TOPEKA, Kan. – Highland Park has lost 53 straight football games and 13 straight to Topeka High.
But first-year Topeka High coach Carlos Kelly said nobody in the Trojan program will be taking Highland Park lightly when High hosts the Scots in a 7 p.m. Centennial League contest Friday at Hummer Sports Park.
“Highland Park is hands-down better than they’ve been,’’ Kelly said. ”Their athletes have been taking a walloping since their freshman year and some of them are now seniors and some of those kids that came in as freshmen are now bigger and stronger. They have a lot of speed and Highland Park’s guys are hungry.
“They don’t want to leave that place without a win and they’re chomping at the bit to get at us.’’
Both Highland Park and Topeka High missed their first three games of the year because of a USD 501 decision to delay the start of the season before opening last Friday night.
Highland Park dropped a 30-8 home Centennial League decision to Emporia, while Topeka High fell at Manhattan, 42-6.
Both Highland Park coach Mike Foristiere and Kelly said they saw some positive signs.
“We were in a position to win,’’ Foristiere said. ”We were absolutely in a position to win and we had three touchdowns called back, so that was the tough part, because you’re right there and it just doesn’t happen. That’s the unfortunate part, but we played aggressive, we played hard.
“This is the first time in three years where I had a team that was very upset and angry, not because they got beat, but because they felt they beat themselves.’’
Kelly said it was good just to get a starting point.
“Definitely it was good to get out there and see what we have because we hadn’t had any live action except for amongst ourselves at all to see who could do what,’’ Kelly said. ”We have a really young team. We started two freshmen and there could have been a third easily.’’
One of those freshmen, BJ Canady, was Topeka High’s starting quarterback against Manhattan and completed 11 of 25 passes for 120 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown pass to senior Naz Phillips.
High also got 66 rushing yards on 11 carries from junior Tylan Alejos.
Highland Park senior quarterback Tre Prosper was 11-of-22 passing for 119 yards against Emporia, including a 26-yard TD pass to senior Jeremy Kendrick.
Like Kelly, Foristiere expects his Scots to be competitive against the Trojans on Friday night.
“I think we’re in a place with the players we have where we can compete,’’ Foristiere said. ”I think we’re making strides.’’
JUNCTION CITY (3-1, 3-0 Centennial) at TOPEKA WEST (0-1, 0-1)
At Hummer Sports Park
Junction City is coming off a 34-30 Centennial League road victory at Washburn Rural, while Topeka West dropped a 59-14 league decision to Seaman in its season-opener. Blue Jay quarterback Andrew Khoury threw for 346 yards and three touchdowns, while Russell Wilkey caught seven passes for 191 yards and two TDs. Topeka West sophomore quarterback Malachi Berg threw for 104 yards and a TD against Seaman, while sophomore Tyrell Reed had a 63-yard touchdown run and a 2-point conversion for the Chargers. Game time: 7 p.m.
FRIDAY’S OTHER CITY GAMES
MANHATTAN (2-2, 1-1) at SEAMAN (3-1, 2-1)
Seaman posted a 59-14 Centennial League win over Topeka West last Friday while Manhattan took a 42-6 league win over Topeka High. Seaman senior quarterback Reid Cowan had a hand in five touchdowns against West, throwing for three scores and running for two TDs, while junior Casen Stallbaumer had a pair of TDs, scoring on offense and defense. Cowan went 8-of-9 passing for 147 yards and 3 TDs, while Stallbaumer caught four passes for 97 yards and a score. Cowan also rushed for 60 yards on just three attempts. Manhattan quarterback Dayne Aschenbrenner ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 92 yards and two scores against High. Game time: 7 p.m.
OSAWATOMIE (0-4, 0-1 district) at HAYDEN (3-1, 0-0)
Hayden rolled to a 49-0 non-league win at Coffeyville last Friday while Osawatomie dropped a 48-22 Class 3A district game to Sante Fe Trail. Senior Desmond Purnell scored three touchdowns for Hayden against Osawatomie, including a 70-yard kickoff return to open the game. Purnell leads the city in scoring with 13 TDs and 84 points and also ranks among the city leaders in total offense, rushing, receiving and punting. Wildcat quarterback Johnny Holloway has passed for 521 yards and six touchdowns. Game time: 7 p.m.
BASEHOR-LINWOOD (1-3, 1-1 UKC) at SHAWNEE HEIGHTS (1-3, 0-2)
Basehor-Linwood is coming off a 42-35 non-league loss to St. James Academy last Friday while Shawnee Heights dropped a 34-3 United Kansas Conference decision at Leavenworth. Shawnee Heights senior quarterback Hunter Wohler completed 24 of 42 pass attempts for 208 yards but the T-Birds hurt themselves with five turnovers. Senior Manny Salamanca accounted for Shawnee Heights’ lone points on a 22-yard field goal while senior Brent Showalter caught seven passes for 73 yards and senior Harvey Davis caught eight passes for 60 yards. Game time: 7 p.m..
WASHBURN RURAL (1-3, 0-2) at EMPORIA (2-2, 1-0)
Washburn Rural dropped a tough 34-30 Centennial League decision to Junction City last Friday while Emporia took a 30-8 league win over Highland Park. Rural senior quarterback Cooper Carlgren passed for 187 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a TD while sophomore Ma’kenttis Adams ran for 110 yards and a 62-yard TD on 17 carries and junior Robby Bolin caught five passes for 74 yards and two TDs. Cam Gentz passed for 124 yards and a TD while Camden Kirmer scored two TDs and passed for a score in the Spartans’ win over Highland Park. Game time: 7 p.m.
CAIR PARAVEL (3-1) at ST. MARY’S ACADEMY (4-0)
Cair Paravel Latin is coming off its first loss of the season, a 54-46 decision to Sunrise Christian. Cair Paravel built 40-14 and 46-20 leads before Sunrise scored 34 fourth-quarter points to pull out the win. Cair Paravel quarterback Carter Brian completed 30 of 53 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns while Noah Hastert caught 10 passes for 132 yards and a TD. St. Marys is coming off a 50-24 win over Manhattan Christian, which was its closest game of the year. Game time: 7 p.m.
Junction City 45, Topeka West 20
Topeka High 34, Highland Park 19
Seaman 28, Manhattan 27
Hayden 49, Osawatomie 6
Basehor-Linwood 35, Shawnee Heights 21
Washburn Rural 28, Emporia 20
St. Mary’s Academy 45, Cair Paravel 26
Last week: 5-2 (.714 pct.). Season: 13-7 (.650 pct.).