In a wild, wet and cold shootout Friday at Dallas’ Kincaide Stadium, McKinney North fell to Mansfield Legacy, 70-49, in a Class 4A Division I Region II Area playoff battle.
With conditions more suitable for penguins and polar bears – 35 degrees, with a strong north wind and steady, misty rain – the two teams slugged it out for the chance to meet Highland Park next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
The Bulldogs (7-5) rallied from a 28-0 first-quarter deficit to tie the game at 42-42 in the third quarter, and trailed by a touchdown in the fourth, before the Broncos (10-2) pulled away.
“This team’s got a lot of guts,” said North head coach Mike Fecci. “It’s one of those things that didn’t work out for us. But we sure as heck fought. And they can be proud of that.”
“One thing about this group, all year long, they don’t ever panic. They just go play.”
Ronald Jones rushed for 283 yards and five touchdowns behind North’s all-senior offensive line, to lead the comeback. “Down, 28-nothing,” Jones said, “I felt like I had to help the team come back. We did our best.”
Bulldog quarterback Ben Dutze threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns, and made clutch throws throughout North’s rally.
But on the other side, Legacy’s ground machine, led by Kenton Mayberry’s 310 yards and six touchdowns, was virtually unstoppable. Mayberry, a back-up playing for injured starter Kijana Amous, was complemented early on by quarterback Terrance Ivery. Ivery left the game in the first quarter with a leg injury after rushing five times for 55 yards. Ivery’s backup, Sheldon Hogan, came on and rushed for 125 yards on 10 carries.
“You talk about some talented kids, now,” Fecci said of the Broncos. “What a great job [head coach Chris Melson] has done in the short time he’s been there. He’s got those kids believing and playing. And they’re a class act.”
North’s rally began in the second quarter, after K.J. Hart recovered a mishandled Legacy punt at the Broncos’ 33-yard-line. Five plays later Dutze found Trey Smith open in the end zone for an 11-yard touchdown. The extra-point attempt was blocked and scooped up by a Legacy defender, but Dutze gave chase 85 yards and caught the runner at the North’s 3-yard-line, saving the Bulldogs 2 points.
The Bulldogs scored touchdowns on their next three possessions, including a 31-yard pass from Dutze to JoMarr Davis 11 seconds before halftime, to trail 35-28.
The two teams traded TDs in the third quarter, leaving Legacy up, 49-42, as the fourth stanza began. But Legacy would control things the rest of the way.
Bryce Balous’ kickoff returns gave North excellent field position throughout the game, returning three kicks to near mid-field. Tre Sanders led all receivers with three catches for 115 yards, including a 66-yard bomb from Dutze in the third quarter.
In a missed opportunity, defensive end Darius Arnold recovered a Legacy fumble at the Broncos’ 30-yard-line late in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs were unable to move the ball.
Said Dutze “Our team, all year long, we just believed in ourselves, no matter how [far behind] we got. We just knew we were going to come back and give them a fight. And that’s exactly what we did. … We played hard. There’s nothing to hang our heads about.”
Though disappointed this night, the Bulldogs can still remember this year for earning a portion of a district title for the first time in school history.
“Nobody expected us to make the playoffs,” Fecci said, “much less get to where we are right now. But they did. And that’s a testament to their chemistry and their fortitude and their belief.”
Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 9 run (Daniel Alford kick), 9:51
Legacy – Terrance Ivery 27 run (kick failed), 5:35
Legacy – Gentry Ivery 12 run (Sheldon Hogan run), 1:04
Legacy – Everett Williams 45 fumble return, (Daniel Alford kick), 0:07
North – Trey Smith 11 pass from Ben Dutze (kick blocked), 9:51
North - Ronald Jones 71 run (JoMarr Davis pass from Ronald Jones), 5:56
North – Ronald Jones 30 run (Raul dela Rosa kick), 1:41
Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 5 run (Jeremy Hoelzer kick), 0:33
North – JoMarr Davis 31 pass from Ben Dutze (Raul dela Rosa kick), 0:11
North – Ronald Jones 6 run (Raul dela Rosa kick), 9:52
Legacy - Kenton Mayberry 24 run (Daniel Moore kick), 7:59
North - Ronald Jones 1 run (Raul dela Rosa kick), 5:04
Legacy – Sheldon Hogan 7 run , (Daniel Moore kick), 3:47
Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 40 run (Daniel Moore kick), 11:21
North – Ronald Jones 69 run (Raul dela Rosa kick), 9:55
Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 2 run (Daniel Moore kick), 3:58
Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 16 run (Daniel Moore kick), 2:23
Rushing: North – Ronald Jones 23-283, Ben Dutze 14-15, Trey Smith 1-5. Legacy – Kenton Mayberry 34-310, Terrance Ivery 5-55, Gentry Ivery 5-57, Sheldon Hogan 10-125, Robert Clayton 3-7, Mike Sanders 1-3.
Passing: North – Ben Dutze 11-23-0-234. Legacy – Sheldon Hogan 2-4-0-49.
Receiving: North – Tre Sanders 3-115, Trey Smith 5-36, JoMarr Davis 3-83. Legacy – Corey Murray 2-49.