MOUNT GILEAD — For Highland’s final game of the regular season on Friday, the Scots repeated the elements of their success from the rest of the season: Good defense and ball-control offense.
Highland gave up only 100 yards of offense to host Mount Gilead, and churned out 405 total yards to win, 38-0. The win wrapped up a Division IV playoff spot for the Scots, who will more than likely travel in the first round on Saturday, Nov. 7.
Justin Staton was the big gainer once again for the Scots (8-2, 8-1), running 26 times for 202 yards and two touchdowns. He also scored three 2-point conversion runs, as Highland’s kicker was injured for the game. Artie McAndrew also scored twice, and finished with 14 carries for 96 yards. The Indians (2-8, 2-7) gained only 17 rushing yards on 20 carries.
The Scots took a lead on their first play from scrimmage. Staton took the ball at his own 40 yard line and raced 60 yards for a score with 10:43 to play in the first quarter. His conversion run made it 8-0. Highland took over again halfway into the quarter, and Staton finished a drive with a 2-yard plunge with 5:01 to play. McAndrew’s 2-point run gave the Scots a 16-0 lead, which it would keep through halftime.
McAndrew ran in from 4 yards out with 8:43 to play in the third quarter to put Highland up 24-0. The Scots did not score for the rest of the third quarter, but tallied twice in the fourth. McAndrew scored again with 7:35 to play in the game, taking off from the Mount Gilead 33 yard line for a 32-0 lead. Reserves took over for the remaining minutes, and Hayden Maley streaked in from 7 yards out at the 3:05 mark to leave Highland ahead, 38-0.
Jake Ulrey completed 2-of-4 passes for 32 yards, one to Mike Sheppard for 30 yards and one to McAndrew for 2 yards. Justin Carver completed 12-of-24 passes for 83 yards for the Indians, and Shawn Frost and Aaron Murphy each caught five passes for 39 and 36 yards, respectively.