Before the start of Friday night’s scrimmage against visiting Denton, Jeff Smith told his team that their first real night of competitive football was all about execution. After firing up the troops, Smith then watched his football team walk out onto the MHS auxiliary field and put together four quarters of defensive stops and turnovers and offensive highlights on the ground and through the air.
“We haven’t got to hit anybody besides ourselves since November,” Smith said. “Obviously we were excited to get a chance to play against someone else and see how things work. I think that we were pretty pleased with the execution level. Obviously, we’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re going to try to get better next week.”
If the 2011 opening scrimmage was a sign of things to come for the McKinney Lions, the blue and gold faithful need to hang onto their hats. When all was said and done, MHS walked off the field with an impressive 44-20 scrimmage win over Denton High.
It was a night chalk full of stellar performances from the offensive and defensive side as the Lions were able to jump up on the Broncos early in the game and never look back. Even when Denton made a late fourth quarter rally, it wasn’t nearly enough to put the pressure back on MHS, which held a comfortable three-touchdown lead. There was no way for Smith to narrow his list of noteworthy players down to just a few because there were more than just a handful of players who helped put Denton away. The offensive line demonstrated top-notch pass protection throughout the game, giving junior quarterback Robert Somborn plenty of time to find open receivers. The running game got off to a slow start and seemed to have a difficult time just getting past the line of scrimmage against a swarming Denton defense. As the game went on, the Lions’ backfield started to find running lanes and once that happened there was no stopping MHS’ offense.
Defensively, the Lions continued to show improvement, forcing two three-and-outs to start the game, recovering a fumble in the third quarter, and forcing two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown.
“We’ve got a lot of new faces on that defense and we saw some really good things,” Smith said. “We’re excited for this year.”
In the post-game huddle, Smith let his team know that they would have a quick Saturday morning film session and after that meeting Denton would be forgotten and the entire program’s focus would shift to Frisco. The Jeff Smith era at McKinney High began last August with a season opening victory against the Raccoons but the Lions’ second-year head coach warned his players that it wouldn’t be so easy this time around.
“This is the year [Frisco] has been waiting for,” he said. “They started a lot of juniors last season and now all those kids are seniors.”
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com