McKinney Boyd High School

The final score doesn’t show it, but Boyd’s 31-6 loss to Coppell last Friday was a tight contest until late in the third quarter. 

“I thought the kids played hard again, competed well,” said Boyd head coach Don Drake on Monday. “We’ve obviously got to figure out a way to do that for four quarters now.”

Running back Bryan Driskell bolted for another long touchdown run -- 50 yards this week -- but the Broncos didn’t muster a whole lot more offensively.

“We go to [trailing] 7-6 right there,” Drake said, “then it seemed that we just collapsed after that. We turned the ball over on three consecutive possessions and all those led to points for them, and they were able to put the game away.”

The 0-2 Broncos are averaging 215 yards of offense per game, a number Drake would no doubt like to see a bit higher. Is the offense just not clicking or is it good defenses?

“Well, I think it’s a combination of both,” Drake said. “We’re playing two pretty good defenses, and I think that our execution has got to improve. … I’m not going to take anything away from Horn or Coppell, defensively. Those guys do a great job and play well.”

“The point is you’ve got to execute really, really well to be able to move the football against people like that.”

Drake pointed to early missed opportunities -- a dropped pass on Boyd’s first possession and “mental busts” on a second-quarter chance from Coppell’s 10-yard-line -- as potential game changers.

Boyd travels to Garland this Friday to face the 0-2 Owls, a team perhaps as surprised as Boyd to be winless at this point. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine tabbed Garland to win District 11-5A, calling them a “dark horse” for a deep playoff run.

That could still happen, but the Owls dropped their opener to Plano East and were walloped last week, 42-0, by Mesquite Horn.

Garland managed barely over 100 yards of offense against Horn, and its speedy receivers Ja’Taveon Green and Desmond Mapps were held to a combined three catches for minimal yardage. The Owls’ defense appeared vulnerable against both the pass and run.

Still, Drake knows Garland, with its team speed and tradition, will be tough. “That’s the only district loss we’ve had in the last two years,” he said, “so we very much have a great respect for Garland and what they do.”

Prediction: Boyd gets rid of its win-column goose-egg, 23-21 -- and the Broncos’ defense, which fought valiantly last week, will be the difference.

McKinney North High School

The Bulldogs drew first blood last Friday with Luis Orazco’s 20-yard field goal, but then Prosper’s Torii Hunter, Jr., bit back -- twice before halftime. Hunter’s two touchdown catches before the break put North in a hole from which they would not recover. 

“He’s every bit as good as advertised,” said North head coach Mike Fecci of Hunter on Tuesday. “And we knew that on film, going in. … We need to see guys like that. We’re going to see the kids from Wylie East [in district play] that are real similar to him.”

Quarterback Ben Dutze’s 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter drew the Bulldogs to within 17-10, but Hunter soon hauled in another scoring strike and Prosper (2-0) pulled away for good.

Fecci noted two plays as turning points: a botched-snap touchdown by Prosper and Hunter’s TD catch on the last play of the first half. “That’s a 14-point swing right there,” he said. “If those two things don’t happen to us right there, you’re looking at a lot different ball game, I think. But they did and we’ll learn from it and move on.”

Frisco Centennial (2-0) is next up for the Bulldogs – and the Titans may be better than Prosper. Currently No. 1 in The Dallas Morning News’ 4A area rankings, Centennial has roughed up Denison and Lake Dallas so far, winning by an average of 32 points.

Centennial put up over 350 yards of offense last week against Lake Dallas, split almost evenly between rushing and passing. Titans running back Chris Johnson rambled for 100 yards and two touchdowns, and quarterback Lamar Jordan, considered one of the best passers in Class 4A, threw for 127 yards and one TD.

Centennial’s defense held Lake Dallas to 80 yards rushing, but allowed nearly 200 through the air. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine reports the Titans’ stellar defensive end, Kevin Smith, has committed to play for Baylor.

“They’ve got a lot of fast kids, a lot of returning kids,” Fecci said, adding that their No. 1 area ranking is “well-deserved.”

“It’s a good challenge for us,” he said, “but what an opportunity, as well.”

Fecci said his team is healthy, save for the “normal, two-games-in, banged-up, bruised-up type stuff.”

“We ought to be full-strength and ready to go on Friday,” he said.

Prediction: Another tough match-up for the Bulldogs. Centennial’s high-powered offense prevails, 38-21. (But North’s tough non-district slate should serve them well in district play.)

McKinney High School

Another win for McKinney, but this one came at a high price. Running back Tommy Candela, who had started the season with a roar, is now out indefinitely with a broken collarbone. Candela rushed for 82 yards last Thursday before the injury sidelined him in the second quarter.

“He’s definitely out for a little while,” said McKinney head coach Jeff Smith on Monday.

“Obviously, whenever somebody goes down with injury, somebody else kind of has to pick it up. We’re pretty blessed to have a lot of guys that can make plays.”

Two of those are receivers Red Shannon and TV Williams, who each found the end zone twice in McKinney’s 45-21 win over Frisco Heritage last Thursday.

Defenders Jontrell Rocquemore and Dalton Harris got into the act as well with interceptions returned for touchdowns. Linebacker Matt Reynolds also recovered a fumble early on.

“That was something that I was really pleased with, the defensive effort overall,” Smith said.

“That [70-yard] touchdown that Rocquemore picked to start it off was big. … It kind of charged us and got us going.”

McKinney quarterback Robert Somborn overcame two first-half interceptions to have a nice game. “Defensively, they were showing us some different things,” Smith said of the picks. “They were a good defense, a very mature defense. They made a couple of good plays on a couple of balls.”

Lions kicker Matt Roberts booted his first career field goal last Thursday, a 39-yarder in the first quarter.

McKinney faces the 1-1 Nimitz Vikings on Friday, in Irving.

Nimitz was whipped last week, 67-17, by Arlington Lamar but, as Smith noted, getting drilled by Lamar does not a bad team make. “First of all, Arlington Lamar is just a storied program,” he said. “They’re very, very good.”

Plus, he said, Nimitz thumped North Garland pretty good the week before. “They’re a good team,” Smith said. “Very athletic, very big up in the interior line.”

The Vikings feature a dual-threat quarterback in sophomore Jimmy Clark, who ran and threw for 130 yards against Lamar, but was intercepted three times.
Nimitz’ defense is led by Greg Carter at linebacker, a four-year starter. The unit gave up 213 yards rushing to North Garland in the Vikings’ lone win.

Prediction: Losing Candela was a huge blow, but the big-play Lions keep rolling through non-district play. Call it, McKinney 34, Nimitz 21.

For those keeping score at home, your intrepid predictor is batting .667 (4-2) for the season.

Game-Day Details

  • Boyd at Garland, Friday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.
  • North vs. Frisco Centennial, Friday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m., Roe Poe Stadium in McKinney
  • McKinney at Irving Nimitz, Friday, Sept. 14, 7:30 p.m.


In McKinney Boyd section: Placekicker Jared Symmank practices from extreme angles this week. 

In McKinney North section, above left: Receiver KJ Bualicex eyes a pass during drills this week.

In McKinney High section, above right: Quarterback Robert Somborn, right, warms up before practice this week.