I had few thoughts I’ve been meaning to blog, but since the Mesquite game was on Saturday, rather than Friday, I couldn’t get to them until now:
1. Lake Highlands’ white numbers on the white road jerseys are the buzz of the D-FW high school football community. I continue to hear complaints about how hard it was for the fans and announcers to distringuish the numbers, even in a well-lit stadium like Pizza Hut Park.
Before the season, coach Scott Smith said he wasn’t aware of any rules against wearing white numbers on white uniforms. However, the UIL follows NCAA football rules, with certain exceptions, and there is a rule about jersey numbers. The NCAA rulebook states that numerals must be "clearly visible" and "of a color in distinct contrast with the jersey."
There is a thin red outline around the LH numbers, but I don’t think anyone would qualify that as clearly visible or in distinct contrast. On the other hand, the numbers are visible up close and the NCAA rule is probably intended more for TV cameras.
Apparently there was no complaint from the refs or opposing coaches on Saturday night, but LH could be assessed a timeout each half for violating the uniform policy. Technically, the home team is charged a timeout for each uniform violation, but I think the refs would see it as a group violation, such as when USC wore its garnet jerseys at UCLA last December (the NCAA has since amended that rule).
Smith said he hasn’t received any fallout from the white-on-white look. It’s possible some future opponent could hit the roof when he looks at the scouting video supplied by LH and can’t read the numbers.
RISD atheltic director Bob Dubey also said he hasn’t heard any complaints since Saturday. He has discussed the uniforms with Smith and said he believes there is a backup plan in place, just in case the uniforms are in violation of the rules.
So stay tuned on the uniform front. After all, LH is supposed to wear its road unis five more times this season, not counting playoffs.
2. The offense was superb against Mesquite. Although Mesquite has a lot of young players and was small up the middle, it’s hard to do as well as LH did playing against air. Anthony Harris, with six catches for 45 yards, has emerged as a go-to receiver, but QB Ricky Zorn did a good job spreading the ball around, as well as running the ball.
3. The LH defense also did a good job against a potent Mesquite offense. LH nearly held Mesquite to a field goal – or less – in the first half, but on fourth-and-two at the eight, an offsides penalty gave the Skeeters a first down at the three.
LH got good pressure on new Mesquite QB Davian Harper, who can throw the ball on a line all over the field. However, LH caught a break in that Mesquite did not use the athletic Harper, a former WR, as a running threat. That won’t happen this week against versatile Mesquite Horn QB Emory Miller.
The secondary kept Mesquite’s 6-5 receiver, Tim Paris, from breaking looseuntil the game was out of reach.
4. You”ve got to love the determination of sophomore DB Jaquille Myles. Late in the third quarter, Myles made a diving interception of a tipped pass, but he was ruled out of bounds. Four plays later, Myles picked off another pass – this one stood up – after Mesquite had driven to the LH 35 yard line.
5. A couple of freshmen saw action in the game. QB Trent Jones came in for a play in the second quarter and a few more in the second half. Big offensive tackle Kent Perkins saw some service time as well. "They played like we expected them to," Smith said. "They did some good things, they did some freshman things."
6. Pizza Hut Park was a great venue, although not enough LH fans made the trip up the Tollway to see it. Unlike high school games at old Texas Stadium, the video screens showed were used to show replays (which helped to read the numbers). It’s a well-lit, clean venue and it has free parking – unless you were scammed for 10 bucks at the one lot the stadium doesn’t own (I got my money back).
It looks like the new Cowboys Stadium won’t be as available as Texas Stadium was come playoff time. Pizza Hut Park would be a nice substitute, except it has natural grass. While the field stood up well to two games on Saturday, I don’t think it would do as well in November and December after a playoff quadrupleheader. Still, I wouldn’t mind returning there for a playoff game. Maybe we can get the many LH fans who never see a game outside of The Boneyard to make the trip.