Highlands' 47-41 victory at Bryan Station looked more like a video game at times Friday night.
Both offenses went wild, but it fell to the Bluebirds to make the winning play in the waning minutes.
Alex Veneman hauled in a 43-yard touchdown pass from Beau Hoge with 1:45 left to close the door on Station.
"We were confident we could score, and our defense made stops when they had to," said Hoge, son of ESPN analyst and former NFL player Merril Hoge.
"We switched the route up a little bit and I saw the (defender) slip a little. I figured I'd just give Alex a shot. The ball slipped on me pretty bad, but it got there, so we we're excited."
Bryan Station got to midfield for a last gasp, but an interception with 11.9 seconds left ended the threat.
Highlands (2-0) rang up 570 yards of offense.
Hoge completed 13 of 25 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran nine times for 108 yards and three scores. Griffin Urlage added 111 rushing yards on 24 carries.
Bryan Station (1-2) piled up 493 yards of offense.
Andre Davis hit on 24 of 48 passes for 324 yards and four scores, and ran 16 times for 68 yards and a TD. D'Andre Mack led Bryan Station runners with 90 yards and a score on 13 attempts.
Bryan Station ran off 21 points in a row en route to a 28-26 halftime lead.
Highlands struck first, getting a 20-yard scramble for a TD by Hoge. The Bluebirds failed to run in a two-point conversion, though.
The Defenders went up 7-6 on a 25-yard pass from Davis to Mack, plus the PAT kick by Anthony Lopez.
The first quarter ended with Highlands up 13-7, though. The Bluebirds' score came on a 1-yard run by Josh Watson.
Bryan Station rattled off 21 in a row to start the second quarter, getting TDs on a 3-yard pass from Davis to C.J. Walker, a 1-yard run by Mack and a 2-yarder by Davis. A fumble recovery at the Highlands' 35 set up Mack's score, and Tequan Claitt blocked a punt that led to Davis' touchdown, making it 28-13.
Highlands countered with a pair of late scores, getting a 4-yard run by Nick Kendall and a 7-yarder by Hoge. That made it a two-point game at intermission.
Station needed less than two minutes into the second half to pad its lead to 35-26, scoring on a 72-yard pass play from Daivs to Claitt.
Highlands had a quick answer, though, scoring on a 20-yard toss from Hoge to Veneman. That made it 35-33 with 8:38 left in the third quarter.
The Bluebirds finally recaptured the lead with 4:00 left in the third quarter. Hoge's 60-yard TD run made it 40-35.
Bryan Station didn't fold.
The Defenders came back to lead 41-40 with 8:39 left, scoring on a 46-yard pass from Davis to Devon Key. A two-point conversion try didn't work.
After a Highlands punt and a Bryan Station field-goal miss, the Bluebirds started their game-winning drive on their 20 with 5:28 left.
Along the way, they needed Hoge to convert on a fourth-and-one run.
Veneman finished as Highlands' leading receiver with four grabs for 86 yards.
Bryan Station's Marcus Floyd caught seven balls for 73 yards, and Claitt had five for 81.
Highlands 47, Bryan station 41
Highlands 13 13 14 7—47
Bryan Station 7 21 7 6—41
H—Beau Hoge 20 run (run failed); BS—D'Andre Mack 25 pass from Andre Davis (Anthony Lopez kick); H—Josh Watson 1 run (Jared Dougherty kick); BS—C.J. Walker 3 pass from Davis (Lopez kick); BS—Mack 1 run (Lopez kick); BS—Davis 2 run (Lopez kick); H—Nick Kendall 4 run (Daugherty kick); H—Hoge 7 run (run failed); BS—Tequan Claitt 72 pass from Davis (Lopez kick); H—Alex Veneman 20 pass from Hoge (Daugherty kick); H—Hoge 60 run (Daugherty kick); BS—Devon Key 46 pass from Davis (pass failed); H—Veneman 43 pass from Hoge (Daugherty kick).