The Highland football Bulldogs ran roughshod over the host Mascoutah Indians, 55-22,on Friday night to repeat as undefeated Mississippi Valley Conference champions.
Highland (8-0 overall, 5-0 MVC) has outscored its opponents 398 to 132 this season, including 243 to 66 in conference play to go undefeated in league play for the second straight season while winning the MVC for the fourth time in five years. In addition, the Bulldogs’ win Friday night dashed whatever hopes Mascoutah (3-5, 2-3 MVC) had remaining for a potential 5A state playoff bid.
All that is left for Highland to cap off a perfect 9-0 regular season is this Friday’s road game at 0-8 Charleston.
The Bulldogs came out flying and never looked back. Highland led 13-3 after the first quarter of play and 34-3 at the half.
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Senior quarterback Garrett Marti led Highland’s attack both on the ground and through the air as he ran for three touchdowns and threw for two more. He rushed nine times for 144 yards and touchdown scampers of 8, 51 and 59 yards, respectively. Marti completed 11 of 18 passes for 174 yards, including TD passes of 4 yards to junior Sam LaPorta and 50 yards to junior Jack Etter. Marti now has an outlandish 24 touchdown passes compared to just one interception.
“It feels good to bring back another conference championship to this amazing town and community,” Marti said. “We have put in a lot of work and have made it look easier then it really is. We wouldn’t be able to do it without all the time we put into the season and the coaches that push us everyday at practice and in the weight room. I am very thankful for my teammates and coaches that I have and wouldn’t want to accomplish this goal with anyone else but them.
“Time to move on to Charleston and start preparing for them. It would mean a lot for us to have an undefeated regular season and it would give us more confidence as we move on to the playoffs. We are going to work hard this week and accomplish it.”
Junior running back Brady Feldmann also scored three times on runs of 3, 48 and 4 yards. He toted the ball 10 times for 99 yards. Feldmann Feldmann also had four receptions for 28 yards.
LaPorta led the passing attack with four catches for 59 yards and the TD.
Mascoutah scored on a pair of touchdown runs by quarterback Devon Ross and on a seven-yard pass from Ross to Patrick Beck. Cole Junker also booted a 25-yard field goal.
Ross completed 18 of 27 passes for 210 yards and one TD while Ronald Clay led the Indians’ ground game with 112 yards on 16 rushes. In addition, Eddie Wilson had six catches for 87 yards.
Senior linebacker Seby Wolf led the defense as he racked up 10 solo tackles and also recovered a fumble to record the game’s only turnover.
Also stepping up on defense for the Bulldogs were freshman defensive lineman Sam Buck with nine solo tackles and three tackle assists, senior linebacker Kyle Lane with eight solo tackles and two tackle assists, and junior defensive end Drew Hulvery and senior linebacker Noah Schmitt each with eight solo tackles apiece.