McKINNEY (Oct. 1, 2015) — With apologies to Mark Twain: Reports of McKinney North’s demise were greatly exaggerated.

The Bulldogs bounced back from last week’s loss in a big way Thursday night, trouncing Prosper’s Eagles, 46-18, at Ron Poe Stadium. North (4-1, 1-1) jumped out to a 24-0 lead, scoring on its first four possessions, and was never threatened. While the Bulldogs’ offense was racking up 504 yards, the defense mostly stuffed the Eagles’ running game, bull-rushed the quarterback and nabbed three interceptions.

North head coach Mike Fecci said he was most pleased to see the “fight” his team showed, especially with a short week to prepare. “To get beat like we got beat last week and to come right back out in a short time-frame and play the level of football we played tonight says a lot about our kids. It says a lot about our staff. I’ve got the best coaching staff in the United States of America. And the reason I say that is because they went to work this weekend – not that we don’t every other weekend. Coach [Kyle] Hardin and Coach [Joe] Welock put together two phenomenal plans, got our kids to believe in them, then went out and executed them. I’m very, very proud of our program. This is a big win for us.”

North’s Micah Baulicex and K.J. Hart shared time at running back with monster results. Baulicex rolled to 120 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries, and Hart tallied a game-high 130 yards on 19 carries, with three touchdowns. (Bulldog Express, anyone?)

“That’s nothing but team work and having a passion for the game,” Hart said. “Micah did his work and I did too. It was a team effort.”

“It was good stuff,” Fecci added. “It was what we envisioned kind of going into the year. With injuries and different things that we’ve battled through at that position, to have those two guys come out and perform at the level they performed at was phenomenal. But all the credit in the world is going to go right to those guys up front [Perry Radway, Andrew Grisham, Jared Morris, Zach Thomas and Gage Thomason].”

Brennan Harris led the Bulldog receivers with a game-high 10 catches for 87 yards. Quarterback Christian Files completed 19 of 28 passes for 196 yards, with no picks.

North defensive end Justin Madubuike, a Texas A&M pledge, made his presence known early, nabbing two sacks in the game’s early minutes, surely causing Aggie head coach Kevin Sumlin to smile. (Yes, he was there.)

 

 

Robert Mahome led Eagles rushers with eight carries for 59 yards, with 51 coming on one third-quarter run - the only time Mahome got loose.

North opened the night’s scoring – after a short Prosper punt – with a five-play, 33-yard drive, capped by Baulicex’ 10-yard touchdown run. After another Eagles punt, the Bulldogs drove down for a Sam Ashun 28-yard field goal. On its next possession, Prosper’s 4th-and-1 try from its own 35-yard-line was stopped and three plays later, Baulicex scored again from 6 yards out, moving the lead to 17-0.

McKinney North's K.J. Hart (22) finds room to run Thursday versus Prosper.

North's K.J. Hart (22) finds room to run Thursday versus Prosper.

Linebacker Nathan Gifford set up North’s next touchdown with an interception return to Prosper’s 35-yard-line. Quarterback Christian Files then found Brett Hartland open on a corner route for 19-yard touchdown.

Prosper (3-2, 1-1) got on the board midway through the second quarter with a 22-yard field goal by Liam Gamboa. After a three-and-out by North, the Eagles were driving for more when safety McShane Wyatt stepped in front of Ryan Davis’ pass at the Bulldogs’ goal line, ending the threat.

North opened the second half with a 12-play, 75-yard scoring drive. Hart topped it off from 10 yards out, pushing the lead to 30-3. Prosper’s first TD came next, after a muffed North punt gave the Eagles the ball at the Bulldogs’ 15. Six plays later, Davis threw 3 yards to Cedric Haskins for the score.

Trailing 37-18 in the fourth quarter, Prosper’s Easton Murrell, in relief of Ryan, was flagged for intentional grounding from his own end zone, resulting in a safety. Hart scored his third TD from 2 yards out on North’s ensuing drive and Jamarrius Hill’s interception on a deep fade route ended the Eagles’ final possession.

Hart summed up the Bulldogs’ bounce-back this way: “It shows how hard work pays off in the end – just keeping your head, staying even-keeled.” Twain himself couldn’t have said it better.

 

About the author: Rick Atkinson is a McKinney-based freelance writer and cartoonist. He has covered McKinney high school football for McKinneyOnline.com for the last three seasons. You can reach him via email at rikat2@att.net.

 

Go to the next page for the scoring summary

 

 

Scoring summary

Prosper 0 3 7 8 —   18
McKinney North 17 7 13 9 —   46

FIRST QUARTER

North – Micah Bualicex 10 run (Sam Ashun kick), 9:14

North – Sam Ashun 28 FG, 4:39

North – Micah Bualicex 1 run (Sam Ashun kick), 1:41

SECOND QUARTER

North – Brett Hartland 19 pass from Christian Files (Sam Ashun kick), 10:51

Prosper – Liam Gamboa 22 FG, 6:39

THIRD QUARTER

North – K.J. Hart 10 run (kick failed), 8:13

Prosper – Cedric Haskins 3 pass from Ryan Davis (Liam Gamboa kick), 4:14

North – K.J. Hart 6 run (Sam Ashun kick), 0:10

FOURTH QUARTER

Prosper – Easton Murrell 1 run (Cedric Haskins pass from Easton Murrell), 11:38

North – Safety, intentional grounding from end zone, 9:01

North – K.J. Hart 2 run (Sam Ashun kick), 6:33

Team statistics Prosper North
First downs 10 26
Rushes-yards 25-108 56-308
Passing yards 96 196
Completions-Attempts-Interceptions 10-18-3 19-28-0
Punts-average 2-13.5 3-27.0
Penalties-yards 1-1 2-2
Fumbles-lost 5-55 13-90

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing — Prosper: Robert Mahone 8-59, Ryan Davis 15-46, Noel Sitole 1-2, Easton Murrell 1-1. North: K.J. Hart 19-130, Micah Bualicex 25-120, Christian Files 8-43, Darryl Mason 2-6, Miguel Hudson 1-5, Matthew Pursley 1-4.

Passing — Prosper: Ryan Davis 10-17-2-96, Easton Murrell 0-1-1-0. North: Christian Files 19-28-0-196.

Receiving — Prosper: Cedric Haskins 4-55, Robert Mahone 3-2, Noel Sithole 1-16, Justin Benvie 1-14, Brock Goddard 1-9. North: Brennan Harris 10-87, Miguel Hudson 5-42, Brett Hartland 4-67.