As we slowly inch closer and closer to the state tournament, plenty of Dallas-Fort Worth area teams are battling it out to see who can punch their ticket to the biggest stage in Texas high school football. This week, the CW33 High School Showdown featured game of the week includes a focused McKinney High Lions squad going up against a giant in the area: the Highland Park Scots. VYPE DFW breaks down the two teams and what fans can expect in this area-round match up:

McKinney Lions (9-2, 5-2)

​The McKinney Lions have been working on their goals since the end of their season last year. Focused, determined, and ready for success, McKinney started the season with three consecutive victories against non-district opponents: a hard-fought, close battle with Longview (23-21), a 35-14 victory over Richardson Berkner, and a statement 30-7 victory over Flower Mound. From there, the team entered district play with the goal of getting through anyone who stood between them and the playoffs. 

Led by Godspower Nwawuihe (who is averaging over 80 rushing yards per game this season with 10 touchdowns), Khali Best (averaging over 55 receiving yards per game this season with 9 touchdowns), Krhsitian Mackintrus, Bryan Jackson (averaging over 74 rushing yards per game this season with 8 touchdowns), Ja’Tavious Greer, Sincere Blakely, Jeremiah Daoud, and others, this offense has been able to remain focused. Paired with a defense led by Deondre Shepherd, Kevin Brown, Jonathan Agumadu, Jordan Covington, and others, the Lions finished district play with a 5-2 district record and a third-place seat in their district standings. 

Knowing they had to put the pedal to the metal and really grind to get through tough playoff games, McKinney has already started off on the right foot with a 52-31 victory over Flower Mound Marcus in the bi-district round last week. The team looks to continue their run on Friday night against Highland Park. 

Highland Park Scots (10-1, 7-1)

After falling to Denton Guyer in the second round of playoffs last year, Highland Park has been on a mission to get back to the top. The team began the year with two non-district victories over Flower Mound Marcus (56-24) and Lewisville (21-18). Poised and focused to take on their district opponents, the team geared up for the road to playoffs behind talented athletes like Cormac Carroll, Wes Giese, Warren Peck, Steel Tobin, Parker Thompson, Max Swartzendruber, Gunna Rolseth, Hudson Groth, and more. 

Despite losing their opening district game in a 51-41- battle against Lake Highlands, the Scots were determined to learn and move forward without ever looking back. With a seasoned team that knows how to do their job on the field, the Scots channeled their energy into defeating the rest of their opponents week after week as they defeated Irving (63-3), Dallas Jesuit (15-13), Richardson (34-15), and more in well-earned victories. Finishing second in their district standings with a 7-1 district record– just behind Lake Highlands– Highland Park was ready to enter the playoffs. 

So far in the playoffs, the Scots have defeated Arlington. With a 45-17 victory last week, the team was able to celebrate and focus on their next opponent. Looking to continue their usual dominance, the Scots prepare for McKinney on Friday. 

What To Expect

Highland Park has a longstanding history of being great in Texas high school football. Utilizing great game IQ, a strong drive to win, and talented athletes, the Scots are consistent and determined every single game. Having outscored their opponents by a combined 232 points this season, the Scots have showcased a powerful defense and an offense that is willing to make big moves. McKinney, however, has been battle-tested all season. With their backs against the wall in tough moments, the Lions have learned valuable assets when it comes to decision-making in the moment as well as what it truly means to be resilient and have grit. Fans can expect this game to be jam-packed with powerful moves on both ends of the ball as these two teams battle tooth and nail to make it to the next round. 

Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday night at Gerald J. Ford Stadium on SMU’s campus. If you can’t make it out to the game, be sure to catch all the action on CW33! ​

For more Dallas-Fort Worth area high school sports coverage, please visit VYPE!