McKinney North High School
Though the Bulldogs opened district play last Friday with a 45-21 loss at Sherman, they began this week on a high note.
“We had a good practice today, a real physical Monday, which was good,” said McKinney North Head Coach Mike Fecci. “There was a lot of hitting, a lot of flying around.”
As far as Sherman, “I thought we played extremely hard,” Fecci said. “We just had a stretch there where we didn’t make some plays. The people that we’ve been playing are so explosive, you can’t afford to miss a beat because they make you pay for it.”
The Bearcats (3-1, 1-0) broke open a tight contest with 28 second-quarter points after trailing the Bulldogs early, 6-0. That score, a 4-yard run by running back Trey Smith, was set up by a blocked punt by defensive end Dominique Parish.
Fecci noted that while Sherman’s “real funky” punt formations required study, a crease was found. “I told Dom, ‘If you’ll come right off that center ... when he moves to his right, there’ll be nobody to block you.’” That’s just what happened -- and Parish came close on another punt.
Tre Sanders had two touchdown catches for North, including a 56-yarder that -- with a two-point conversion catch by Evan Jones -- drew North to within striking distance at 21-14 in the second quarter.
“[Sherman’s defense] stacked the box on us and tried to take away the running game, gave us some [man-to-man] coverage,” Fecci said. “We had chanced to get on top of that a few times, to hit big plays.”
The Bulldogs’ defense sacked Sherman’s quarterback five times, though he still managed 240 passing yards and three touchdowns. “At times, when we stayed in our pass-rush lanes and did what we’re supposed to do, we got sacks,” Fecci said. “When we got out of our pass-rush lanes, they made us pay for it.”
On Friday, McKinney North (0-4, 0-1) hosts Royse City (1-3, 1-0), a team coming off its first win of the season. Royse City dumped winless Greenville last week, 21-10, extending the Lions’ losing streak to 24 games.
A playoff team last year, Royse City was picked near the bottom of 13-4A this season by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine.
Against Greenville, Royse City trailed, 10-7, before popping for 14 fourth-quarter points. Leading rusher Samuell Rushing’s TD run iced the game with a minute left.
“Royse City, they’re not real complicated in what they do,” Fecci said, “… but what they do is execute, and they do things well.”
Prediction: North Bulldogs 28, Royse City Bulldogs 12.
McKinney Boyd High School
With their 42-14 win at Lewisville on Friday, the Broncos bumped their record above .500 for the first time this season. Boyd (3-2) rolled up 540 yards of offense and 30 first downs along the way.
But by halftime, the Broncos’ lead was just 14-7 against the fired-up Farmers.
“I thought in the first half, Lewisville got after us pretty good,” Boyd Head Football Coach Don Drake said this week. “I was a little disappointed in our intensity in the first half. Of course, we got that corrected at halftime.”
After the “intensity adjustment,” the Broncos dominated, 28-7, the rest of the way.
Quarterback Curtis Ladd led a critical 70-yard scoring drive late in the second quarter -- capped by Kevin McCormick’s 15-yard touchdown catch -- that gave Boyd its halftime lead.
“That was huge,” Drake said. “If we don’t get that score right before the half, you’re really in a dog-fight.”
Running back Bryan Driskell piled up 270 rushing yards and four touchdowns for Boyd and the Broncos’ defense nabbed four turnovers, including three interceptions, to keep Lewisville (1-4) reeling.
On a not-so-good note, Boyd racked up 12 penalties for 100 yards.
“It definitely hurt us,” Drake said. “There were some opportunities we had, that if we don’t penalize ourselves into some long-yardage downs, we’re able to keep some drives going early that we stalled on.
“Penalties haven’t been a huge issue for us all year, but the other night I don’t know that our first-half focus was what it needed to be.
“Overall, you win a game like that,” Drake said, “it’s obviously a good thing, but the thing that we’ve got to take away from it is we’ve got to play inspired ball from the beginning. And that’s not taking anything away from Lewisville.”
With a bye this week, Drake had these thoughts on the Broncos’ situation to date:
“I think we’ve gotten better, throughout the course of the first five games. Obviously, at the beginning of the year, we started a lot of brand new faces. Week to week, we’ve gotten better and we’ve made progress. Our offensive production over the last three weeks has been a lot better than it was the first two. … And we’re healthy right now, which is a plus.”
Boyd begins district play at home against Plano West on Friday, Oct.12.
McKinney High School
The Lions fell to Denton Ryan (2-2) at home last Friday, 35-28, for their first loss of the season -- but what a game.
“Absolutely,” said McKinney Coach Jeff Smith this week. “We’re definitely disappointed with the outcome … but there are a lot of positives to take away from it. We felt like we went toe-to-toe with a very good football team, and that’s going to help prepare us for district play.”
McKinney (4-1) outgained the Raiders in total yards, 500 to 330, and the game was tied, 28-28, with under five minutes left to play.
Smith thinks his team is responding well to its first setback. “The kids seem even more determined to prepare and get ready for district,” he said.
Red Shannon ran wild against Ryan, piling up 360 all-purpose yards, including 190 yards rushing and seven catches for 170 yards. Shannon shined on defense too, collecting an interception and a blocked field goal.
“Every week it seems to be another couple of guys who do some pretty great things,” Smith said. “Week 4, Connor Fuentes played well. The week before that TV Williams played real well.
“[Shannon’s] just a great competitor and we’re real proud at how he played.”
Quarterback Robert Somborn threw for nearly 300 yards and tossed three touchdown passes, all to Shannon.
But six turnovers thwarted the Lions’ chances, with four -- two fumbles and two interceptions -- coming in the first quarter when McKinney threatened to dominate.
Still, the Lions led at halftime, 13-6.
“We had a chance to really take control early and didn’t,” Smith said. “I felt, though, after those turnovers, that we responded well to have the lead at halftime.”
After the Raiders went up 35-28 late, the Lions had one more shot, moving from their 17-yard-line into Ryan territory, but the drive ended on an incomplete fourth-down pass.
“Our kids really felt like we were going to go down and score,” Smith said. “We practice those situations a lot and our kids were very comfortable in that situation. … But we’ve got to give credit to Denton Ryan for making a stop.”
After a bye this week, the Lions begin district play at Plano on Friday, Oct. 12.
Smith said his team will concentrate on fundamentals and getting healthy this week.
After a 2-1 mark last week, your humble prognosticator’s record moves to 11-3 (.785).
- McKinney North vs. Royse City: Friday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m., McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium
- McKinney Boyd: Bye
- McKinney High: Bye
McKinney North photo: The Bulldogs practiced hard this week to prepare for their game Friday against Royse City.
McKinney High photo: Head Coach Jeff Smith meets with the Lions before practice this week.