Highland nipped by H’leigh

Ron Howell
Sports Editor

In a back-and-forth contest, Highland suffered a heart-breaking 48-42 home loss to Hermleigh on Friday.
Highland led 42-34 until Hermleigh scored two TDs in the game’s final 45 seconds to get a six-point win, both on passes from QB Devin Hildebrand to receiver Matt Gonzales.
Highland never led — but the Hornets tied the game on three separate occasions — until Eli Sauer’s 15-yard TD pass to Nolan Montgomery and Sauer’s two-point kick with 3:51 remaining.
The game was statistically close as well, with less than a 100-yard difference between Hermleigh (403 yards) and Highland (309). Hermleigh’s passing game turned out to be the difference with 181 yards to 60 for Highland, though the Cardinals threw far more often than the Hornets.
Montgomery also threw for a touchdown and ran for one. In addition to his TD pass, Sauer ran for 153 yards including TD runs of 49 and 38 yards, and he also kicks three PATs.
Highland out-gained the Cardinals rushing 249-222. Richard Fomby gained 90 yards to complement Sauer. Jonathan Mitchell also had a receiving TD and Highland’s first TD came on a 45-yard kickoff return by Baily Garrett. Dakota Bowen also caught a pass for the Hornets (1-1).
The teams combined for 11 turnovers. Montgomery had a team-high 10.5 tackles and Bowen had seven. Montgomery’s rushing TD came on a 22-yard run in the fourth quarter.