TSB looks at McKinney’s two football programs who advanced to this week’s UIL Area Round of the playoffs.
The Bulldogs will have their hands full Friday in the Area Round of the UIL 4A Playoffs when they meet the powerful running attack of Mansfield Legacy.
Mansfield Legacy had three running backs who ran for more than 100 yards in their 35-14 Bi-District Round victory over John Tyler High School last week.
To stop the run, North coach Mike Fecci said, his defense will have to be disciplined in their gaps, and not over pursue when attacking the run.
Fecci said the linemen and linebackers need to stay in their gaps, and when they have the chance to wrap up the ball carrier they’ve “got to tackle.”
And it isn’t just the linemen and linebackers that will be tested, with Fecci saying the secondary will have to stay disciplined and not get beat over the top when Mansfield Legacy uses the play action offense.
North not only will have to battle a prolific offense, but Fecci said the Bulldogs will need to battle the elements.
The weather forecast for Friday evening is not a pretty one, with a 70 percent chance of rain and temperatures dipping to as low as 39 degrees.
And to play in tough conditions, Fecci said North will once again rely on Ronald Jones, who had a season-high 34 rushing attempts last week in North’s 26-14 Bi-District Round victory over Texarkana Texas High.
“It’s going to come down to us doing what we do,” Fecci said.
North and Mansfield Legacy is scheduled to kickoff at 7:30 p.m. Friday at John Kincaide Stadium in Dallas.
Following another strong performance by his defense last week, McKinney Boyd head coach Don Drake knows the Broncos will be tested again when they take on Longview High School in the Area Round of the UIL 5A playoffs.
Drake said Longview is a very athletic and physical team, especially on the defense end, and brings to the field a power running game and a dangerous passing attack.
Drake said the Lobos mix in the play action pass to create big plays to the tight end and receivers along with wearing down a defense with their “power type football.”
Boyd’s secondary will be put to the test, Drake said, saying the challenge, especially for his safeties, will be recognizing the pass and knowing where they need to be.
“From a recognition standpoint at safety and knowing where those threats are so when I do read pass, where do I need to be to help that corner in coverage is pretty key,” Drake said.
He added that his corners will have to play well, saying while safety help is key, they will be matched up one-on-one with Longview receivers at times Saturday.
To go along with Longview’s offense, Drake said the Lobos’ defense is very physical and does a great job creating turnovers, forcing six last week in their 46-21 victory over Rowlett in the Bi-District Round.
Longview had an interception retuned for a touchdown and a fumble returned for a touchdown.
Drake added both Dedrick Scrivens and Kaeyln Young will play Saturday and are healthy after being injured in Boyd’s 24-9 Bi-District Round victory over Richardson Pearce.
Boyd will take the field against Longview on Saturday at 4 p.m. at Lake Highlands’ Wildcat-Ram Stadium.
Drake said Boyd wanted to play to play on Saturday to have an extra day to prepare and get players healthy that were dealing with nagging issues.
He said the early start time shouldn’t have an effect on the players, adding they’ve pushed practices back a day in an attempt to keep the practice schedule aligned with a normal game week.
“Our kids are excited, and that excitement will build into Saturday,” Drake said.