SPARTA — A season-long build-up of frustration came out of the Highland football team in one massive burst Friday, as the Scots won its first game of the season at home over Cardington, 62-20.
Highland (1-4, 1-1), which had scored only 18 points in the previous four games combined, let loose with 27 in the first quarter alone, then added another 21 in the second quarter. In all, the Scots piled up 571 total yards, including 481 yards on 41 carries, while QB Kadin Johnson turned 4-of-6 passing into 90 yards and a score. Highland’s top four rushers, Jack Weaver (11-182), Johnson (8-90), Landyn Albanese (8-87) and Gavin Hankins (3-51) each averaged over 10 yards per attempt.
The Pirates (1-4, 1-1) gained 220 total yards, 129 rushing and 91 passing, although QB Nate Hickman was only 4 of 15 with one interception. The Scots’ defense made two sacks, and also recovered a fumble.
Albanese’s 17-yard run at the 8:25 mark of the first quarter gave Highland the lead, 6-0, and Landon Remmert made it 13-0 with an interception return with 7:32 to play. Weaver had the first of his two TD runs, a 6-yarder, with 2:38 left.
Cardington made its presence known just 13 seconds later, as Trey Brininger hauled in a 43-yard Hickman pass to cut the lead to 20-7, but Albanese provided the Scots’ fourth score of the quarter on a 12-yard run with 2:01 remaining.
Weaver had the longest run of the game with 23 ticks off the clock in the second quarter, an 81-yard TD, but Ayden Plowman’s 18-yarder for the Pirates got those points back to make it 34-14. But Layton Shaffer’s 15-yard TD catch and Johnson’s six-yard run gave Highland a running second-half clock in leading 48-14.
The Scots scored two more times on Garison Hankins’ 21-yard run in the third quarter, and Gavin Hankins’ 46-yarder in the fourth left the score at 62-14. Ashton Plowman scored a TD with no time left for Cardington.
Brininger caught two passes for 65 yards for the Pirates, and Remmert led Highland receivers with two catches for 52 yards.
Highland will try for win No. 2 at Fredericktown next Friday at 7 p.m., and Cardington will play at Danville.
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