HP exploded with offensive fireworks in the first quarter, and its defense withstood four fourth-down challenges from McKinney North in a 28-14 win Thursday at Highlander Stadium. The Scots remain undefeated at 7-0 and are now 5-0 against District 10-4A competition. HP plays at Rockwall-Heath next Thursday, Oct. 28, at 7 p.m.
HP sent its second drive into the end zone when quarterback Scott Ellerman hooked up with Charles Hubbard down the right sideline for a 28-yard score. Hubbard ran an out-and-up pattern that froze his defender, leaving him wide open for Ellerman's touch pass that reached him in stride for the easy score.
McKinney North came back one play later when Selwyn Smith broke free up the middle and raced 80 yards for a touchdown.That big play prompted the Scots to go to their big-play guns as well.
Ellerman hit Hubbard again in the right flat, and Hubbard found running room cutting back into the secondary. He weaved across the field and found the left sideline void of defenders to complete a 74-yard touchdown catch-and-run that traveled well over 120 yards.
HP wasn't done yet, but relied on its defense to make the lead hold up. The Scots stopped the Bulldogs short on two fourth-down plays, giving them positive field position throughout the half. Ellerman struck again, this time finding Matt Bannon in the middle with enough room to turn the corner down the left sideline and into the end zone for a 34-yard touchdown.
The score gave HP a 21-7 halftime lead after the third of Mason Juhl's point-after kicks. The Scots had one last scoring try in the final seconds of the half, but Juhl pushed a 44-yard field goal attempt wide left but with plenty of distance.
The teams traded fumble recoveries in the third quarter, with HP getting the second one at the McKinney North 25-yard line. Ellerman hit Sam Hayward
with a fade pass to the left corner of the end zone three plays later for a 28-7 lead.
Ellerman finished one of the best passing nights of his career 18-of-27 for 283 yards and four touchdowns, thanks mostly to the Scots' offensive line that continued to clear the way and give him time to pass. HP's starting set of linemen - Tanner Hutt, Charlie McKenzie, Josh Williams, Hilton Kennington and Bennett Campbell - stayed on the field into the fourth quarter with one of thier top games of the season.
The Scots' defensive front mounted ever-present pressure in the Bulldog backfield, with the front seven hawking the ball throughout. Tom Robinson, Evan Farley and Will Clarke held the running game at bay, leaving room for linebackers Charlie Mitchell, Bryce Green, Ian Hayashi and Travis Alford room to make plays.
The Bullldogs scored a touchdown late but couldn't get the ball back from the Scots to mount a comeback.
McK. North 7 - 0 - 0 - 7 = 14
HP 14 - 7 - 7 - 0 = 28
1Q - HP - Charles Hubbard 28 pass from Scott Ellerman (Mason Juhl kick)
1Q - MN - Selwyn Smith 80 run (Will Ashun kick)
1Q - HP - Charles Hubbard 74 pass from Scott Ellerman (Mason Juhl kick)
2Q - HP - Matt Bannon 34 pass from Scott Ellerman (Mason Juhl kick)
3Q - HP - Sam Hayward 8 pass from Scott Ellerman (Mason Juhl kick)
4Q - MN - TreVaughn Bailey 1 run (Will Ashun kick)
Individual Offensive Statistics
Rushing: Alex Keeton 10-45; Rob Williams 7-34; Sam Landess 3-15; Scott Ellerman 1-2.
Passing: Scott Ellerman 18-27-0, 283 yards, 4 TD.
Receiving: Charles Hubbard 4-132, 2 TD; Matt Bannon 2-41, TD; Hunter Halpin 4-32; Alex Keeton 2-29; Rob Williams 2-24; Wills Manley 3-18; Sam Hayward 1-8, TD.