Highland 2-0 for first time since '05 after topping Gilbert - East Valley Tribune: VarsityXtra

Highland 2-0 for first time since '05 after topping Gilbert

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Posted: Saturday, September 1, 2012 12:18 am | Updated: 3:48 pm, Wed Aug 28, 2013.

So far, so good for the Highland football team in 2012.

Highland used another week of strong defense and a balanced offense to beat host-Gilbert, 31-10, on Friday night.

The Hawks are now 2-0 on the season for the first time since 2005. Back-to-back road wins to start the season has Highland fired up and ready for its first home game next Friday against surging Desert Ridge.

“We are really pumped up for Desert Ridge. We have five of the next eight games at home, and this is a great way to start the season.” Highland quarterback Blake Young said.

Young was the catalyst for the offense on this night. He finished with three touchdown passes and a 66-yard touchdown run, and passed for 155 yards on 7 of 13 attempts. He also rushed the ball six times for 103 yards.

“We got off to a little bit of a rough start today, but we got great help from the O-line tonight and I owe it all to them,” he said.

The first quarter was sloppy on both sides. Numerous false start penalties stalled drives and led to a scoreless quarter. Once Gilbert finally got on the scoreboard with a 28-yard field goal by Austin Carver in the second, both teams settled in and found success.

Highland took its first lead of the game on the very next possession when Young found Billy Johnson wide open down the middle of the field for an 80-yard touchdown. Gilbert (0-2) answered with a 5-yard touchdown pass from Conner Helvig to Maurice Thomas.

From that point on, it was all Hawks. With four seconds left until halftime, Highland rolled the dice and ran a play from Gilbert's 11-yard line. The pass was dropped on the goal line, but 0.6 seconds remained on the clock. It was enough time for Noah Miller to kick his game-tying, 20-yard field goal that began a 21-0 second-half surge for the Hawks.

“I am just happy for these guys; it is the product of the work they have put in since January.” Hawks coach Pete Wahlheim said.

Highland played without three injured starters on defense, all of whom were hurt in last week’s win over Mesquite.

“This group has gotten better every week since training camp and they continue to work extremely hard," Wahlheim said. "They are a great group.”

Highland 31, Gilbert 10

Gilbert             0   10  0   0 -- 10

Highland         0   10  14  7 -- 31

G – Carver 28 FG

H – Johnson 80 pass from Young (Miller kick)

G – Thomas 5 pass from Helvig (Carver kick)

H – Miller 20 FG

H – Gardner 5 pass from Young (Miller kick)

H – Gardner 23 pass from Young (Miller kick)

H – Young 66 run (Miller kick)

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[Stats Courtesy of MaxPreps]