FRIDAY REWIND: For the first time in 693 days, the Highland Park Hornets are victorious

A lot has happened in the past two years. Further events around the COVID-19 pandemic, various foreign disputes, political matters to no end, it's been a lot.

Something that hadn't happened in nearly two full years, however, was the Highland Park football team winning a game. The Hornets had come closer and closer the past few weeks, but the streak extended to 693 days.

When the clock hit zero Friday night in the Hornets' game against Dimmitt, that streak dropped back down to 0.

The players jumped up and down. Helmets flung up into the air. Head coach Ty Stout was doused in a Gatorade bath. All of Highland Park was in jubilation as the Hornets defeated Dimmitt 37-33 to win for the first time in 693 days.

The victory moved Highland Park to 1-4 on the season and came against a winless opponent, but there wasn't a soul on the field that could care less. For the first time in two years, the Hornets were winners.

It was a long time coming and, frankly, was quite deserved.

"I'm so proud of our players, coaches and the community," Stout said. "These kids have needed a win for so long and they finally found a way to get it done. I hope this is the catalyst we need to help us compete at our highest level during district."

Wellington makes a statement

Wellington’s Barret Phillips (10) with the ball during a state quarterfinal game Friday December 3rd, Stratford vs Wellington in Amarillo, TX. Trevor Fleeman/For Amarillo Globe-News.
Wellington’s Barret Phillips (10) with the ball during a state quarterfinal game Friday December 3rd, Stratford vs Wellington in Amarillo, TX. Trevor Fleeman/For Amarillo Globe-News.

While the Hornets pulled off a victory for the first time in nearly two full years, the Panhandle Panthers found themselves in unfamiliar territory as well.

Only for them, it wasn't territory they wanted to be in.

For the first time all season, the Panthers were defeated as they were on the wrong end of 26-13 result to Wellington. Don't find fault in what the Panthers didn't do, though. Just give credit to Wellington for what they did do.

Wellington came into the year with high expectations, but a series of close games and a loss to Lubbock Christian had many of us leaving the Rockets out of the discussion for best teams in the Panhandle. No more, as they made a serious statement with their defeat of the Panthers on Friday.

House of the rising sun

The Sunray football team enters the field before a District 3-2A Division II game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 against Gruver at Greyhound Stadium in Gruver, Texas.
The Sunray football team enters the field before a District 3-2A Division II game Friday, Oct. 29, 2021 against Gruver at Greyhound Stadium in Gruver, Texas.

We don't give the Sunray Bobcats enough love for what they've been doing this year.

Sunray's lone loss this season came against Stratford, the unanimous No. 1 team in the Panhandle. Otherwise, the Bobcats have just been having fun out there as they put 77 points on Crosbyton this past week.

Landyn Hack (Panhandle), Dawson Jaco (Bushland) and Derrek Clements (Canyon) have rightfully been hyped up for their respective play at the quarterback position this year.

But when you look at the leading passer list for the Panhandle, it's sophomore Armando Lujan's name at the top. He had yet another outstanding performance as he completed three touchdown passes, rushed for another and returned an interception for a TD.

Kagan Davis and Damian Barragan are two of the top receivers in the area as well. In a district with Gruver, Booker, Boys Ranch and Vega, the Bobcats will have a gauntlet to get through district.

The way they've been playing, though, don't be surprised if they make it through.

Mules continue to impress

Muleshoe takes the field against Littlefield on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022
Muleshoe takes the field against Littlefield on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

After dropping their first game of the season to Littlefield, the Muleshoe football team hasn't lost a game. They didn't have much trouble until this past week against Abernathy, but the Mules came out on top 27-20.

Look across the top-10 statistical leaders for the Panhandle and you'll see plenty of Mules.

Daniel Sianez was 10th in rushing entering this week, Davian McMullen was fifth in tackles and Jaxher Lopez was tied for first in sacks. Against Abernathy, they were just as excellent with Sianez rushing for 160 yards and two scores, McMullen compiling 14 tackles and a sack and Lopez putting up nine tackles.

The battle through district won't be easy, though.

Dalhart and River Road have been very competitive, Shallowater is just as tough as ever and Bushland looks like a potential state title contender. Still, this is a team that's looked excellent so far and we've gone long enough without talking about them.

Other bits and pieces

  • Canyon remains undefeated on the season with a 21-14 win over Greenwood. These Eagles just keep finding ways to win.

  • Farwell also remains unbeaten on the year as it knocked off Friona 30-6. Alec Actkinson rushed for 235 yards and two scores while Corey Stancell had 136 yards and a TD to go with an interception on defense.

  • For the second week in a row, Randall had a comeback win. The Raiders were down 9-0 at halftime to Palo Duro and ended up winning 24-17. Randall hasn't lost since week one and even that was an 11-7 setback to Andrews.

  • Memphis knocked off Boys Ranch to move to 3-2 on the season. With the same result, Boys Ranch fell to 3-2. Both teams still have more wins than they did all of last season.

This article originally appeared on Amarillo Globe-News: FRIDAY REWIND: For the first time in 693 days, the Highland Park Hornets are victorious