McKinney Boyd High School

After a bye last week, the 3-2 Broncos will open district play on Friday at home against the 3-2 Plano West Wolves, a team coming off a bye as well.

Boyd Head Coach Don Drake said this week he felt good about his team’s time off.

“We got some great film study done,” he said. “We got three good practices in. And we had a couple of days of getting [the players’] legs back underneath them.”

Drake said he spent his free Friday evening watching Boyd’s big volleyball match with McKinney (Boyd won) and taking his wife to dinner. Now it’s back to football – and each game takes on the added importance of playoff prospects.

“I think it’s a huge ballgame,” Drake of Friday’s match-up. “As competitive as I expect the next five weeks to be between all of us [in District 10-5A], every game is going to be pretty crucial in terms of the playoff race.”

Plano West thrashed Flower Mound, 47-7, in its last outing, with the Wolves amassing 550 yards of offense – most of it on the ground. Leading rusher Sontonye Jamabo and fellow back Auston Anderson carry most of the load. Anderson rushed for 150 yards against Flower Mound.

“They’re both quality backs,” Drake said. “[Jamabo] is a big back. He’s a tall kid and a very athletic runner. [Anderson] is, size-wise, not as big as the other one, but I think he’s a pretty physical runner.”

Throw in the Wolves’ dual-threat quarterback, and that’s a formidable attack.

“You’ve really got three guys back there in the backfield at times that all can do some pretty dangerous things with the ball in their hands,” Drake said. “It puts a lot of pressure on you when you’ve got to worry about a quality back, plus a quarterback that can run, plus a quarterback that can throw.” 

Boyd will counter with a bruising ground game of its own. Running back Bryan Driskell is quickly closing in on 1,000 yards rushing after just five games. Against Lewisville, in Boyd’s last outing, he romped for 265 yards and four touchdowns.

The Broncos have also gotten solid play from quarterback Curtis Ladd, who threw for 100 yards and rushed for 90 against Lewisville. Boyd’s defense has been strong and stingy.

By the way, Plano West averages 33 points per game and Boyd’s D allows 22. Something has to give.

Prediction: Boyd bumps its win-streak to four games, 37-21, staking an early claim to the playoffs.

McKinney High School

After a bye week, the 4-1 Lions open district play on Friday at Plano. The 3-2 Wildcats, whose bye came earlier in the season, were thumped last Thursday by Flower Mound Marcus, 35-21. It was Marcus’ first win of the year.

Though Plano outgained Marcus in total yards, the Wildcats coughed up four turnovers.

McKinney Head Coach Jeff Smith and his entire staff attended the game.

“Turnovers were big and Marcus made some plays,” Smith said this week. “I know this: They’re going to look at themselves just like we do and they’re going to be ready to play this week. We’re going to get Plano’s best, I’m sure.”

Big Wildcat quarterback Richard Lagow (6-6, 220) threw for 300 yards against Marcus, most of it to Michael Hansen, who had nine catches.

“He’s a great talent,” Smith said of Lagow. “He will be the best quarterback, especially throwing the ball, that we’ve faced this year. … His routes are deeper, they develop deeper down the field. … We’re going to have to keep things in front of us in the passing game.”

Smith said that after a restful bye week, his team is ready to begin its “second” season, or district play.

“Looking back,” he said, “it was a successful non-district [season] and hopefully we’ll take what we learned through those first five games and translate that into success in our district play.”

Smith said the Lions used the bye to catch up on academics, heal up and prepare for Plano.

(On his free Friday night, Smith also attended the Boyd-McKinney volleyball game.)

Plano is the only District 10-5A team that played last week, and that should work to McKinney’s advantage. The Lions’ potent offense should also give Plano every bit of trouble that Marcus’ attack did.

As a refresher, McKinney’s Red Shannon is coming off a four-touchdown, 360-yard rushing/receiving performance against Denton Ryan. And veteran Lions quarterback Robert Somborn also has favorite receivers TV Williams and Connor Fuentes in his arsenal.

Though early, this game – along with Boyd versus Plano West – will go a long way toward shaping District 10-5A’s playoff picture, as all four teams have a decent shot at post-season play.

(Encouraging news for McKinney on the injury front: while Lions running back Tommy Candela won’t be back this week, his return from a broken collarbone may not be far off.) 

Prediction: Rested, focused McKinney makes a statement, 31-27. The Lions are in the hunt.

McKinney North High School

The Bulldogs left a post-game locker room Friday with a different feeling – reveling in a win, their first of the season.

This week, North Head Coach Mike Fecci reflected on the new ending, wrought by his team’s convincing 35-21 win over Royse City.

“It was good,” he said. “They were pretty spent, pretty tired, because we played hard. … But it was nice to leave out of there feeling like we did.”

Marc Bresnahan’s 60-yard interception return for a touchdown in the game’s opening minutes provided a spark the Bulldogs maintained throughout the night. North’s defense also provided two fumbles.

“I think our defense played real well,” Fecci said. “Our defense took the ball away and set us up.”

With leading rusher Trey Smith out perhaps for the season with a collarbone injury, other Bulldogs stepped up, including Justin Jones, Ben Dutze and Ronald Jones. The three combined for 230 rushing yards, with Justin netting 130 of them.

“We came off the ball on the offensive line and created some big holes for Justin and Ronald and Ben,” Fecci said. “It was just, all in all, a good night.”

Quarterback Dutze had a nose for the end zone, finding it three times on short runs in the first half, as North built a 28-6 halftime lead. All three were “read” plays for Dutze, who chose whether to keep the ball or hand off based on a defender’s reaction.

On Friday, the Bulldogs travel to Lucas to face the undefeated, red-hot Lovejoy Leopards, a team that moved up to 4A just this year.

(For the uninitiated, Lucas is a stone’s throw east of Allen.)

Lovejoy, tabbed No. 9 in The Dallas Morning News’ 4A area rankings, rolled over winless Greenville last week with 500 yards of offense, including 380 on the ground. The week before, Lovejoy throttled Wylie, 47-21, a team many pencil in as a playoff team.

Leading rusher Nick LaSane (6-1, 220) tallied 171 yards against Greenville and is on track for a 1,200-yard regular season.

Fecci called the Leopards “very tactical,” “very precise,” and noted their high-tempo offense. “They run anywhere from 85 to 90 snaps a game,” he said, “which is a lot in high school. … They line up and go.”

Defensively, Lovejoy boasts a strong linebacking corps.

Fecci said North has scrimmaged Lovejoy each of the last two seasons. “We’ve played them, we’ve seen them,” he said. “They’re a good football team.”

Prediction: It’s Lovejoy, but closer than some may think, 34-26.

Your humble predictor’s season mark improved to 12-3 this week, (.800).


Game-Day Details:

  • McKinney Boyd versus Plano West: Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m., at McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium
  • McKinney at Plano: Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m.
  • McKinney North at Lovejoy: Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 p.m. 


Photos above:

McKinney High's Daylon Willis (No. 3) and TV Williams (No. 1) stretch before practice this week.

McKinney North linebackers (from left) Evan Jones, Anthony Lozoya and James Triplett look to slow Lovejoy leading rusher Nick LaSane this Friday.