If the Garland Owls came into Ron Poe Stadium Friday night looking to hurt the McKinney Boyd Broncos, then mission accomplished. In the first quarter, sophomore quarterback Curtis Ladd was hit with a violent helmet to helmet shot on his way out of bounds and was done for the night. Shortly after, junior offensive linemen Trevor Hanes suffered a terrible knee injury and had to be carted off the field on a stretcher.
Both Ladd and Hanes saw their nights end before they even started and the same was true for the Broncos chances versus Garland High. By halftime, the Owls held a commanding 31-10 lead and that was all they needed as neither team could score in the second half making it the final score of Friday’s District 10-5A varsity football showdown.
Boyd head coach Don Drake felt good about the way his team was playing early in the game but admitted that the two big injuries deflated the Broncos offense.
“That didn’t help,” he said. “We had a pretty good drive going and then we lost those two kids. It impacts your offense considerably when you’re faced with that.”
The Garland Owls handed Boyd its first three-touchdown loss since 2009’s regular season finale at Plano East (38-16). Even worse, Friday night’s 10-point scoring output from the Broncos’ offense was the team’s lowest since 2008 when Boyd was shutout by Wylie and Allen in its first year in 5A. The Owls’ offense, led by quarterback and Kansas commit Seth Russell, racked up 352 total yards for the night. Meanwhile, the Broncos were limited to just 162 yards as a team and were forced to punt seven times.
“They’re a very fast defense so your opportunities to create big plays are few and far between,” Drake said.
Simply put, the Owls are the real deal and now that they’ve taken down the Broncos they’re in the driver’s seat of the District 10-5A race. Or so it would seem. In the post-game huddle, Drake reminded his players that they’ve been in this same situation before. Last fall, the Broncos lost their second district game at Garland (21-14) but went on to run the table the rest of the way and defeated South Garland to claim the district championship.
“We were in the same position last year and we were able to win the district title even with that loss,” Drake said. “Obviously, it’s a lot harder on us now that we’ve lost this football game but it doesn’t mean our dreams are dead. We’ve got to rally up and get ready for next week.”
The Broncos play host to Garland Naaman Forest next Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Rangers are 1-4 overall this season and 0-1 n district play after a 12-10 loss to Lakeview Centennial.
After Ladd’s injury, junior Russel Williams took over as quarterback and completed 5-of-9 passes for 36 yards and ran for a one-yard touchdown. In the second half, the Broncos went with senior Tyler Phelps but the veteran didn’t fare much better and finished the night with four completed passes and two interceptions.
“I felt like he needed to get an opportunity to see if he could move the football for us and see if we could get any momentum going,” Drake said.
There were very few bright spots for the Broncos Friday night but the most glaring by far was a milestone achieved by senior Jamal Palmer. In his third varsity football season, the highly touted defensive recruit is now McKinney Boyd’s all-time leading tackler.
“He’s a great player and a great kid,” Drake said. “He plays hard and he’s competitive and I’m real proud of him.”
Drake was also proud of the defense as a whole for keeping the Owls off the scoreboard in the second half.
“We didn’t give up a point in the second half. We could easily lay down and quit. Our kids kept fighting and kept playing under some pretty bad circumstances for us.”
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com
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