Thursday, 21 March 2019
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Highland Football Tastes Victory to Open Season
By Mike Smith
Copyright: MSC Sports

103.9 KNZA Broadcast - Highland at Dodge City - click here to listen 

Full box score - click here

For the second consecutive season the Highland Community College Scottie football team opened the season with a win Dodge City this time around coming on the road as the Scotties claimed the 26-21 win. 

Scotties fell behind early after a three-and-out on offense and a penalty on the punt Dodge City was set up on the Highland 27-yard line and in just four plays found the endzone on a Caden Walters 19-yard touchdown pass to Braxton Haley. Highland managed to block to the PAT but it was 6-0 Dodge City with 12:07 in the first quarter. The Conquistadors got the ball in Scottie territory again after a Willie Jordan fumble and scored once again this time on a 25-yard screen pass from Walters to Tyler Minor but failed on the two-point conversion making it 12-0 with 3:00 minutes left in the first quarter. 

Highland found the endzone for the first time in 2017 a few plays later as Kevin Brown showcased his speed busting a 66-yard touchdown run and with the PAT the game was 12-7. The second quarter featured only one scored as Darius Johnson intercepted a Dodge City pass which led to Highland putting together a eight play drive aided by a pair of big Conquistador penalties to keep the drive alive leading to a 30-yard William Solomon field goal making it 12-10. Dodge City had an opportunity before the end of the first half but a plays by the Scottie secondary including Tra Barrett preserved the Scotties deficit of just two-points at halftime.

Despite trailing early the Scotties showed composure in the contest and Head Coach, Aaron Arnold credited the sophomore leadership to help keep the team composed, "I've got so many guys that have been with us for now two and three years. They've been out there and they've done it and they know down 12 not the end of the world. Looked over to the sideline said "OK" just go answer and we'll be alright." Scotties showed that composure throughout the contest, especially the second half. 

Coming out of the half Dodge City receiving the kickoff and put together a 11-play 54 yard drive led by the rushing attack posted a 24-yard field goal to cap the drive pushing the lead to 15-10. The Scotties had an answer flying down the field in three plays including a 62-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kearns to Ronnie Jamison giving Highland their first lead of the game at 16-15. The lead grew for Highland with a 28-yard field by Solomon to cap a 15-play drive late in the third quarter. The lead grew to double figures for Highland at the 9:20 mark in the fourth quarter as Kearns hit Eriquan Price for an eight-yard touchdown making it 26-15; a drive set up by a 44-yard punt return by Isaiah Gray. 

Dodge City running out of time found the endzone with 1:28 left in the contest on a five-yard touchdown from Walters to Jerry Hanks, but the Conquistadors failed to recover the onside kick and Highland ran out the clock for the 26-21 win. 

Scotties notched 284 total yards of offense with 173 on the ground as Brown led the way with 110 yards on nine carries with a touchdown. Jordan ran for 63 yards on 23 carries, while Kearns was 6-14 for 101 yards with two touchdowns and Jamison snagged three passes for 85 yards and touchdown. The Scotties did overcome two turnovers and two other almost interceptions both recalled by penalties as Dodge City was hurt by penalties with 11 for 161 yards in the contest. 

On defense Highland was led by Jeremiah Hill who recorded 12 tackles, while Domonique Williams and Gray each notched seven tackles. The trio of Loren Young, Mario Dungy and Amadou Fofana played well in the trenches. 

Highland Head Coach, Aaron Arnold talked about the defense helping lead the way in the road win, "they carried us tonight, they were outstanding against a really good Dodge City offense. They played their hearts out." 

With the 26-21 win to open the season 1-0 Highland now turns their attention to the defending National Champions, Garden City who opened their season with a 31-7 win over Ellsworth on Thursday. The Scotties will host the #3 Broncbusters with a 1:00pm kickoff at Kessinger field in Highland (watch/listen to game on Scottie Network)

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Hiawatha, KS 66434
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