McKinney Boyd High School
So how did Boyd Head Coach Don Drake feel when the clock finally showed all zeroes in the Broncos’ stomach-churning 15-14 win over Plano on Friday? “I was glad it was over,” he laughed, “and we got the win.”
The victory was the fifth straight for Boyd (5-2, 2-0) and sets up a showdown with Allen (6-1, 2-0) at Ron Poe Stadium on Friday.
Against Plano, the Broncos were tested like they haven’t been since their win over Garland, five weeks ago. In that game, like this one, Boyd fell behind late but responded immediately with a touchdown drive -- capped this time by Bryan Driskell’s 55-yard TD run.
And, like at Garland, the Bronco defense then played shut-out ball the rest of the way -- this time, snuffing Plano’s last two drives with forced fumbles. Linebacker Adam Brown nabbed the last one after lineman Tyler Ferguson had separated ball from quarterback.
“Being resilient enough to keep competing … and believing that you can go make a play, go win the game, is critical,” Drake said. “You know you’ve got to go answer. The kids went and did that.”
Other big plays for Boyd included Jared Symmank’s 40-yard field goal that gave the Broncos a 9-7 halftime lead, and quarterback Curtiss Ladd’s 11-yard touchdown throw to Kevin McCormick for Boyd’s first score.
Driskell, a 1,200-yard rusher so far this season, collected 145 yards on the ground versus Plano.
Allen is coming off a 47-25 thumping of Plano West, a game that Plano West led in total yardage. Allen quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns, and his 15 completions were spread among seven receivers.
Allen broke open the tight contest late in the second quarter with a long touchdown pass from Murray to Kendall Clinton and a 40-yard field goal for a 34-17 halftime lead.
“I thought Plano West did some good things early in the game to give themselves a chance to stay in it,” Drake said. “They just couldn’t hang in long enough.”
Allen is ranked No. 7 in the state by the Associated Press and No. 3 in The Dallas Morning News’ 5A area rankings, behind Desoto and Coppell. Boyd is No. 14 this week in The News’ area rankings.
“There should be a big crowd,” Drake said. “It ought to be a great night of football and we look forward to the opportunity of going out and competing against them.”
Prediction: At home, with Driskell rolling and the Broncos’ D popping, Boyd prevails, 31-28. Catch this one, if you can, folks.
McKinney North High School
The Bulldogs (1-6, 1-3) came up short again this week, this time after rallying for 10 second-half points before falling to Wylie, 35-20.
“It’s just like the whole year,” North Head Coach Mike Fecci said on Monday. “We didn’t make plays at critical times. … The people we play, you’ve got to make plays against them. We’re playing hard. We play our tails off. We ran to the ball, we tackled well. We did all those things. It just comes down to making some plays.”
“But they’re still believing,” Fecci said of his team. “We had a great practice today, a real intense practice today.”
North was hurt mostly through the air against Wylie, with Pirates quarterback Carson Cook throwing for 300-plus yards and five touchdowns. His 65-yard scoring strike in the second quarter gave Wylie a 21-7 lead.
Trailing, 28-10, in the third quarter, quarterback Ben Dutze rallied the Bulldogs with a 70-yard touchdown toss to Evan Jones. After recovering an onside kick, North threatened again, but the drive stalled at the Wylie 14-yard-line. Will Ashun's field goal, his second of the game, cut Wylie’s lead to 28-20 with 10 minutes left to play.
But a messed-up punt led to Wylie’s last touchdown, ending North’s hopes.
Dutze finished the night with 180 yards passing and a touchdown, and Bulldog running backs Ronald Jones and Justin Jones combined for 140 yards rushing.
On Friday, North travels to face the winless Greenville Lions, a team stopped last week by Wylie East, 42-17. Greenville has allowed 46 points per game in district losses to Lovejoy, Wylie and Wylie East.
Offensively, the Lions are struggling too, with quarterback Marquist Davis leading the team with modest rushing and passing totals.
Still, this game could be trouble for North, with Greenville nursing a 27-game losing streak and desperate to win. “It’s got me extremely worried,” Fecci said. “But I feel a lot better right now after watching that practice, to know we’re still going to get after it, and go get things done.”
“[Greenville’s] got to be sitting there going, ‘This is our chance to get a win,’” he said. “… They’re playing good football and they’re getting better each week.”
Against Wylie East, Greenville was held below 100 yards in both rushing and passing, but the Lions kept things close for a time, trailing 21-17 after two quarters.
“They’re going to have some confidence coming in Friday night. We’ve got show up over there and play.”
Prediction: North turns back a fired-up Lions squad for a much needed win, 27-20.
McKinney High School
Note to District 10-5A: The McKinney Lions (5-2, 1-1) are plenty serious about making the playoffs. Their stunning 24-12 win on Friday over Plano East, a school three times their size, makes that clear.
“Our kids, all year, have really grown to believe in this team, ourselves and what we’re trying to do,” McKinney Head Coach Jeff Smith said this week. “We’ve gotten a lot more confident through the course of the year.
“They went out there and got it done.”
Smith called the Lions’ post-game experience “a pretty neat scene."
“Whenever you win a game like that -- and it’s homecoming, it’s even better,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of alumni there and that win means a lot to them. … Everybody was just happy and very proud and very excited. It was just a great moment.”
An earlier great moment for McKinney was Robert Somborn’s 40-yard touchdown pass to Connor Fuentes and 2-point conversion run by Red Shannon that gave the Lions a commanding 22-6 fourth-quarter lead.
“Our two receivers that blocked for Fuentes really gave him the edge,” Smith said, “and Connor did a great job scoring. It really propelled us.”
Fuentes led McKinney receivers with 11 catches for 158 yards. Shannon also returned an intercepted 2-point conversion pass attempt 98 yards for the Lions’ final two points, and he scored two touchdowns.
Running back Tommy Candela, back from a broken collarbone, sparked McKinney with 130 yards rushing on 23 carries. “He was tired,” chuckled Smith. “He’s still not back into his tip-top shape. Though he’s in good shape, he’s still not [tip-top.]
“We really weren’t shy with giving him the football. … Obviously, we were excited he was back in the lineup.”
Up next for McKinney is Plano West (3-4, 0-2), a team desperate to salvage its season. “I expect them to come out guns blazing,” Smith said, noting the Wolves opened against two top district teams, Boyd and Allen.
Wolves quarterback Travis Korrey, a 1,000-yard passer, rushed for 110 yards and two touchdowns against Allen, including a 55-yard TD scamper. He also threw for 185 yards. Running backs Sotonaya Jamabo and Auston Anderson have combined for 1,100 rushing yards this season.
“We’ve got to get ourselves off Plano East and onto Plano West,” Smith said. “We don’t need to be satisfied with a great district win [last week]. We want to make the playoffs. It’s right there.”
Prediction: After picking McKinney’s first two district games exactly wrong, here’s hoping that dynamic changes. It’s the Lions, 35-32, in a shootout.
Your humble predictor stumbled to a 1-2 mark last week, dropping his season record to 15-6 (.701). (Happy to be wrong, though, when a McKinney school wins!)
- McKinney Boyd vs. Allen: Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m., at McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium
- McKinney North at Greenville: Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.
McKinney at Plano West: Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.
District 10-5A Standings:
- Allen 6-1, 2-0
- McKinney Boyd 5-2, 2-0
- Plano 4-3, 1-1
- McKinney 5-2, 1-1
- Plano East 4-2, 0-2
- Plano West 3-4, 0-2
District 13-4A Standings:
- Lovejoy 7-0, 4-0
- Sherman 6-1, 4-0
- Wylie East 5-2, 3-1
- Wylie 2-5, 2-2
- McKinney North 1-6, 1-3
- Denison 1-6, 1-3
- Royse City 1-6, 1-3
- Greenville 0-7, 0-4
Above: North Head Coach Mike Fecci rallies the Bulldogs after a spirited practice this week.
The McKinney Lions drill at the beginning of practice this week.