COPLEY — The Highland football team opened its Suburban League road schedule Friday with a 42-14 win at Copley to stay undefeated at the season’s halfway mark.
The Hornets (5-0, 2-0) continued their high-scoring ways.
“Being 5-0 is great, but we want the SL title,” Highland quarterback Bruce Kinsey said. “We’re taking it game-by-game and not looking too far ahead, just like Coach (Tom) Lombardo tells us every week.”
Kinsey orchestrated a read-option offense that racked up 443 total yards, zero punts and 28 first downs while exhausting Copley’s defense with each advancement of the chains.
Kinsey was 11-for-14 through the air and rushed for 101 yards and four touchdowns.
“The line was doing what they do,” Kinsey said. “They were worried about (running back Alex) Harris, so it opened things up for me. They play cover-three and we like cover-three. Our receivers ran good routes tonight.”
Harris ran for a game-high 143 yards on 24 carries for an impressive 5.9-yard average. Fictionally listed as 5-foot-8 on Highland’s team roster — not even with cleats on — the senior carries the ball like a bruising fullback with the agility to make defenders miss.
“He’s very quick and real tough to bring down,” Lombardo said. “He’s elusive and his agility in the hole is what you want in a running back.”
Harris was quick to give credit to his teammates.
“All I have to say is that the line killed it and Bruce made good option reads,” Harris said. “Copley never knew what was coming and had to honor everything, which created big holes for me.”
After a 31-yard reception by wide receiver Cory Moncol (7 catches, game-high 134 yards) placed the ball at the 2-yard line, Highland capitalized on plunge by fullback Nick Corvo for the game’s opening points.
Copley (3-2, 0-2) responded on its next possession with an exciting 80-yard scoring pass from quarterback John Kromalic (8-for-17, 140 yards) to tight end Brian Reinke. The pass itself covered only about 15 yards, but Reinke broke some tackles then raced down the sideline.
Kinsey followed with his first touchdown of the night on a 10-yard run up the middle at 2:52 of the first quarter. The Indians again responded when running back Aulden Knight (9 carries, 66 yards) dashed 14 yards to tie the score at 14.
It would be the final points for Copley, as Highland’s defense pitched a shutout over the final three quarters.
“The defense did a great job after we made some adjustments,” Lombardo said.
Another 10-yard scoring run by Kinsey and a 3-yard score by Harris put the Hornets ahead 28-14 at halftime. Harris’ run was setup by a 55-yard catch and run by Moncol.
Copley was limited to two first downs in the second half, while Highland scored twice in the fourth quarter.
“It’s great to be undefeated,” Harris said. “We’ll enjoy tonight then get back to work. We’re not done yet.”
Contact Kenneth Coleman at email@example.com.
Highland 42, Copley 14
COPLEY 14 0 0 0 — 14
HIGHLAND 14 14 0 14 — 42
H — Nick Corvo 2 run (Luke Allen kick), 7:34.
C — Brian Reinke 80 pass from John Kromalic (pass failed), 6:06.
H — Bruce Kinsey 10 run (Allen kick), 2:52.
C — Aulden Knight 14 run (D.J. Johnson pass from Kromalic), 0:39.
H — Kinsey 10 run (Allen kick), 7:17.
H — Alex Harris 3 run (Allen kick), 4:35.
H — Kinsey 1 run (Allen kick), 9:41.
H — Kinsey 4 run (Allen kick), 3:37.
Hornets stay unbeaten