Fumbles, penalties costly for Huskies in 52-6 loss to Lisbon

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The Highland football team lost to Lisbon, 52-6, this past Friday, its only touchdown coming off a 75-yard kick return by quarterback Connor Grinstead late in the third quarter.

Lisbon recorded 512 yards of total offense while Highland managed only 92 total yards.

Highland won the pregame coin toss and elected to defer, giving Lisbon the opportunity to score off a seven-snap drive that started with a 38-yard carry from senior Cole Clark.

But Highland’s first possession didn’t last long. Grinstead fumbled the kick return and the Lions recovered the ball, needing only five more plays to find the end zone again for a 13-0 lead.

Grinstead fumbled in the backfield late in the second quarter. Lisbon scored off that possession. Grinstead again fumbled the kickoff the start the second half, which led to another Lions touchdown.

Highland’s Jacob Allen recovered a Lisbon fumble early in the fourth quarter, but Grinstead was sacked on the next play, resulting in another fumble recovered by the Lions. Grinstead ended the game with negative rushing yardage: 2 yards of losses in seven carries.

Senior Caedon Harbison led the team in rushing, picking up 40 yards on seven carries, including a 20-yard run in the first quarter. He also received the Huskies’ only completed pass, catching a 12-yard pass from Grinstead in the fourth quarter.

Both teams were plagued by penalties. The Lions received two personal foul flags, late in the second quarter and early in the third quarter, in addition to the multiple false start, illegal blocking, and holding penalties called on both teams.

Flags flew wildly during the Huskies’ only point-after attempt, with all four referees signaling at least one penalty. A holding penalty against Highland was declined, but Highland picked up a personal foul and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Lisbon also received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

This necessitated that Highland kick off from its own 6-yard line. But the Lions picked up another personal foul on the kickoff and the Huskies re-kicked from the 18.

Co-head coach Scott Morel said his players struggled with Lisbon’s aggression through the game, which led to things coming to a head during the point-after attempt in the third quarter.

“After a while, they couldn’t take it anymore. They felt like [the Lions] were pushing us after our play,” Morel said.

He said one of his players came up and apologized after the game.

“They did a good job,” Morel said. “I’m proud of our guys.”

Highland (1-4) will travel to Iowa City on Friday to take on Regina Catholic (5-1) at 7 p.m.

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