HIGHLAND | The 33 points scored by Highland on Friday night were impressive in their own right. But the 105 total yards allowed by the Trojans defense were even more impressive.
“We’ve got some great (defensive) coaches,” Highland head coach Trent Grider said. “We felt like we had (Clark) schemed pretty well. Once they had to throw, it was game over.”
Highland allowed only 44 total yards of offense in the first half, including holding Clark to 20 yards in 20 rushing attempts. Sixty-one yards for Clark in the second half barely got the Pioneers more than 100 yards of total offense for the game.
While holding Clark short, the Trojans also took advantage of several would-be first down passes that were dropped.
“I think (Clark) knew it had to be pinpoint. We had some (defensive backs) that we playing pretty well,” Grider said. “I think maybe only one pass we weren’t in the right spot.”
On offense, Highland scored in every quarter. The Trojans went ahead on their first possession of the game, marching down the field after a Clark punt. With 7:43 left in the first quarter, Rycerz hit Matt Holl for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Then, with four seconds until halftime, Sean McQuillian ran for a 3-yard touchdown.
Two third-quarter touchdowns put the game away for Highland. Ian Hardy ran in from 34 yards out midway through the period and, with about a minute remaining, Rycerz fought his was in from a yard out. McQuillian opened the fourth quarter with his second touchdown run of the game, scampering in from 7 yards away.
“It’s pretty easy to get up for Lowell,” Grider said of carrying the momentum into next week. “We’re sitting here saying 3-1 feels pretty good, but 4-1 would feel a heck of a lot better.”