Highland, Blackwell will play for 7-1A title today in Highland

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

Blackwell and Highland have enjoyed great seasons already, so no matter who wins today’s big 7:30 p.m. showdown in Highland, the two Nolan County rivals will have plenty to brag about.
But a District 7-1A, D-II title and No. 1 playoff seed would be the cherry on top of their 2017 regular season.
Blackwell (9-0 season, 2-0 district) has won all of its games by at least three touchdowns. Even better, five have been over 50 points, allowing them to end at halftime. There have also been four shutouts, including 59-0 over Trent last week.
Highland (7-2 overall) is also 2-0 in district. Its two losses — to Hermleigh (48-42) and Robert Lee (36-34) — were by a total of eight points. Highland has out-scored Trent and Loraine, its two district foes, by an aggregate total of 100-0.
Blackwell has won three more games already than it did in 2016 when it was 6-4, but missed the playoffs due to a 52-6 season-ending loss to Highland. Highland’s win gave the Hornets the No. 2 and final playoff seed from the district. This year, both teams are in the postseason no matter what happens in today’s game.
Blackwell threw just one pass against Trent, but it went for a 42-yard touchdown from Michael Lowry to Orrin Sirmons. Brandon Brinkman, Hunter Clark, Peyton Hinckley, Jimmie Lewis and Brenden Scott ran for TDs. Blackwell also got a 50-yard kick return for a TD by Cameron Coldiron and Nathaniel Shipman recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score.
After a season-low point total against Robert Lee, Highland has scored 50 or more points in four straight wins. Against Trent, Nolan Montgomery’s interception return for a TD ended the game by the mercy rule and he also threw TD passes to Baily Garrett and Dylan Phillips. Eli Sauer had four TD runs for Highland.