Jones propels Highland Park to first state championship since 2005

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ARLINGTON – Dallas Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones made a name for himself on Saturday afternoon, leading the Scots to their fourth state championship in school history.

The Temple Wildcats shook off an early first quarter fumble, as running back Jemiyah Franklin rumbled 38 yards for the touchdown and an early 7-0 lead.

A defensive tussle took the game late into the second quarter before Jones broke free for a 36-yard rushing touchdown, his first of the night.

“I wanted to score,” Jones said. “The line made some great blocks, the receivers made some great blocks down field. It was a great team effort on that play.”

After coming out of halftime tied, Highland Park and Temple combined for 10 straight scoreless possessions before the Scots went on a 10-play, 55-yard touchdown drive, capped off by another Jones rushing touchdown.

Facing third down on their own 1-yard line, Temple quarterback Reid Hesse would be sacked by Highland Park defensive lineman Turner Coxe, resulting in a safety and a 16-7 score that would hold as the final.

“I was thinking pass rush,” Coxe said. “We went and [defensive lineman] Marshall Hammack just pushed him up in the pocket and I got him. At first I thought he was going to get away, but I kind of reeled him in and got him down.”

Highland Park head coach Randy Allen, who’s been at the school since 1999 and now won two state championships, mentioned the school’s rich tradition as one of the many reasons this victory is special.

“When you play for a state championship, it brings the Scot alumni and Scot nation back together,” Allen said. “Everybody’s rooting for the same thing. Our kids played hard, and to bring a state championship home will mark these guys forever. They’ll be back every year that we play for another state championship.”

SCORING PLAYS
1st quarter
4:59 – TEMPLE TOUCHDOWN — (Temple #20 Jemiyah Franklin 38-yard touchdown rush.)
TEMPLE: 7, HIGHLAND PARK: 0

2nd quarter
3:49 – HIGHLAND PARK TOUCHDOWN — (#9 John Stephen Jones 36-yard TD rush.)
TEMPLE: 7, HIGHLAND PARK: 7

3rd quarter
1:46 – HIGHLAND PARK TOUCHDOWN — (#9 John Stephen Jones 1-yard TD rush.)
HIGHLAND PARK: 14, TEMPLE: 7

4th quarter
5:00 – HIGHLAND PARK SAFETY — (#97 Turner Coxe sacks Temple #4 Reid Hesse.)
HIGHLAND PARK: 16, TEMPLE: 7

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