Highlands is sitting at 9-0 with one regular season game remaining against Ryle. Ryle is a strong opponent for Highlands, but win or lose, Highlands is going to be favored to win state in 5-A. One of the biggest reasons for that projection is quarterback Patrick Towles.
"Our team has done well," said Towles. "We're 9-0, but we know we can still be a lot better. We have had some nagging injuries, but guys are stepping up," he said.
Towles is one of the guys stepping up. On the season, Towles has thrown for 1599 yards and 13 touchdowns thus far. He's also rushed for 405 yards and eight touchdowns.
"I think I've played pretty good, but I am capable of playing a lot better. Hopefully we still have six games left, so for us there is a lot of season left," said.
Towles says six games because he's planning on reaching the state title game again this season and he believes his team is ready for that.
"Our expectations are to win a state championship. Anything else is really unacceptable," he said.
Highlands is battle tested and has done a good job against very good teams all season. One of those games was against Withrow High (Oh.). Highland won 34-27, but Towles said that was a tough contest.
"The Withrow game was tough. They have some tremendous athletes. I had about 180 yards rushing in that game," said Towles. Towles also faced his final opponent, Ryle, in the second game of the year too. "Our first game with Ryle was tough (29-14 win). We play them again this Thursday on Fox Sports South," he continued.
While Towles is having a very good year both team-wise and individually, Towles still holds no offers. On the other hand, it seems to be just a matter of time as several schools are in consistent contact.
"I hear regularly from about 18 or 19 schools. Alabama sends me a lot of mail along with Louisville," said Towles. "I've gotten some nice notes from coach Groh from Louisville. Cincinnati, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Rutgers, Penn State, Duke, Auburn, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Northwestern send me stuff on a weekly basis," he said. I've also heard from Stanford and UCLA."
Towles has visited Kentucky and Notre Dame this season and will be attending a game at Louisville and some SEC schools later this season.