The Highland High football team continued to put up its video game-like numbers after the Bulldogs traveled to Mascoutah and kicked off Mississippi Valley Conference play with a 49-9 thrashing of the host Indians.
Highland (4-0 overall, 1-0 MVC) has outscored its opponents this season by the ridiculous margin of 187-29.
The Bulldogs were again stingy on defense after allowing less than 200 yards in total offense to Mascoutah (0-4, 0-1MVC). Against Highland’s harrassing defense, Indian quarterback AJ Albert completed just 5 of 13 pass attempts for 59 yards while Mascoutah’s running game only gained three yards per rush — 121 yards on 40 carries.
Conversely, the Bulldogs’ 339 yards in total offense nearly doubled the Indians’ total output of 180 yards and Highland had virtually put the game out of reach in the opening quarter with four forays to the end zone.
Highland sophomore quarterback Garrett Marti went 6-for-11 for 149 yards and his first three touchdown passes of the season. Marti hooked up with senior running back Andrew Winning for a 37-yard TD connection only 1 minute, 4 seconds into the game.
Marti then fired a 48-yard TD strike to senior receiver Jimmie Smith to help make it 14-0 with 7:40 still left in the opening period. Marti, who also ran the ball three times for 31 yards, put a nice capper on his trio of TD passes with a 6-yard completion in the end zone to sophomore Josh Burke with 3:05 to play in the first half to help make it 42-2, prompting a running clock to open the second half of play.
HHS senior running back Andrew Winning continued his torrid start to the season, rushing for 114 yards and a pair of rushing scores on just 13 carries.
In addition to his 37-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter, Winning took it the house from 10 yards out to extend the lead to 21-0 with 4:32 left in the first frame. Winning then scored from four yards away to push the lead to 35-2 with 7:26 to go in the first half.
For the season, Winning has rushed for 633 yards on 62 rushes (10.2 yards per carry) and has scored a grand total of 16 touchdowns in the four games.
Also offensively for the Bulldogs, junior running back Trent Rakers scored on a 39-yard scamper with 3:17 remaining in the first quarter, senior Zeke Kaufman returned a punt 30 yards for a TD early in the third quarter and converted all seven of his extra points, senior Justin Twyford added two receptions for 37 yards and senior Seth Levan caught one pass for 21 yards.
In addition, Smith returned two punts for 49 yards.
Highland’s defense was also exemplary after racking up three sacks and forcing one turnover.
Sophomore Dylan Knebel led HHS’ defensive charge with seven solo tackles to go along with one tackle assist.
Stringing together five solo tackles apiece for the Bulldogs were Kaufman (two tackle assists), Rakers (fumble recovery), senior Sam Teipe (one sack) and senior Paxton VonderHaar.
Additionally, senior Justin Haase added four solo tackles, two tackle assists and one sack, senior Austin Bush had four solo tackles and three tackle assists and senior Cody Zobrist had three solo tackles and one sack.