By ISAAC DEER
Highland Park's football team made school history in Thursday night’s 74-0 victory over Kansas City-Harmon at Hummer Sports Park.
According to data tracing back to 1950, 74 points is the most points Highland Park has ever recorded in a single game as the Scots were able to have an unforgettable night on Senior Night in front of their community.
For a program that’s had its struggles in the past, those negative thoughts about the program have disappeared.
The 2022 Highland Park football team looked like a powerhouse against Harmon in its fourth straight victory of the 2022 campaign.
It’s been since 2004 since Highland Park’s defense had recorded a shutout. The 2004 season was also the last year that Highland Park had at least four wins in a season.
The Scots put up a whopping 50 points on the board in the first quarter alone. For Highland Park coach Jermaine Monroe, it was all a part of the plan.
“I told the boys before the game we need to get into that 40 or 50-point range in the opening quarter,” Monroe said. “We needed our defense to make plays earlier in the game instead of later in games. Today our defense did a great job and started off the game with a bang.”
In the 50-point first quarter, the Scots had a punt return touchdown, two fumbles recovered for a touchdown, a passing touchdown and three rushing touchdowns. Highland Park hung up its first 30 points within three minutes.
“Our goal was to get as many people involved in the end zone as possible,” Monroe said. “We wanted to get as many young guys in as possible while getting some of our key guys the reps that they needed.”
The defensive clinic displayed by Highland Park was led by senior Mackey James. James had two sacks, two fumble recoveries and a touchdown before the halftime break.
“Mackey (James) is an under-the-radar star,” Monroe said. “He made some big plays tonight. Mackey leads our team in tackles week in and week out. He needed that huge game like this tonight. Offensively he’s a weapon, but he specializes in defense. I think defense is what he’s going to do at the next level.”
As fans are accustomed to, Scot star senior Tre Richardson made impactful plays every chance he was given.
With the running clock in the first quarter and the dominant defensive effort from Highland Park, Richardson didn’t touch the ball as much on Thursday as he usually does.
Richardson touched the football six times (four rushing attempts, a reception and a punt return) and scored six times. Richardson averaged 52 yards per carry on a 208-yard night, had a 39-yard touchdown reception and a 51-yard punt return touchdown.
“We always need to go 100 percent no matter how good or bad a team is,” Richardson said. “It’s been fun. Everyone is appreciating what I’m doing and what the team is doing this year. We’re bringing the community together.”
Richardson has 26 total touchdowns on the year. With four more games left in the regular season, Richardson is on pace for 52 total touchdowns.
“Every time he touches the ball, something special will happen,” Monroe said. “He’s so dynamic and he always makes something happen.”
Thursday night was the last time the Scots were able to put on a show in front of the home faithful. In three of its home games in 2022, Highland Park put up 197 points. In six home games in 2021, Highland Park tallied 152 total points.
HIGHLAND PARK 74, KC-HARMON 0
Harmon (0-4) 0 0 0 0 – 0
Highland Park (4-0) 50 8 8 8 – 74
Highland Park – Richardson 51 punt return
Highland Park – Richardson 39 pass from Johnson
Highland Park – Kyles 26 run
Highland Park – James 49 fumble recovery
Highland Park – Richardson 17 run
Highland Park – Wilson 44 fumble recovery
Highland Park – Johnson 65 run
Highland Park – Richardson 79 run
Highland Park – Richardson 64 run
Highland Park – Richardson 48 run
Rushing – Highland Park: Richardson 4-208, Johnson 2-91, Sipple 1-64, Kyles 1-26, Shafer 1-(minus) 2. Harmon: Mills 14-25, Campas 3-(minus) 15, Day 1-(minus) 1, Bush 1-(minus) 6.
Passing – Highland Park: Johnson 1-2-1, 39 yards. Harmon: Porter 2-8, 32.
Receiving – Highland Park: Richardson 1-39. Harmon: Hill 1-29, Cerv 1-3.