McKINNEY (Oct. 9, 2015) — The McKinney Lions celebrated Homecoming Friday with a 42-18 romp past Sherman at Ron Poe Stadium. Sophomore Matt Gadek led the Lions with 124 yards rushing – including a 58-yard touchdown sprint in the second quarter – and McKinney defenders collected four second-half interceptions to keep the Bearcats down.
“I saw us make some really big plays tonight -- when they mattered,” Lions coach Jeff Smith said. “A couple of big picks, a couple of big runs. It’s always good to see our offense score on big plays too, not just five yards or six yards, but on a big play that we pop.”
With the win, McKinney evened its record at 3-3 and moved to 1-2 in district play. Said Gadek, “We’ll just keep on grinding and keep on getting better.”
On a negative note, Lions quarterback Damon Witmer was helped from the field in the third quarter with a leg injury and did not return. Earlier, running back Walker Torrain left the game limping and did not return.
“We had some guys have to step up tonight and that was a positive,” Smith said. Tyree Johnson came on for Witmer and finished the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give McKinney a 28-10 lead. Sophomore Josh Whytus replaced Torrain and scored on touchdown runs of 4 and 7 yards in the fourth quarter. “My best friend, Gadek, he opened it up for me,” Whytus said. “It opened up and I just ran through – on both [touchdown] plays.”
Sherman cut the Lions’ lead to 28-18 with 5:44 left to play on a 2-yard run by Nathaniel Omayebu III and 2-point conversion. The Bearcats were driving for more when cornerback Tyson Wilson stepped in front of a David Bedgood pass at McKinney’s 11-yard-line and returned it to the Sherman 32. Three plays later, Whytus scored his first TD. Matt Wagner ended Sherman’s next drive with a pick, setting up Whytus’ next score. Wilson nabbed one more interception late, for his second straight two-interception game.
Jonathan Hobart’s diving interception of a tipped pass ended a third-quarter Sherman possession.
Chadd Perry led Sherman (1-5, 0-3) with 91 yards rushing on 24 carries, and Bedgood threw for 187 yards and rushed for 55. The Bearcats’ top receiver Maliq Owens had nine catches for 91 yards, both game-highs.
Lions quarterback Damon Witmer roams for yardage Friday at Ron Poe Stadium.
McKinney led, 21-10, at halftime.
After opening-possession punts by both teams, McKinney marched 80 yards in 11 plays for a touchdown, with Torrain taking it the final 20 yards with a burst up the middle. The key play on the drive: a 24-yard pass from Witmer to Alec Berger across midfield to Sherman’s 44-yard-line.
The Bearcats responded with a 65-yard, eight-play drive capped by Bedgood’s 30-yard TD strike to Cameron Pleasant. Next came Gadek’s long TD run, a cut-back draw play which he took to the right then outraced Bearcat defenders to the end zone. After a Sherman three-and-out, the Lions came back with a 54-yard drive to pay dirt, crowned by Witmer’s 37-yard scoring pass to sophomore Quinton Quirrenbach. “I was hoping I’d catch the ball first,” Quirrenbach said. “I knew there was no safety over the top so I tried to cut the slant a little deep.”
Joseph Robinson led McKinney receivers with four catches for 38 yards.
“[Sherman] beat us last year,” Smith said, “so our kids really wanted to win this game – you know, coming off two tough losses to Wylie and Denison, two really good football teams. It was good to get a win on Homecoming in front of our home crowd. I’m just real proud of them.”
McKinney meets cross-town rival McKinney North (4-2, 1-2) on Friday, Oct. 16.
Go to the next page for the scoring summary
McKinney – Walker Torrain 20 run (Michael Shipley kick), 4:37
Sherman – Cameron Pleasant 30 pass from David Bedgood (Pedro Salvador kick), 0:46
McKinney – Matt Gadek 58 run (Gavin Baechle kick), 9:38
McKinney – Quinton Quirrenbach 37 pass from Damon Witmer (Michael Shipley kick), 7:41
Sherman – Pedro Salvador 24 kick, 0:41
McKinney – Tyree Johnson 1 run (Gavin Baechle kick), 1:14
Sherman – Nathaniel Omayebu III 2 run (Lake Wilson pass from David Bedgood), 5:44
McKinney – Josh Whytus 4 run (Gavin Baechle kick), 2:13
McKinney – Josh Whytus 7 run (Michael Shipley kick), 0:55
Rushing — Sherman: Chadd Perry 24-91, David Bedgood 6-55, Nathaniel Omayebu III 3-17, Cameron Pleasant 3-7. McKinney: Matt Gadek 18-126, Walker Torrain 9-52, Josh Whytus 5-27, Damon Witmer 6-37, Rickey Fantroy 1-3, Tyree Johnson 2-1, Dominic St. Leon 1-(-3).
Passing — Sherman: David Bedgood 21-36-4-187. McKinney: Damon Witmer 7-9-0-108, Tyree Johnson 0-3-0-0.
Receiving — Sherman: Maliq Owens 9-91, Braylin Kirby 3-19, Tre Crockett 3-4, Kevin Wright 2-17, Chadd Perry 2-9, Cameron Pleasant 1-30, Lake Wilson 1-17. McKinney: Joseph Robinson 4-38, Quinton Quirrenbach 1-37, Alec Berger 1-24, Matt Gadek 1-9.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.