Named the game of the week by some publications and many area fans, Highland, coming off a bye-week, had a hard time getting started against Valley View.
On the other hand, the Blazers had no problem scoring early and often as they stayed perfect on the season with a 38-20 win over the Rebels at Valley View on Oct. 8.
The Rebs found themselves with a fourth-and-3 on their first drive.
Knowing this game could be a high-scoring affair, Rebel Head Coach Clay Wiggins called for the fake punt. Scott Gatewood took the snap up the middle, but came up a yard short.
Valley View scored on four of its five first-half possessions.
Kadin Hydrick scored on an 8-yard sweep with four minutes gone in the game and then Taylor Lindley hit John Faughn on a 25-yard pass after the Rebels were forced to punt.
Sophomore running back Jordan Brewer reeled off 27 yards on the draw, followed by a Gatewood run for an 11-yard gain to get Highland to the Blazer 24. Brewer found six yards up the middle and quarterback Sterling Stowers hit junior receiver Garrett Sublett for a 14-yard gain to the 4. Brewer took two additional rushes to find the end zone. Ethan Hoppe, who was two-of-three on extra points, made the score 14-7, Valley View, at the top of the second quarter.
The Blazers responded with an 11-play, 58-yard drive and a Lindley 3-yard score for a 21-7 lead.
"We stated too late. First quarter, we had our chances but dropped balls, running backs falling down ... it's like we had jitters or something like that," said Wiggins. "That was the difference in the ballgame. They executed their offense and we didn't. The Lindley kid does a good job of distributing the ball for them. We just didn't do a very good of executing defensively our game plan and he kind of picked us apart."
Finally forcing a Blazer punt, Stowers got the Reb offense off to a good start with a 26-yard run and then a 21-yard gain.
He hit senior tight end Will Edmondson for a 15-yard touchdown to close the score to 21-14.
The Blazer defense efficiently used the last two-and-a-half minutes of the half to drive 55 yards for a Lindley to Rollins Jaggers TD going into the locker room up 28-14.
Valley View opened the second half with a 66-yard drive and a Lindley 19-yard rushing score.
Blazer kicker Mo Patton added a 26-yard field with seconds running out on the third quarter.
Highland senior running back Jake Horton added the final score, sweeping to the right to catch the corner of the end zone.
Brewer had 82 yards on 13 carries.
Stowers was 10-of-17 for 143 yards passing and added 70 yards on 12 rushes.
Sublett had three catches for 34 yards and Edmondson had two catches for 42.
Highland (4-1, 1-1) will host Gosnell on Oct 15.
"We've got to get our heads back up. We've got another big ballgame next week," said Wiggins.