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No. 3 HP, No. 5 Everman jockey for position

8/25/2011

No. 3 HIGHLAND PARK vs. No. 5 EVERMAN

4:30 p.m. Saturday at SMU’s Ford Stadium

When we saw them last: Highland Park was dealing with the shock of being upset by last year’s Cinderella team, Mesquite Poteet, in the 4A Division II state regionals at Cowboys Stadium. Everman went into the 4A Division II playoffs expected to make a deep run, but Waco surprised the Bulldogs in the bi-district round.

2010 result: These two teams faced off in last year’s Tom Landry Classic at Ford Stadium, resulting in a 27-21 Highland Park victory.

What’s at stake: 4A ranking position and a look into this year’s playoffs. Both of these teams should wind up in the 4A Division II playoff bracket and could meet again if both make deep playoff runs.

Key matchup: Highland Park’s passing offense vs. Everman’s defensive secondary. Highland Park will be outmatched in speed and strength by Everman’s defense, but the Scots run the spread with uncanny precision. Can HP’s X’s and O’s dissect an extremely talented Everman defense?

Players to watch: Highland Park returns a three-part offensive threat in QB Brady Burgin, WR Dalton Stogner and RB Preston Miller. Miller might have some trouble finding a hole to run through past LBs Lincoln Richard and Tory Boozer, who will be flying all over the field in Everman’s 4-2-5 defense.

Prediction: Highland Park 30, Everman 21. Everman will make some big plays, but Highland Park will be methodical in its attack and wear down Everman’s defense to seal the win.