Thursday , 22 March 2018

Football Talk: 9 Burning Questions Heading Into Week Two

High school football is back in McKinney and what an interesting first week it was. The McKinney North-McKinney Boyd game may have looked lopsided on paper but the Bulldogs appeared to have the Broncos on the ropes early on and matched their intensity for four quarters. MHS traveled to Frisco to take on a rejuvenated Raccoons football team and fell 39-26 at Memorial Stadium. Here is a list of 9 Burning Questions heading into Week Two of MISD football action. 

1. How Will Boyd’s Driskell Follow Up His Opening Act?
-When McKinney Boyd hit the road last season to face Flower Mound in week two, I was at Ron Poe Stadium covering a last-second thriller between MHS and The Colony. Since I was not at that game I had to do a little research to refresh my memory of the result and I discovered a not so shocking fact. About 440 yards of Boyd’s 513 total yards were put up by seniors Jonovan Griffin and James Driskell. The duo contributed for every significant shred of offense that night with the exception of a touchdown from fellow senior Taylor Symmank. Bryan Driskell, who was an inexperienced sophomore at the time, carried the ball just three times for 31 yards. It’ll be interesting to see how Flower Mound’s defense handles Boyd’s backfield considering that it has yet to face the Broncos’ most dangerous weapon. For Driskell, I’ll be interested to see what the extremely talented junior has in store after last Friday’s 5-touchdown night. The Broncos will be facing Class 5A Flower Mound this week so they can expect much tougher defensive pressure and we’ll all be waiting to see how Driskell, Kalvon Howard, and the rest of the Boyd backfield respond.

2. Will A Short Week Help Or Hurt The Bulldogs?
-According to head coach Mike Fecci; McKinney North will be at an advantage when it hosts Dallas Bryan Adams Thursday night at Ron Poe Stadium. When I asked him about it last Friday, he said that when a team loses the way his group did against Boyd, all they want to do is get back out on the field as soon as they can. I couldn’t agree more with that philosophy. The reason I ask the question is because McKinney North took a pounding physically against the Broncos. It was a physical game all night as both sides got after each other with everything they had, including a few late hits and punches to the helmet. Since North is facing a quick, athletic Bryan Adams team on Thursday, maybe it would be in the Dawgs favor to have one more night to rest. Just sayin’. We’ll see what happens.

3. Are The Lions Going To Start 2011 With An 0-3 Record?
-In both the 2008 and 2009 seasons, McKinney High began the year with an 0-3 record in non-district play. The Lions, of course, went on to make the playoffs anyway but the low morale earlier in the year was noticeable. This year’s Lions don’t have the offensive firepower that those teams possessed so it will most likely be a more difficult hurdle for this group to get over should they find themselves in the same position. So why bring this question up in week two? Well, I’m just going to take the bet that McKinney Boyd will beat MHS next week and if that’s the case a loss to The Colony will all but guarantee 0-3.

4. Just How Good Is Frisco High?
-The Raccoons declared they would ‘Take Back The Town’ in 2011 and they took the first step toward that goal with a 39-26 win over MHS on opening night. The Lions saw a solid 266-yard passing night from Robert Somborn, a 155-yard rushing performance from offensive newcomer Marquez Husband, senior receiver Quentin Casner caught 12 passes for 209 yards, and junior playmaker Jonathon Shannon scored two touchdowns. Sounds like a pretty good night for a season opener. But it was still no match for Carlos Harris’ 230-yard, three touchdown rushing performance. Harris caught the Raccoons only two passes of the night, including a 28-yard touchdown reception. So maybe this question should be re-titled, ‘How Good Is Carlos Harris’. Either way, the Raccoons appear to be a much better group than we’ve seen in recent years.

5. Should We Expect Bryan Adams To Give North A Fight?
-Bryan Adams went 2-8 in 2010 and its worst loss was a 30-0 shut out at home against the Bulldogs. The Cougars have lost both of their previous season openers to Kimball but last week’s 19-7 contest was a lot closer than last fall’s 49-14 game. Coach Fecci said that Bryan Adams is much more athletic than they were last season so maybe that Kimball game was a step in the right direction. I still don’t see them beating North at home but an improved Cougars team could still provide a decent challenge, especially after last Friday’s clash with the powerful Boyd Broncos.

6. How Will Boyd’s Defense Handle Marshall Williams?
-Last week, Flower Mound came out on the losing end of a tight 42-41 game versus Jesuit. Jaguars quarterback Marshall Williams made his varsity debut and delivered a phenomenal 500-yard passing night with four touchdowns through the air and two on the ground. In 2010, Flower Mound featured the No. 1 offense in Class 5A and with Marshall leading the offense they could very well be on their way back to the top.

7. Which Boyd Quarterback Will Start Friday Night?
-Let’s face it; McKinney Boyd was never in any real trouble against North. The Dawgs’ offense did a decent job of moving the football but inexperience proved to be its downfall as North fumbled its way into a 42-10 loss. Because the Broncos won’t be able to cruise to victory like they did last week, it’s possible that we may not see all three of the team’s quarterbacks. Head coach Don Drake said his staff is currently evaluating all three players and, depending on how each QB looked on film, it’s possible we could see a different starter this week.

8. Can McKinney High Come Out On The Winning End Of A Nail-Biter This Time?
-In 2006, The Colony defeated McKinney High with a last-second heave to the endzone that gave the Cougars a thrilling 20-17 victory in front of their home crowd. Four years later, the Lions hosted The Colony and this time around it would be MHS that would have an opportunity at the endzone and the victory with the clock winding down. Then sophomore Robert Somborn hooked up with Devante Harrison on a 42-yard pass that would set up the Lions with a possible game-winner. Unfortunately, Somborn’s pass fell incomplete in the endzone as time expired, giving the Cougars a 23-20 victory at Ron Poe Stadium. This Friday, the Lions will make the trip to The Colony for a rematch of 2010’s nail-biter and it’s highly likely that this one will go down to the wire again.

9. Will North’s Defense Tackle?
-Fecci called out his defense after last week’s loss. Of all the aspects of the game that he could have been disappointed by, the number one thing on his list was poor tackling from his defense. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Dawgs’ D will get an earful from coaches this week as the team only has two full practices to prepare. Bryan Adams will have a noticeable weaker offensive game than that of McKinney Boyd but Fecci isn’t as concerned with lower rushing and passing statistics as he is with watching his team wrap up and take ball-carriers to the ground.

-Joe Arriola,


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