With McKinney Boyd’s convincing 56-21 win over McKinney on Friday, the Broncos find themselves in the playoffs for a third year in a row. Boyd running back Bryan Driskell had a memorable evening against the Lions, slashing for 333 rushing yards and a school-record seven touchdowns.
For a team heading into post-season play, the timing of that offensive avalanche couldn’t be better.
“I thought we came out and started fast,” McKinney Boyd Head Coach Don Drake said on Monday. “We played with a lot of intensity all night. … I’m pretty excited about the way they played and, hopefully, the momentum will carry into this week.”
“This week” means Boyd’s first-round playoff opponent, the Jesuit Rangers, who have lost only to state-ranked Dallas Skyline and playoff-bound Lake Highlands. The Broncos have faced Jesuit twice, as district-mates in ’08 and ’09, and lost both times. Jesuit comes off a 59-33 win over Richardson last week.
The Broncos and Rangers will meet Friday at Plano’s John Clark Stadium, the site of Boyd’s 15-14 win over Plano on October 19.
Jesuit’s explosive offense features 6-4, 203-pound receiver Jake Oliver, Texas’ career receptions record-holder -- and counting. Oliver broke Jordan Shipley’s mark of 264 career catches during his 15-catch outing against Lake Highlands in October. (Shipley’s record was set at Rotan and Burnet high schools from 2000-03. He played for the University of Texas, where Oliver has also committed to play.)
Oliver has over 1,000 receiving yards on the season and 15 touchdowns. “He’s a tall kid that runs well,” Drake said. “He’s a big target and he obviously catches the ball very well, a pretty explosive guy.”
Jesuit quarterback Jack Brezette has thrown for 2,500 yards this year, with 31 tosses going for touchdowns. “They spread the ball around, not only to Oliver,” Drake said. “They’ve got another couple of receivers that do a pretty good job for them.”
The Broncos’ secondary that will be tailing Oliver and others on Friday is experienced, with seniors Taylor Fann and Daylon Markham as safeties, and senior Chris Stanton and junior Paxton Larson as cornerbacks.
Defensively, Drake noted Jesuit’s solid front led by 6-2, 230-pound end J.D. Waggoner, an Iowa State commit, and 6-2, 225-pound linebacker Jordan Mastrogiovanni, an Oklahoma commit.
Obviously, Boyd will counter with its punishing ground game, aka The Driskell Express. Quarterback Curtis Ladd has thrown for 918 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, and has been an efficient option when needed.
Last year, Boyd was knocked from the playoffs in the first round by Skyline, 31-8. Jesuit’s 2011 run was brief as well, losing to Garland Sachse, 49-42, in bi-district.
Drake seems pleased with where his team is, heading into this year’s “second season.”
“We played really well Friday, which was important,” he said. “We needed to kind of find ourselves, offensively, again and I thought we did that.”
“The kids feel good, they’re excited about it. They’re playing in Week 11 again. That’s where you want to be this time of year.”
Look for this game to turn on how much pressure the Broncos’ defensive line can put on Brezette and how well the secondary contains Oliver. Driskell, it says here, will get his yards.
Prediction: Boyd survives, 34-28, to face Rowlett or Longview next week. How? Turnovers. The Broncos force loads of ‘em. (See below.) … Your humble predictor’s record improved to 19-10 last week, or .655.
Tale of the tape:
|*Points per game||27.8||44.5|
|*Points allowed per game||23||18.6|
|*Total offense per game||340.7||468.3|
|*Highest-scoring quarter||1st (83)||1st (179)|
|*Lowest-scoring quarter||2nd (64)||4th (51)|
McKinney Boyd vs. Jesuit: Friday, Nov. 16, 7:30 p.m., @ Plano’s John Clark Stadium
Boyd cornerback Chris Stanton (on right) works against receiver Kevin McCormick on Monday. On Friday against Jesuit, Stanton and the rest of the Bronco defensive secondary will face Texas' career receptions record-holder, Jake Oliver.
Photos by Rick Atkinson