HS Football: The Highlanders Drop Season Opener To Lethal North Shore Attack

By: Jake Wilson
| Published 08/25/2023


THE WOODLANDS, TX -- The Woodlands Highlanders (0-1) lost their season opener to the North Shore Mustangs (1-0) Friday in a failed bid for revenge from last season’s opener.

2022 saw these two teams square off in a season-opening matchup where the Mustangs rolled to a 49-21 victory on the shoulders of an offensive showcase against the Highlander defense.

Friday’s game began with a potent Mustangs offensive attack. Quarterback Kaleb Bailey was able to link up with his receiver Terrence Guillory for a massive 60-yard pickup on the first play from scrimmage to set up an easy passing touchdown on just the first drive.

To start the second quarter, North Shore would build on their lead with a rushing attack that led to Bailey finding his way into the endzone on a four-yard read option, pushing them up 14-0.

It fell on the Highlanders to respond with a score and they did just that on their ensuing drive. Quarterback Mabrey Mettauer was able to loft a pass just past the outstretched arms of a Mustang defender and into the hands of receiver Shane Walker, bringing the score to within one possession.

The offense would not stop for North Shore as Kaleb Bailey kept up the pace with a speed option toss to D’Andre Hardeman for a 21-7 lead that would extend as the half ended. A last-second field goal from Jonathan Soto made it 24-7 with the Highlanders on the ropes.

The offense would continue to stagnate for the Woodlands as Mattauer failed to connect with receivers and runs would gain minimal yards.

North Shore would capitalize on the increased opportunities by pounding out yards on the ground with five different running backs seeing touches by the time the game ended. The yards on the ground would set up an easy pass and catch for touchdown number three through the air for Kaleb Bailey. The Highlanders could only muster a field goal in the third quarter which brought the score to 31-10.

The score would only sway further in favor of the Mustangs as Kaleb Bailey once again struck through the air for a touchdown to extend the lead to 28. With the wheels fully off and the clock turned against them, the decision was made. The Woodlands pulled their starting quarterback in favor of Patrick Miller who would lead an 80-yard charge down the field capped off by a jet-sweep touchdown by receiver Quanell X Farrakhan Jr. to make the score a little closer.

The final whistle would come following kneels from North Shore’s Deiaunte Wilson, ending the game 38-17.

The Woodlands must lick their wounds and turn their attention towards a road game at Lamar High School on Friday, September 1.

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