Highland Bowl III

Article by Tom Green…

Game Officials

Head Referee and Back Judge – Edan Gardner

Line Judge – Daniel Woodley

Field Judge – David Smith

Overall Game Statistics

Charleston Academy Knights   Black Isle Stags
6 Score 26
1 Passing TD 3
54 Passing Yards 29
0 Rushing TD 1
52 Rushing Yards 181
0 1PT Conversions 0
0 2PT Conversions 1
41.53% (27/65) Possession 58.47% (38/65)
0 Takeaways (Interceptions) 1


Scoring Summary

1st Half

CHA 6-0 BLA – Calvin Campbell to Sam MacKeddie (41yard Passing TD)

CHA 6-6 BLA – Mickey Stewart (4 Yard Rushing TD)

CHA 6-8 BLA – Kyle Holleyoake (12 Yard Rush 2pt Conversion)

CHA 6-14 BLA – James Maclean to Dean Brannen (4 Yard Passing TD)

2nd Half

CHA 6-20 BLA – James Maclean to Mickey Stewart (20 Yard Passing TD)

CHA 6-26 BLA – James Maclean to Lewis Taylor (4 Yard Passing TD)



Last Saturday the Black Isle Stags defeated the Charleston Academy Knights 26-6 to win the third HACL Highland Bowl. During the regular season the Knights got the better of the Stags on both occasions but on the day the Black Isle Stags took control.

Charleston won the toss and elected to receive the ball and started off the game strongly with a decisive 2 play drive which resulted in Calvin Campbell throwing a 41 yard pass to receiver Sam MacKeddie who took the ball into the endzone for a touchdown. The conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was stopped by the Black Isle defense to keep the score at 6-0.

The Stags then came out on the following drive with two strong rushes from running back Kyle Holleyoake (the first was a 1 yard rush and the second was a 9 yard rush) but unfortunately the Stags were unable to get enough yards for the first down which resulted in a turnover on downs. This was due to the tight coverage by the Knights defense which effectively shut down the Stags passing game.

The Knights then had the opportunity to double their lead on the second drive of the game in a series that was riddled with penalties. This resulted in the Knights getting a quick first down. However the Black Isle Stags improved their coverage making it difficult for Campbell to find an open receiver which resulted in the Knights turning over the ball on downs after an 8 play drive.

The Black Isle Stags responded to this big stop on defense with a more substantial drive where Kyle Holleyoake took the offense on his back rushing for 38 yards over 5 plays. This then set up Mickey Stewart to rush in for a 6 yard rushing touchdown. The Stags then took the lead on the next play when Holleyoake successfully rushed into the endzone on the two point conversion attempt.

The Stags now had the momentum in the game and were putting serious pressure on the Charleston offense. This resulted initially in a fumble (which was recovered by Fergus McIntyre) but to make matters worse, the following play was intercepted by Dean Brannen who took the ball into the endzone. Dean Brannen’s touchdown was pulled back because of a penalty after the interception.

The Black Isle now had the ball in promising field position and 3 plays later James Maclean threw a 4 yard passing touchdown to Brannen. The conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was unsuccessful but it meant that the Stags would go into the second half with an 8 point lead.

After the half time intermission the Stags started to take control of the game and they mounted a 10 play drive (due to various penalties which occurred during it) consisting of solid rushing by Kyle Holleyoake and a series of solid passing by Maclean. This resulted in Maclean throwing a 20 yard pass down field to Mickey Stewart for a touchdown. This effectively put the game out of reach for the Knights. The 2pt conversion attempt which followed the touchdown was unsuccessful but it really didn’t matter in the end.

Charleston were then held to a quick 3 and out which gave possession back to the Stags. The drive was short and sweet with Holleyoake taking the ball into the no run zone on the opening play of the drive by rushing 38 yards down field only to be stopped by the Charleston secondary. 3 plays later the Stags then increased their lead once more as Maclean found receiver Lewis Taylor on the end of a 4 yard touchdown pass. This would turn out to be the last scoring play of the game because the conversion attempt to follow was incomplete.

The game then ended with 3 quick 3 and outs by both Charleston and the Black Isle to end the third instalment of the HACL Highland Bowl.



Kyle Holleyoake (Black Isle Stags)

174 Rushing Yards (Averaging 8.2 Yards per Carry)

The Highland Bowl’s MVP was awarded to running back and Wildcats veteran Kyle Holleyoake for his exceptional performance in the back field for the Stags. Despite not scoring a touchdown the young running back was instrumental in the victory by setting up several scoring drives whilst on his way to a huge 174 yard game. Coincidentally this was also his first ever recorded 100 yard game (his best recorded performance before that was a 99 yard game for the Wildcats last year).

Individual Player Stats

Passing Statistics

Attempts Completions Yards TD INT Passer Rating
James Maclean (Black Isle) 11 3 29 3 0 79.16666667
Calvin Campbell (Charleston) 14 2 54 1 1 33.63095238


Rushing Statistics

Attempts Yards TD/XP
Kyle Holleyoake (Black Isle) 21 174 0/1
Craig Robertson (Charleston) 4 28 0/0
Anthony Arenas (Charleston) 4 19 0/0
Mickey Stewart (Black Isle 2 9 1/0
Sam MacKeddie (Charleston) 1 5 0/0
Cameron Oag (Black Isle) 1 -2 0/0


Receiving Statistics

Attempts Yards TD/XP
Sam MacKeddie (Charleston) 1 41 1/0
Mickey Stewart (Black Isle) 1 20 1/0
Fergus McIntyre (Charleston) 1 10 0/0
Dean Brannen (Black Isle) 1 4 1/0
Lewis Taylor (Black Isle 1 4 1/0


Defensive Statistics

Solo Tackles Assisted Tackles Interceptions TD Batt Downs
Lewis Hilditch (CHA) 6 5 0 0 1
Lewis Taylor (BLA) 2 2 0 0 1
Mickey Stewart (BLA) 2 2 0 0 1
Fergus McIntyre (CHA) 2 0 0 0 0
90 (CHA) 2 0 0 0 0
38 (CHA) 1 5 0 0 0
Scott Robertson (BLA) 1 4 0 0 0
44 (CHA) 1 4 0 0 0
Dean Brannen (BLA) 1 1 1 0 0
Craig Roberston (CHA) 1 1 0 0 0
99 (CHA) 1 0 0 0 0


Highland Bowl II

Article by Tom Green…

Match Officials

Edan Gardner (Referee)

Tom Green (Line Judge)

David Smith (Field Judge)

Daniel Woodley (Chain Crew)

Box Score:

Team 1st Half 2nd Half Full Score
Inverness High School Predators 15 18 33
Charleston Academy Knights 6 0 6

16628976180_099452e2f3_kScoring Summary:

1st Half

IHS Touchdown – Stephen McMeechan

CHA Touchdown – Craig Robertson

IHS Touchdown – Fergus McRae

IHS Extra Point – Colin Hamilton

IHS Safety – Stephen McMeechan

2nd Half

IHS Touchdown – Stephen McMeechan

IHS Touchdown – Stephen McMeechan

IHS Touchdown – Stephen McMeechan

Game Report:

After 4 weeks of competitive Youth American football the HACL came down to Highland Bowl II. The Charleston Academy Knights and Inverness High School Predators have only played each once in the regular season and it resulted in the Predators winning 39-26 in one of the most exciting games of the season.


The IHS won the toss and received the ball on the opening drive of the game. The opening drive resulted in Stephen McMeechan scoring the first touchdown of the day. Unfortunately the IHS couldn’t score on the extra point attempt and left the score at 6-0 to the IHS.

Charleston responded almost immediately when Craig Robertson scored the Knights opening touchdown of the game. They didn’t score on the extra point attempt but it set the tempo and intensity for the entire game.

The next couple of drives resulted in no scores due to some fantastic defensive performances all around the field by players such as Mark Pyper and Euan Crawford.

IHS managed to get back the lead just before half time when Fergus Macrae scored a receiving touchdown. The Colin Hamilton scored the first and only extra point of the game. After this touchdown McMeechan tackled Euan Crawford in the Charleston’s endzone and scored a safety.

The score at the half was 15-6 to IHS.

After the half time break IHS stepped up their game and left their Charleston counterparts behind as Stephen McMeechan scored 3 more touchdowns before the final whistle. Even though IHS couldn’t score an extra point on any of these attempts they now had a 27 point lead which Charleston couldn’t overcome.

Despite what the scoreline in the second half would suggest this didn’t mean that Charleston simply backed down and this was evident when Euan Crawford and Craig Robertson gained yards and a lot of field position. They also were strong defensively and it took three very good plays from McMeechan to beat the solid Charleston defensive unit.


IHS Predators Player of the season: Colin Hamilton

Colin Hamilton has been a crucial component of the IHS offensive unit from the start of this years HACL. He is often overshadowed by more dynamic players such as the running backs Mark Pyper and Stephen McMeechan. “Colin, because of the position he plays, doesn’t get a lot of the limelight but was such a pivotal part of the Predators’ success this year,” said Robbie Paulin, League Coordinator for HACL.

Charleston Academy Knights Player of the season: Euan Crawford

Euan Crawford has taken his role as Charleston captain seriously and been more than just the quarterback. His leadership skills have been impressive and there have been plenty of occasions throughout the season where he has helped out struggling players throughout HACL 2015. Paulin added, “Euan lead the Knights throughout the season and without a doubt deserved the MVP not just for the Highland Bowl but for the entire season.”

Robbie Paulin made the following comment about the event, “The whole day was played in great spirit. It was fantastic to see so much support from the schools themselves with both head teachers coming along to support.” He then used the opportunity to thank the volunteers, “I want to take this chance to thank all of the volunteers that made the league possible this year.”

Predators’ Road to the Bowl

Article by Tom Green…


The Inverness High School Predators qualified for the Highland Bowl for the first time with a 7-1 record. Their only defeat of the campaign came at the hands of the Millburn Academy Eagles (last years HACL Champions) in week 3 because of player shortages from injuries and the Great Britain trials in Bristol (two predators took part in the trials).
The biggest reason the Predators finished the regular season at the top of the table is down to the defense. IHS had the best defensive unit in the league and conceded almost half as much points as the second best defense in the league statistically (the Millburn Academy Eagles).



Points Scored – 138 (4th)
Points conceded – 40 (1st)
PF per game – 23 (3rd)
PA per game – 6.666 (1st)
PD per game – 16.334 (1st)
Biggest Win – IHS 26-6 Culloden/IHS 20-0 Black Isle
How they got there
Week 1
IHS Predators 18-0 Black Isle Stags
IHS Predators 18-7 Millburn Academy Eagles
Inverness High School started off the season with a comprehensive victory over the hugely improved Black Isle Stags. They also had a tight game against last year’s HACL Champions the Eagles in the final game of week 1.
Week 2
IHS Predators 16-0 IRA Sharks
IHS Predators 39-26 Charleston Academy Knights
After a perfect start in week 1 the predators had a tightly fought game against a new and vastly improved IRA Sharks team who were after their first win in HACL history. After this close encounter the Predators faced off against the Charleston Academy Knights led by Wildcats starting quarterback, Euan Crawford, took on the Predators  in a high scoring game game full of excitement which, fortunately for the predators, finished with Inverness High School winning a fourth game.
Week 3
IHS Predators 1-0 IRA Sharks
IHS Predators 0-1 Millburn Academy Eagles
The Inverness High School Predators unfortunately didn’t have the opportunity to play in a competitive game during week 3 of the HACL as the IRA forfeited their first game of the week and IHS had to pull out of the Millburn game due to player numbers on that day.
Week 4
IHS Predators 26-6 Culloden Academy Raptors
IHS Predators 20-0 Black Isle Stags
The Predators started week 4 knowing that they had qualified for the Highland Bowl due to Black Isle, Charleston and Millburn slipping up early in the season. However the intensity of the IHS did not relent and they won their last two games against Culloden and Black Isle convincingly.


Knights’ Road to the Bowl

Article by Tom Green…


The Charleston Academy Knights clinched their spot in Highland Bowl II after the closest finish in the league’s two seasons with a 6-2 record. Their only two defeats of the campaign happened against an in form Black Isle Stags in week 1 and to the overall league leaders the IHS Predators.
One of the biggest reasons for this year’s success is due to a dramatic increase in player numbers. Unlike last year the Knights have had enough players not to worry about fatigue anywhere near as much as the previous season.
Another large reason for success is the offense who have scored 40 more points than the second best offensive unit (the Millburn Academy Eagles). They also have been involved in the three tightest games this season and won them all. The closest of them being the most important game of the season winning 15-12 against their playoff rivals the Millburn Academy Eagles.

Points Scored – 215 (1st)
Points Conceded – 137 (4th)
PF per game – 26.875 (1st)
PA per game – 17.125 (4th)
PD per game – 9.75 (3rd)
Biggest Win – Charleston 46-6 IRA

How they got there
Week 1
Charleston Academy Knights 46-6 IRA Sharks
Charleston Academy Knights 6-26 Black Isle Stags
The Knights had a mixed start to the HACL season by first walking over the IRA Sharks in a 46-6 blowout. However in their second game they faced up against the highly competitive Black Isle Stags.
Week 2
Charleston Academy Knights 26-39 IHS Predators
Charleston Academy Knights 37-0 IRA Sharks
Week 2 wasn’t much better for the Knights as they started the week off with a victory against the IRA Sharks. Then they faced the hardest game of their tournament against the HACL favourites IHS Predators and were defeated by only 13 points.
Week 3
Charleston Academy Knights 32-16 Culloden Academy Raptors
Charleston Academy Knights 18-12 Black Isle Stags
The Knights form started to improve drastically in week 3 where they had a strong victory against the Culloden Academy Raptors before winning a tight game against the Stags by a touchdown.
Week 4
Charleston Academy Knights 15-12 Millburn Academy Eagles
Charleston Academy Knights 35-26 Culloden Academy Raptors
Charleston went into week 4 knowing that they had to defeat the Millburn Academy Eagles to have a chance to qualify for the Highland Bowl and in the tightest game of the season the Knights won by only 3 points effectively sealing their place in the Highland Bowl. They then had a tight game against a resurgent Culloden Academy Raptors team and won by 9 points.


Highland Bowl Handover

Millburn Academy

Earlier today players from the Eagles handed over the Highland Bowl trophy to the Rector of Millburn Academy, Gavin Maclean.

The Highland Bowl will remain in Millburn Academy until Season 2015 when the 5 orginal teams will be joined by the Black Isle Stags in competing to be crowned Highland Schools Champion.

Speaking about the achievements of this pupils, Gavin Maclean commented, “We are tremendously proud of this achievement by the Millburn Academy Eagles. Whilst the team did not perhaps have the best overall record on the route to the final, they proved that by working hard together as a team, and by showing unstinting enthusiasm, determination and commitment, significant barriers can be overcome. Congratulations to the team and to Ally, who was awards the MVP at the final.

Well done to all the players and coaches from the other schools and of course to the Wildcats – an impressive set up and a great opportunity for all.”

Eagles Crowned Champions

Highland Bowl I – Sponsored by The Carpet Emporium and PJC Entertainment

Culloden Academy Raptors 20-26 Millburn Academy Eagles

Bught Park

Saturday 15th March 2014


Officials: Edan Gardner (Referee), Daniel Woodley (Back Judge), David Smith (Field Judge), Tom Green (Line Judge)


Millburn Academy Eagles Scorers:

Alasdair Howie

Ally Gibson (x2)

Fergus MacKenzie

Culloden Academy Raptors Scorers:

Seumus Ross

James Stewart

Cameron Robertson

13175666593_291c713c05_kLast Saturday the Millburn Academy Eagles took to the field against the undefeated Culloden Academy Raptors in the inaugural Highland Bowl hosted at Bught Park. From a neutral’s perspective it was the close final that the HACL deserved. The Millburn Academy Eagles managed to overcome the Raptors and won the match 26-20 to make them the first ever Highland Bowl champions.

 The Eagles opened the scoring early on in the half when Alasdair Howie received a well-timed pass from the Eagles quarterback Haris Ryalls to open the scoring. Millburn then elected to go for the two point conversion and Fergus Mackenzie managed to successfully convert it to put the score at 8-0 to the Eagles.

 It was clear after this that Millburn had the momentum in the game and followed up this score with a second touchdown which was scored by Ally Gibson as the result of a well-timed pass from Ryalls. Although it wasn’t converted, it left the score at 14-0.

 It didn’t take long for the Raptors to get back into the mix as Seumas Ross scored a touchdown to keep the Raptors dreams of a perfect season alive.

 The Eagles scored a further two touchdowns in the game from a superb rushing play from Fergus MacKenzie and then – on the following drive – a pass  to Gibson gave him his second touchdown of the game. This gave quarterback Haris Ryalls three passing touchdowns for the game which in the end made the difference.

13175867155_6ce0cffc53_kCulloden kept the Eagles on their toes during the second half as well and managed to score two more touchdowns for the cause. One of them was scored by James Stewart and the second one was scored by Cameron Robertson.

 In the end though this wasn’t enough to take the Highland Bowl title but the Raptors had a sensational regular season campaign.

 James Hudson, Head Coach of the Millburn Academy Eagles described his team’s mentality going into the Highland Bowl and said that, “We went into the game knowing we were going to win.”

League Coordinator, Robbie Paulin said, “I’m really pleased with how the day went!  There was lots of support from the players’ families and the volunteers did a fantastic job – as in all the other weeks too.  The Eagles played brilliantly on the day and were clearly prepared to take on the Raptors.  I think we have to recognise Culloden’s achievement in the regular season though; going unbeaten and just losing out in the final.

 “The league was such a high standard and now I can’t wait to see how this translates over to the Youth Highland Wildcats in the National League.”

Article by Tom Green

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