By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Writer
Every week, TSB will give you all of the last minute news and notes you need to know before the games kick off on Friday nights. Read scouting reports straight from the head coaches, get the latest injury news, and get ready for another exciting week of MISD football with Football Game Day on Town Square Buzz.
MCKINNEY HIGH (2-0) at IRVING NIMITZ (1-1)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Irving Schools Stadium
MHS Injury News: Running back Tommy Candela is out with a broken collarbone. His time frame for a return is still unknown. Candela led the Lions in rushing with 289 yards and two touchdowns. Receiver Connor Fuentes suffered a minor hamstring strain this week, but is probable to play on Friday. The Lions are also dealing with a sickness going around the locker room over the past couple of days. Not considered too serious.
3 Questions with MHS Coach Jeff Smith:
Q: How big of a loss is Candela to the offense moving forward?
A: “Absolutely it’s big. We hate to see Tommy go down because he’s done such a great job and he’s been a real pleasant surprise the first two weeks. You hate to see any young man be put out of commission for a while because of something like that.”
Q: What’s the scouting report on Irving Nimitz?
A: “Overall, they have some size up on the offensive and defensive line. They are some of the bigger guys we will have to block. They are pretty athletic in spots, so they are going to be a good challenge for us.”
Q: With the 2-0 start, is the mindset still the same as it has been all year heading into this Friday’s game?
A: “We’ve really tried to keep everything in perspective. As we said last week, we still have a lot of work to do and our goal is to get better every week. We have a really tough district a head of us and non-district is about getting better and hopefully winning all of them. It’s really about getting better as a team.”
MCKINNEY BOYD (0-2) at GARLAND (0-2)
When: Friday, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Garland’s Williams Stadium
Boyd Injury News: No injuries listed.
3 Questions with Boyd Coach Don Drake:
Q: What is the scouting report on Garland?
A: “Garland is a very athletic football team and they always are. We’ve played them the last two years and we are well aware of the athleticism they bring. We’ve got to find a way to stop their running game. They have a big running back in E’Lon Green and we have to be able to minimize what he does to us on the ground. Ja’Taveon Green is another pretty talented athlete they have at the skill position. He plays receiver for them but they line him up in the wildcat at quarterback some, and he’s pretty dangerous with the ball in his hands. While we got to focus on stopping the running game, we also have to make sure we pay enough attention to him that he doesn’t hurt us in the passing game and with some big plays. Defensively, Garland is what they typically are. They chase the ball pretty well and tackle pretty well, so offensively for us we got to be consistent in our execution and take advantage of the opportunities that are presented to us and score some points.”
Q: After being in the same district for the past two years, is the game plan against Garland similar to past years or does it vary year to year?
A: “Well, I think the game plan is always going to change year to year based on the talent that you have and then obviously the matchups that you got against the other team. As far as an identity, we are going to have to be able to run the football. Obviously we have to make some plays in the passing game as well because you can’t be a one-dimensional team and expect to move the ball against a really good team. Defensively, we know what Garland is offensively, and they are a power football team as well. They are going to take advantage of some of the chances they get from the play action pass, but they want to establish the run game too. It’s going to be a battle of two defenses that trying to contain the others run game, and a lot of it is going to come down to which defense does a better job of that and which offense is making some plays in the passing game.
Q: Do you feel like your defense line is continuing to improve every week?
A: “I’ll be honest, those kids are playing extremely well. We’ve played two quality opponents the first two weeks, and both of those offensive lines are huge and have big kids. We’ve been giving up a lot in terms of size advantage up front with our defensive line opposed to their offensive line, and those kids have battled and played very, very well. I’ve been very pleased about what we have gotten from that front, so I am not concerned anymore about our defensive front.”
MCKINNEY NORTH (0-2) vs. FRISCO CENTENNIAL (2-0)
When: Friday, 7:00 p.m.
Where: Ron Poe Stadium, McKinney
North Injury News: No major injuries. Some players are playing through strep throat, but nothing to keep anyone out on Friday night.
3 Questions with North Coach Mike Fecci:
Q: What is the scouting report on Frisco Centennial?
A: “They are good. They are very athletic and they have very good schemes. They put the ball in the quarterback’s hands and let him deal and operate, and he makes a lot of plays for them. They got a real big physical tight end (Stoney Hawkins) that catches the ball for them, and they got a running back (Chris Johnson) that gets the ball downhill for them. Defensively, their defensive line is like the past couple weeks in that it is going to be very active. They also have bigger linebackers than we have seen in the past couple of weeks, including one that is a downhill guy right now. They just have some great athletes and they are well coached. It’s a great opportunity for us.”
Q: Do you feel like your offense is continuing to improve week-to-week?
A: “Oh yeah I think we still are. We saw improvement over week one. I know the scoreboard didn’t indicate that, but we saw improvement. What we are struggling with right now on both sides of the ball is just making plays in critical downs. When we got a chance to make a stop on third down, we got to do it. When we got a chance to convert on third down, we got to do it. We just have to identify stunts well. We anticipate them stunting a lot and bringing a lot of heat on us, especially in running down situations.”
Q: Despite the 0-2 start, do you believe spirits are still high with those kids in the locker room?
A: “I do. I contribute that to our leaders. We talk a lot here about perspective, never being too high and never being too low. Things are never as good as they seem and things are never as bad as they seem. I think that’s the key to any successful season is keeping perspective on things. We’ve learned some big lessons the first two games, and how we go out there and choose to learn from those lessons is yet to be seen. But I’m confident about our kids and I think they will respond well to it.”
Make sure you check back with TSB for all the scores and news after week two of the high school football season in McKinney! This week’s TSB Game of the Week is McKinney North hosting Frisco Centennial, so check out a little Bulldog football this Friday night at Ron Poe Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.