Sunday , 22 October 2017

Joe’s Friday Night Football Picks

Today’s the day we’ve all been waiting for and tonight officially marks the beginning of the high school football season in McKinney. We’ve only got two games tonight, folks and both contests promise to be exciting. Let’s start with the crosstown game and the TownSquareBuzz Featured Game of the Week, McKinney Boyd vs. McKinney North.

BOYD (0-0) VS. NORTH (0-0)

       

Three Reasons The Bulldogs Will Win

1. Nothing to lose

The Dawgs greatest advantage Friday night will be that nobody (and I mean nobody) expects them to win. North could go out and lose by 55 points and everyone would wake up on Saturday and say, ‘Well of course they lost, it’s Boyd!’ But what happens if they pull it off? Simply put, it would turn the MISD football landscape upside down. All of the pressure will be on the Broncos, which means that North can go out and execute its game plan without worrying about the consequences because there are none.

Onside kicks. Double reverses. Fake punts. Fake field goals. Random hail mary passes. It’s all fair game.

2. Secondary can force Boyd to be one-dimensional

According to coach Fecci, the strongest area of the North defense is its secondary and if that’s the case the Dawgs have an opportunity Friday night to limit Boyd to a rushing attack. Sure, that rushing attack will be in the form of one of the area’s best backs, junior Bryan Driskell. But unlike in previous seasons, the North defense can key in on the running back without having to worry about the quarterback zipping by them for an easy 60-plus yard touchdown scamper.

3. Remember Appalachian State vs. Michigan?

Everyone loves the underdog story but we’re always so quick to count out the underdog when it comes to our local sports. Make no mistake about it, the Broncos are heavy favorites to route McKinney North Friday night. If this game were to take place in any one of the next nine weeks I would say that the Dawgs have zero chance of winning. But it’s opening night. There will be jitters and mistakes made on the field. Neither team is polished or used to live competition so this is the only night out of the year where a Class 4A underdog like North has a chance against a defending 5A district champ like Boyd. Like the Mountaineers in 2007, the Dawgs have a one percent chance due to the fact that it’s the season opener. And for the blue and orange faithful, that may just be all their team needs to pull off what would be considered a huge upset in DFW football.

Three Reasons The Broncos Will Win

1. History

McKinney Boyd went 0-10 in its inaugural season, which means that every team they played – including MHS and North – beat them. That’s to be expected when you’re a first-year program with no identity. The following season, the Broncos showed they could hang with the big boys as they returned the favor with huge wins over the Dawgs and Lions. And it’s been that way ever since. McKinney North has gotten so used to losing to Boyd at this point that it’s hard for even the Bulldogs to imagine picking up a win against their 5A rivals. History shows us that the Broncos have easily dominated this rivalry over the last four years and with Boyd featuring another solid team with plenty of momentum, don’t expect history to change any time soon.

2. Big game experience

Don’t underestimate the impact that South Garland game had on this program. The Broncos took a big step in that district title game that night. Not only did they take home a district crown, but also they did it on the road and with their best player sidelined with an injury. There is nothing that McKinney North could throw at these guys that could faze them. It’s just not going to happen.

3. Defensive line

McKinney North’s most experienced group of players is its offensive line. That’s the good news as far as the Dawgs are concerned. The bad news is that they’ve never seen anything like what they’ll encounter Friday night when they go up against Boyd’s defensive line. Well, technically they saw something similar to it last season but trust me when I say this version is much better. North is starting two inexperienced running backs in place of an injured Devin Smith. I don’t see either rusher making it much further than the line of scrimmage with Boyd’s monster defensive line coming hard every play. Thinking about throwing a screen? Good luck. Boyd’s defenders aren’t just big and strong and aggressive – they’re also smart and well coached. Good luck to the North offense Friday night. You will definitely need it.

Joe’s Pick: This game has the potential to be closer than most experts think but no matter how close the Bulldogs get, the Broncos are just too experienced to be put away for good. McKinney North will have its chances but I see Boyd having this one wrapped up at least midway through the third quarter.

McKinney Boyd 42, McKinney North 13

MHS (0-0) vs. FRISCO (0-0)

     

Three Reasons Frisco Will Win

1. Vance Gibson has Raccoons ready for a new era

‘Taking Back the Town’. That’s their motto for this season. The Raccoons are determined to plant their flag at the top of the Frisco football mountain once again and the journey begins Friday night. Head coach Vance Gibson is a great football coach and he has stayed with this team through good times and 0-10 times. He’ll have the Raccoons ready for war this Friday night ever every Friday night.

2. Home field advantage

Expect the home crowd to be fired up for this game. McKinney and Frisco have a combined school history of about 200 years and are both the “Original” school from their respective towns. There is a lot of pride at stake so expect the blue and yellow to be out in full force.

3. Seniors need a victory

For a new era to begin at Frisco High its going to take a strong start in order to build up momentum. If the Raccoons fall flat against the Lions they may never recover so I expect them to take this game down to the wire. The senior class at Frisco is the best the school has seen in several years and the last thing those players want is to lose a home opener.

Three Reasons McKinney Will Win

1. Somborn found his rhythm with receivers last week

It usually takes QB’s and receivers a week or two to get on the same page but unless I missed something, McKinney’s passing game looked pretty spot on in last week’s scrimmage. Perfect? No. But good enough to take on the district competition and definitely good enough to shred the Frisco defense.

2. Lions have the X-Factor

The beauty of having Jonathan Shannon on offense this season is that at any given moment, the Lions can put the ball in his hands and watch magic happen. The guy has a potential touchdown in him every time he’s involved in a play and I believe he’ll get more than just a few chances Friday night.

3. Defensive turnovers

I counted three defensive turnovers last week. A fumble. Two interceptions – one returned for a touchdown. The Lions have a passion and intensity on defense that I haven’t seen in a very long time. Don’t think these guys were satisfied with shutting down Denton. Now, it’s time to make a statement against a much more consistent Frisco offensive scheme.

Joe’s Pick: The Lions looked sharp on both sides of the football last week. I’ve never seen a team play with that type of intensity in a scrimmage and for that reason I can see that this group understands the importance of starting a season with momentum. Frisco will stay in the ballgame for all four quarters but will run out of offensive firepower, while the Lions continue to find more playmakers as the game goes on.

McKinney High 28, Frisco 21

-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com

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