A crowd of 24,490 fans turned out in support of the Reds and they got their money's worth after one of the most open games of the season produced nine tries.
Reds captain James Horwill was playing his 100th Super Rugby game for the club and Will Genia was also celebrating a centenary of appearances for Queensland.
The Reds opened the scoring in the 13th minute after Curtis Browning burrowed over from close range for his first Super Rugby try.
The home side then added another five-pointer through winger Rod Davies 10 minutes before half-time after Highlanders flyhalf Lima Sopoaga spilt a Genia kick in his own in-goal.
Barely three minutes later Genia put boot to ball again 10 metres out from the try line and found flying winger Dom Shipperley, who crossed for his second try of the season.
Mike Harris continued his good form with the boot and the Reds were up 21-0 at the break.
The Highlanders finally got on the scoresheet soon after the resumption when Sopoaga charged onto an Aaron Smith short ball from two metres out.
That was cancelled out two minutes later when the home side pushed a five-metre scrum over the try line with number eight Schatz grounding the loose ball.
Winger Richard Buckman then continued the early second-half try-fest, diving over in the corner for the away side after a deflected Sopoaga kick landed back in the hands of the Highlanders.
Fellow winger Patrick Osbourne set up a grandstand finish after intercepting a wayward Ben Lucas pass and racing 80m to score with only five minutes remaining.
The Highlanders could smell blood and in the 80th minute Japanese international halfback Fumiaki Tanaka flew over the top of the ruck to score a try that made it a two-point ball game.
Hayden Parker coolly converted and it seemed as if the teams were destined to share the points.
The Reds then somehow had time to kick off with Schatz popping up again in the 83rd minute to score the winner after the home side threw wave after wave of attack at the visitors' defensive line.
- Sports & Recreation
- Super Rugby
- Lima Sopoaga
- Will Genia