As the football game progressed, the wind howled and whipped around Ron Poe Stadium Friday night, sending scraps of paper swirling down on the track. The flags that rest upon the bleachers were taut as the bitter-cold October wind cut through the fabric. And looking directly into that biting wind, was the McKinney Boyd offense, sitting at their own three-yard line, trailing Plano Senior 23-17 with a minute to play.
The task seemed daunting, and many of the fans who had made their way to Ron Poe Stadium were heading for the exits. Hope seemed lost.
Senior quarterback Curtis Ladd, who had thrown for 36 yards to this point in the second half, scrambled to his right, hoping to find anyone open. Then, with a flick of his wrist, Ladd connected with junior running back Dedrick Scrivens for what seemed to be just a 10-yard pass.
Scrivens managed to scamper away from the engaged Plano defender, and sprinted down the field. The bleachers shook as the crowd urged Scrivens on as he occasionally glanced over his shoulder at the charging defenders.
No one was going to catch Scrivens. Not Friday night.
That 97-yard dash capped a stunning, and perhaps miraculous, 24-23 victory over Plano Senior Friday night, keeping the Broncos undefeated in 10-5A play at 2-0 and 4-3 overall.
“You never know what can happen,” Broncos head coach Don Drake said.
Scrivens said the slot receiver ran a fade route, freeing up the middle of the field, and giving him a one-on-one situation with the safety, which he said is “exactly what Boyd was looking for.”
He said he kept looking back at the charging defender, hoping he (the defender) wasn’t able to catch him.
Drake said the plays never work exactly how they’re drawn up, but “it worked and that’s all that matters.”
“Somebody’s living right I think,” Drake said.
Drake, who manages the game from high up in the coaches’ box, said he was “jumping up and down in the box yelling, ‘run, run, run,” Drake said, noting he wasn’t sure what he was going to do if Scrivens had been tackled short of the goal line.
Drake said he knew this game was going to be a fight, and expected a battle. And that’s exactly what Boyd got, adding that although the situation at the end definitely looked bleak, Boyd needed playmakers to step up and make plays when it mattered the most.
Plano came into the game as strong as any team in 5A, boosting the top total defense in 5A in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, surrendering an average of 150.5 yards=per-game. Plano, who entered Friday’s game 5-1 and winning its 10-5A opener against McKinney High last week 28-7.
Boyd was able to muster 319 total yards – 95 on the ground and 224 through the air.
Ladd threw for 224 yards on seven completion and two touchdowns, while Scrivens rushed for 91 yards on 13 rushes and one score. Scrivens tallied 104 passing yards on two completions, also.
As impressive as Boyd was able to be at times Friday, its defense came through in the clutch, holding Plano to 10 points in the second half, including a key stop with three minutes to go, ensuring Boyd’s offense would get one last chance.
Plano’s talented sophomore running back rushed for just 76 yards on 30 carries, and Brooks Panhans threw for 76 yards and one touchdown.
The first 24 minutes were a slugfests, each squad trading blows but not once backing down. The Broncos took an early 3-0 lead, until Plano answered with 10-unanswered points to take a 10-3 lead in the second quarter. Ladd and the Broncos would answer, as Ladd connected with Brandon Bowling for an 89-yard touchdown pass to knot the score at 10-10. The Wildcats would add a 39-yard field goal as time ran down in the first half to give Plano a 13-10 lead.
Boyd took advantage coming out of the locker room, running in from 12 yards out to five Boyd a 17-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
Plano took control of the game, scoring 13 straight points, to take a 23-17 lead with four minutes to play, but a key defensive stop by Boyd would give the offense one final chance.
And did they ever cash in, as Ladd and Scrivens connected for a 97-yard touchdown pass to seal a physical, and intense battle.
Scrivens noted the importance of each game moving forward, saying from now on, “each game is a playoff game.”
The play on the field was preceded by an emotional walk down the track by the Broncos varsity players as each player, wearing a purple sash, escorted a friend or loved one who is dealing with cancer onto the field. Dubbed the “Purple Out” game, the goal of purple out is to raise awareness about cancer and to raise money to support those who are dealing with the disease and live within the City of McKinney itself.
This year was particularly poignant, as Jennifer Santos, who is the galvanizing force behind the “Purple Out” game, has been personally touched by the disease again. Although her sister has struggled with cancer for a number of year, Santos’ son Justin, who is a drummer in the Broncos band, was diagnosed with cancer this summer. The band members all donned purple ribbons displaying Justin’s name for Friday night’s game.
Also hitting close to home, head coach Don Drake escorted his Administrative Assistant Teresa Douglas onto the field, wearing a purple sash that displayed “Douglas”. Douglas just returned back to work on Friday, as she has been dealing with her own cancer treatment.
Funds raised by the sale of the “purple out” T-shirts will go directly to benefit those families in our community who have a loved one dealing with cancer.
The next game is, without a doubt, the biggest game of the year so far Boyd, as they will travel down I-75 South to Allen Stadium to take on the two-time defending 5A State Champion Allen Eagles. The Boyd-Allen game is scheduled for a 7:30 start.
Aa the still vocal fans piled out of Ron Poe Stadium, a group of student could be heard yelling a simple message – “We want Allen.”