CALEDONIA — Highland finds itself in an unfamiliar position after a 44-2 loss here Friday night to unbeaten River Valley.
The Scots, under Matt Jones, fall to 0-3.
“They executed on both sides of the ball and we didn’t,” Jones said of the game that was delayed well over an hour by lightning.
It was a reversal of last year’s game that Highland won 41-8.
“Coach (Doug Green) has a really, really nice ball club,” Jones said.
“It’s been tough. We’re not used to starting this way, but if you look at it a few years ago we were 0-3 a couple times and we continued on.
“We got to re-group tomorrow and re-focus.”
Cooper Graham caught two passes from quarterback Jake Green covering 12 and 9 yards. The 215-pound junior added a 14-yard scoring run for the Vikings, which built a 25-0 halftime lead.
Highland went down to the 5-yard-line on the first drive and RV held the Scots.
“It went downhill after that. We kept fighting and doing the best they could,” he said.
Jack Weaver paced Highland with 83 rushing yards on 21 carries.
Vikings coach Doug Green felt his team controlled the trenches.
“We are on our way to playing a complete game. We did a nice job controlling the line of scrimmage.”
The hosts racked up 333 total yards, with 246 on the ground, to Highland’s 96.
“We definitely thought that they’d pack the box so we wanted to practice our passing a little bit more. We still had some mistakes we’d like to fix,” Green said.
“We learned a lot of things about our younger kids putting them in certain positions. Tonight they really took off.”
Dylan Johnson added a 31-yard touchdown catch and freshman Cayden Shidone returned a punt 92 yards for River Valley.
During the delay both teams tried to stay cool on a humid night.
“We kept them in and out of the locker room to try and stay cool,” Jones said.
Highland plays East Knox Friday night in its KMAC opener.
“It’s a grind right now. Our first four games are tough. Cody Reese is a friend and he has a really good ball club and good kids over there,” Jones said.