TSB previews the start of the UIL football playoffs with a look at the two MISD teams who qualified.
McKinney North’s first postseason berth since 2011 will be met with an immediate obstacle as the Bulldogs take on 14-4A District Champion Texas High (Texarkana) in the Bi-District Round Friday in Longview.
North head coach Mike Fecci said Texas High is “very, very athletic” with big athletes across the field.
He said its offensive line is big, and can gain a push when they run the ball, which they like to do often.
“They’re a very tough opponent,” he said.
Texas High finished the 2013 season 9-1 overall and 5-0 in 14-4A action, claiming the district title. North’s 49-37 victory over Dension last week helped secure a postseason spot for North, as well as a share of the 13-4A District title.
Along with a dangerous opponent, Fecci said his team will have to battle the emotions that come with playoff football.
Most of North’s roster has yet to experience postseason football, and Fecci said his team will have to keep a level head going into Friday night, not getting caught up in the frenzy that is playoff football.
To be successful, Fecci said, the Bulldogs will have to stay focused on the details and the small things that got them to the playoffs.
“We don’t want to be content…we want to win,” Fecci said.
North and Texas High will kick off at 7:30 p.m. in Longview.
Winner of five of its last six games, McKinney Boyd will enter Friday’s 5A Division II Bi-District round matchup with Richardson Pearce seemingly playing its best when it matters.
And head coach Don Drake knows although the defense has put together consecutive strong defense performances, he knows they have to play better to advance in the postseason.
“They know they’ve got to go play well,” he said.
Drake said that while he’s pleased with Boyd’s effort the last few weeks, he said the Broncos will have to clean up the turnovers that plagued them Friday during a win against rival McKinney High, with two lost fumbles and a Curtis Ladd interception.
The Broncos (6-4, 4-1 and N0. 2 seed in 10-5A) will have to bring a clean game to the field Friday night as they face a physical and run-oriented Pearce. Drake said the Mustangs (5-5, 4-3 and No.4 seed in 9-5A) run their offense out of the two-back set, and have a quarterback that likes to run.
He said there will be an added emphasis on stopping the run, forcing Pearce into long down-and-distance situations, forcing Pearce in situations that may not be comfortable with.
“I’m sure it’ll be a hard-fought game,” Drake said.
Drake will also be looking for his seniors to lead the way Friday night, keeping the younger players focused and prepared.
“Now the clock’s really ticking on their high school career, and If you don’t go play well, and if you don’t go play focused, you’re going to be hanging up your helmet for the last time as far as a high school player,” he said.
Boyd and Pearce kick off at 7:30 p.m. at John Clark Stadium in Plano.