McKinney High School
The McKinney Lions’ 11-game losing streak is over. It ended last Friday with the Lions’ 55-46 win at Mansfield Legacy -- and it wasn’t that close. McKinney led by 21 points with three minutes left to play.
It was the Lions’ first win since thumping Wylie East, 49-27, at home on Oct. 28, 2010.
“Man, it feels great for the kids, mostly,” said McKinney head coach Jeff Smith. “They worked so hard. … I thought that the kids came out ready to play.”
The Lions put up over 600 yards of total offense in a balanced attack. “I thought our offense really executed at a pretty high level for our first game,” Smith said.
Quarterback Robert Somborn threw for 245 yards, with four touchdown tosses spread equally between receivers TV Williams and Connor Fuentes.
“We had great pass protection first of all,” Smith said, “and Robert will tell you that. He had plenty of time to throw the football. … He really threw the ball well and the guys made plays.”
Tommy Candela rolled up 206 yards rushing from his new position at running back. Candela, originally slated for defense, moved to running back last spring.
“He was definitely a bright spot,” Smith said. “We thought he could do it, we believed he could it, but that was his real, first varsity football game where he was the guy. He was great.”
Red Shannon added 143 rushing yards on 13 carries.
On Thursday the Lions host 4A Frisco Heritage, which was battered by Lovejoy, 53-14, last week. The Coyotes did manage to run on Lovejoy though, with quarterback Twayne Blackwell’s 130 yards leading the way.
“I think we’re going to have to stop the run [this week],” Smith said. “They’ve got a good little quarterback and running back.”
“We’re excited,” Smith said, “but we have a lot of work to do. We’re by no means going to be satisfied where we’re at, for sure.”
Prediction: The Lions roll to 2-0 this week, 40-28.
McKinney North High School
North’s 21-17 loss to Carrollton Newman Smith on Thursday was a tough one. Besides seeing a 17-0 halftime lead evaporate, the Bulldogs fumbled late when driving for the go-ahead score.
North head coach Mike Fecci said the experience was difficult but the Bulldogs have responded well.
“You go out and play as well as we did in the first half,” he said, “then come out and not play well at all in the second half, that’s hard. But it’s all about perspective for us.
"We talk about perspective all the time. If we’d have won that game, 60-0, or lost it, 60-0, we have to keep perspective about what those games are about -- and that’s learning lessons that we’re going to need in district play.”
Quarterback Ben Dutze passed for 199 yards and two touchdowns, one to Gabe Constintine and one to Tre Sanders. Sanders’ score, with Dutze’s 2-point conversion run, came five seconds before halftime.
Running back Trey Smith rushed for 98 yards on 23 carries and wide receiver Evan Jones had six catches.
North’s road doesn’t get any easier on Friday of this week with Prosper slated for the Bulldogs’ home opener. Though the Eagles just moved up to 4A, they appear more than ready to knock heads with their new peers.
Prosper downed 5A Keller last week, 39-21, scoring 32 of its points in the first quarter. The Eagles’ defense held Keller to 50 yards rushing. On offense, Prosper features brothers Torii Jr., and Money Hunter, at receiver. Los Angeles Angels outfielder Torii Hunter is their father.
Senior Davis Webb shares time at quarterback with Chase Dawkins, with Webb as the running threat last week. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine reports that Webb has committed to Texas Tech.
Prosper’s 310-pound Trevor Melugin is hard to miss on the offensive line.
“They’re good,” Fecci said. “Very, very athletic, very big.
“They pose a lot of problems for us. I think our kids are excited about it, because they know a lot of those kids.”
Prediction: Prosper wears down a good Bulldog effort, 31-19.
McKinney Boyd High School
Boyd’s defeat at the hands of Mesquite Horn on Friday came down to mistakes and missed opportunities, said Broncos head coach Don Drake this week.
“I thought we made some mistakes that you can’t make against a good football team and come out with a win,” he said of his team’s 38-20 setback. “We’ve got to get those cleaned up, but I feel good about our effort.”
Bryan Driskell’s 40-yard touchdown run put the Broncos up early against Horn, but the Jaguars answered with 21 straight points.
“I thought we gained a lot of momentum [from Driskell’s touchdown],” Drake said, noting Horn then returned the ensuing kickoff back to Boyd’s 30-yard-line and soon tied the score. “Giving up that huge return definitely hurt us. It swung the momentum back to them.”
Driskell finished with 114 yards on 19 carries, with two touchdowns. Quarterback Curtis Ladd spread 10 completions around to five different receivers, with one touchdown to Kevin McCormick.
The Broncos’ next opponent, Coppell, blasted state-power Longview last week, 41-8, earning the Cowboys a No. 12 state ranking from the Associated Press.
Was Drake surprised by Coppell’s lopsided win?
“I was a little surprised, yeah,” he said. “I really was. They were able to jump on them pretty quickly.
“They’re a good football team, very well coached by Coach [Joe] McBride,” Drake said. “And obviously they’re playing at a very high level already.”
Offensively, Cowboys quarterback Colby Mahon threw for nearly 300 yards on just nine completions. Said Drake, “He had a huge night, yardage-wise, on very few completions because there were some missed tackles there, kids turning short throws into huge gains because the defender’s not making the play.”
To win at Coppell on Friday night, Drake said, Boyd must correct kickoff coverage mistakes, force the Cowboys into long drives and, offensively, take advantage of scoring chances.
“Coppell’s going to come out and try to establish the running game,” Drake said. “We’ve got to be able to take the running game away from them and not give up the big plays in the passing game.”
Coppell looks dominant, but expect Boyd to correct mistakes and keep it close: Cowboys 37, Broncos 27.
- McKinney vs. Frisco Heritage, Thursday, Sept. 6, 7 p.m., Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney
- Boyd vs. Coppell, Friday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., at Coppell
- North vs. Prosper, Friday, Sept. 7, 7:30 p.m., Ron Poe Stadium in McKinney
McKinney North photo, above right: McKinney North defensive tackle Eric Mills gets fired up against Newman Smith last Thursday. (Photo by BuzzzPhotos.com)
McKinney Boyd photo, above right: The McKinney Boyd football team practiced in the 103-degree heat Tuesday. (Photo by Rick Atkinson.)
About the author: Rick Atkinson is a former U.S. Marine Corps helicopter pilot and commercial airline pilot who lives in McKinney with his wife of 23 years, Debbie. He is a freelance writer and cartoonist.