McKinney Boyd is one-and-done in the playoffs for a second year in a row after Friday’s 45-10 loss to Jesuit in a 5A Division II bi-district tilt at Plano’s John Clark Stadium. The game started promising for Boyd, but quickly went south after star running back Bryan Driskell went down with a leg injury late in the second quarter with the Broncos trailing, 14-10.

Jesuit (9-2) moves on to face Longview, which beat Rowlett 45-10 in the first round.

Driskell electrified Boyd’s faithful early on with a 94-yard touchdown run – the longest run from scrimmage in school history – on the Broncos’ second possession. Taking a pitch from quarterback Curtis Ladd, Driskell blew through a large hole on the right side, headed for the sideline and outran two defenders for the score.

“After that play, I felt like we were hot,” Driskell said. “I felt like we had momentum and everything was coming together. Then we started killing ourselves with penalties. When that starts happening, it’s like a domino effect and it wouldn’t stop.”

Jesuit stole the momentum in the second quarter, putting together a 9-play, 84-yard touchdown drive to tie the game. The score came on a tipped fourth-down pass from Jack Brezette to Jordan Mastrogiovanni from Boyd’s three-yard-line.

On the ensuing kickoff, Jesuit’s kicker pooched a high, short kick that Ranger Kellen McAlone grabbed on a bounce at Boyd’s 44-yard-line. Five plays later, aided by a 15-yard penalty, Jesuit took the lead for good on another short Brezette-to-Mastrogiovanni TD pass.

Boyd (6-5) cut Jesuit’s lead to 14-10 with a 24-yard field goal by Patrick Ladd – but a play before that, a touchdown run by Driskell was nullified by penalty.

The real dagger for the Broncos came eight seconds before halftime as Brezette connected deep with a leaping Jake Oliver from 34 yards out to give Jesuit a 21-10 lead. Oliver, Texas’ all-time career receptions leader, finished with seven catches for 83 yards.

“Hats off to Jesuit,” Boyd Head Coach Don Drake said. “They played well on both sides of the football. The catch that Oliver made before halftime was critical. … He’s a great player and he played big tonight when he needed to.”

Though Driskell returned in the third quarter, the injury clearly bothered him and he was used sparingly the rest of the way. Things only got worse for Boyd, as the Broncos turned the ball over on each of its first four possessions of the second half resulting in 24 Jesuit points.

For Driskell, it was a crushing end a brilliant career at Boyd, which included over 5,000 rushing yards and 60 touchdowns. “My career ended too soon,” he said. “I’m obviously very proud and blessed for everything I was able to achieve, but the thing that I wanted to achieve the most didn’t happen. It just hurts.”

“It was a tough game, a lot of emotions,” Curtis Ladd said. “We got the [first] score and it just went downhill from there. They’re a really good team, an excellent team. We just didn’t play at our full potential.”

 

“We had a great season,” he said. “I’m so proud of all the seniors. Everybody, we came together and just played our tails off.”

Driskell said his leg would be fine. “I just came down on it wrong and it ended up bothering me the rest of the night.”

Driskell had only two carries in third quarter but Drake said it wasn’t particularly due to the injury. “It had nothing to do with anything other than us trying to do some different things to get ourselves back in the game.”

Driskell finished with 119 yards on 13 carries, after starting with over 100 yards in the first quarter.

Drake admitted it’s an emotional drain to have a player like Driskell affected by injury. “No doubt,” he said. “He’s obviously a big emotional lift for us. When he’s not on the field, that hurts us.”

“Bryan’s a kid that’s got very high character,” Drake said. “I know he’s a great athlete and all those things … but what I want everybody to know is he’s a great student, he’s a great kid and he’s very well respected by everybody he comes in contact with because of how he carries himself.”

Drake added high praise for all of Boyd’s seniors. “This is the hardest working group of kids, the most coachable group of kids that we’ve ever had,” he said. “Their attitudes have always been outstanding. I love and care for this group of kids and they’ve set a really high standard for the kids that follow them.”

A host of Bronco defenders take down a Jesuit runner in the second half.

A host of Bronco defenders take down a Jesuit runner in the second half.

Photo by Rick Atkinson