The Lake Highlands Wildcats took what head coach Scott Smith called “a tough pill to swallow,” loss to Skyline Friday night, 39-14.
But it wasn’t the end of the world, or the season for Lake Highlands, and that’s the silver lining. They still have an opportunity, to win at least a portion of the District 9-5A Championship. Most teams would prefer that they didn’t have to rely on others for it to work out, but this team will have to. At the same time, they have to take care of the next opponent Richardson this coming Friday first.
Here are a couple of thoughts from the LHHS vs. Skyline match-up that caught my eye:
- Yes, the Wildcats played without Desmond Roland for a large portion of the game. Yes, he pulled up lame on what appeared to be a huge breakaway moment. No, they were not out of this game without Roland. Yes, it did change the way they approached the game, limited the weapons the Wildcats had to go to. Yes, in case of fire have an emergency exit plan. I think the plan is to go to DeVonte Sunwenghan, but who will step up to be the other offensive weapon for Lake Highlands? Is sophomore Michael Ketchmark the guy who can throw and run enough to carry the team? What about Michael Wright, Deondre Glover and Anthony Harris? Are they going to play pivotal roles in the next game, and into the playoffs?
- Peter Jenkins blew it open in the second half. He finished the night with 240 yards on 13 carries. But he had seven yards in the first half, including a 3-yard touchdown. I know the Lake Highlands coaching staff was concerned with having a smaller sized front-seven compared to the large athletic Skyline offensive line. With Jenkins standing 6-foot-2 at 210 lbs., size advantage helped a ton.
- Thomas Johnson had 9 catches for 110 yards for Skyline. Most of his receptions were 10-yards deep for first downs. From what i saw, the other Skyline receivers were going deeper, and that scared the LHHS secondary in getting beat deep. Ultimately Johnson was underneath all night picking up check-down passes for big gains.
- Deondre Glover had five grabs for 68 yards. He’s one of the bigger receivers for the Wildcats and has lots of skill. You might see him become a possession receiver in the playoffs as his size can help on third downs, as long as he can secure the ball.
- Not exactly sure my stats match-up with the coaches, but i have five sacks for the Wildcats and minus-27 yards rushing for Skyline quarterback DeVante Kincaide. That means they got pressure on the sophomore quarterback, which is a good sign. The Wildcats have shown all season that they can pressure the quarterback, and that will come in handy in the playoffs.
- Garland, McKinney Boyd and Rowlett scouts were up in the press box gearing up for the playoffs. They got a good look at both sides, but never got a good look at the Wildcats WITH Roland. We’ll see how that works out later down the road.
- Heading into the week, Skyline was ranked No. 22 in TheOldCoach.com State Rankings and they moved up to No. 21. Seriously folks, this game could have been very different, but they played a really good team. Considering how this season has gone, the Wildcats are in a good position right now heading into the playoffs and the kids have made some huge strides in getting better each week. With the loss of a number of key players, LHHS has been a tough team to beat.
I’ll have more on the playoff scenarios coming up soon.