scots offensively, and allowed them to milk the clock and win the battle of field position.
Eventually, Highland Park was able to win a key district game over Longview, 21-16.
This weekend was the first time that I was able to cover one of Hale's games. Personally, I am impressed by Hale's mixture of size and speed, as he stands in at a respectable 6'2" and ran a 22.68 200-meter dash earlier in the year. Currently, the sole 247Sports Crystal Ball that has been placed for Hale is in favor of the Oklahoma Sooners. However, the Longhorns invited the junior wideout to Saturday's Red River Showdown, which he was able to attend.
I still believe that Hale's recruitment is open and it will be very entertaining to see where he will end up at the college level. Hopefully, I will get to see Hale and the Lobos once again later in the season.
Speaking of Jack Curtis, the senior edge rusher was able to visit Texas's game against Rice several weeks ago. I always mention a prospect who could see his recruiting stock rise and Curtis is one of them. Against Longview, Curtis was causing havoc all night and certainly contributed to Highland Park's big win.
Lastly, I will also be interested to see how Highland Park's quarterback, Brennan Storer, will perform for the Scots in the playoffs. The Scots have a rich history of quarterback play when it matters most, and Storer will be tasked with defeating some of the juggernauts that will loom in the 5AD1 classification.
478 miles (Total)