ANDERSON — The Highland Scots had their way with visiting Connersville at Highland Stadium on Friday night as the home team won its second straight Olympic Athletic Conference championship with an 82-20 thumping of the Spartans. 

Highland’s senior class was well represented on the stat sheet as tailback Nathan Walters, the school’s career leading rusher, ran for 185 yards on 13 carries and scored five touchdowns, all in the first half.

Kaleb Ogden, Highland’s all-time passing leader, threw just eight passes on the night while completing six, one for a touchdown.

Senior kickoff return man Taylor Hopkins started the Scots’ barrage with an 85-yard return of the game’s opening kickoff for the first score of the night. He then returned an interception 30 yards for a score in the third quarter.

One of the Scots’ top tacklers, linebacker Kerry Detienne, was absent from the field of play Thursday evening, as he was diagnosed with leukemia and will begin treatment today. Detienne was released from the hospital to take part in the senior night ceremonies and witness the coin toss and opening kickoff.

Part of that was a giant sign that read, “We Believe Kerry D” that was made Friday and signed by all the seniors on the Highland football team.

“Our booster club had that made this morning; I thought it was great that the hospital let him come to the game and be honored,” HHS coach Randy Albano said. “We came out (and) played with enthusiasm tonight. We just came out firing on all cylinders.”

As the game went along, the Scots also vented some frustration from last week’s loss to Class 3A No. 6 Yorktown.

Following Hopkins’ score off the opening kickoff, the Scots’ defense collected the first of four interceptions off Connersville quarterback Zack Hufferd. The Scots then needed only one play to score as Walters raced 66 yards to give the Scots a 13-0 lead with 9:23 to go.

Walters would score four more rushing touchdowns on runs of eight, one, 26 and four yards before halftime.

Senior tight end Jordan Worley got in on the scoring act as he hauled in a 9-yard pass from Ogden for a touchdown with 2:29 left in the second quarter.

Highland would get scores in the third quarter from Hopkins on a 30-yard interception return. Chandler Sidwell scored on a 13-yard run and Lawrence Cotton on a 2-yard dive.

In the fourth quarter, each squad scored pair of touchdowns. The Scots got another score from Cotton on a 40-yard burst up the middle and on a 5-yard run by reserve player Sam Boyd.

Highland placekicker T.J. Scot was 9-of-11 on extra points.

“I thought we were a step above (Connersville) tonight; we just had better athletes,” Albano said. “I thought we were just on tonight.”

Highland (6-2 and 3-0 OAC) will travel to Pendleton Heights next Friday to wrap up the regular season.

“They always play us tough,” Albano said of the Arabians. “We’ll have to be ready.”

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