Monday , 21 August 2017
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McKinney Boyd Football: Rival Lions Are Final Test Before District

The Broncos desperately need to rebound from last Friday’s disappointing 44-36 loss at home to Flower Mound. This week, McKinney Boyd (1-1) will play their third straight home game and no extra motivation will be needed when they line up across the field from the Lions of McKinney High.

Boyd This Week

Who: McKinney Boyd (1-1) at McKinney High (0-2)
When: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Ron Poe Stadium
About the Opponent: The Lions have given up over 700 yards on the ground in two games.

Collin McKinney Cup

Somtimes, it’s easy to forget the Collin McKinney Cup even exists because it’s belonged to McKinney Boyd since it was first introduced and there’s never been a legitimate threat to steal it away.

McKinney High’s best chance to knock off the Broncos is to capitalize on any frustration and disappointment left over from the Flower Mound game. Fortunately, Don Drake said his team is already fired up for its crosstown clash with the Lions.

“Our kids came out ready to work on Monday,” he said. “There’s a lot riding on Friday’s game. If we win, we keep the Collin McKinney Cup so there’s a lot to play for. It’s not hard to get motivated.”

Execution Errors

Lack of effort is one thing. Execution errors are another.

For McKinney Boyd, it’s the latter that has been an issue in its first two games of the season. The errors the Broncos have been making could prove costly if not corrected by district play so Drake expects to see his team clean up its mistakes versus MHS.

“We just need to clean up execution errors and make sure we polish some things up so when we head into district we can do so playing good football.”

The Lions are also familiar with execution errors. In two games, MHS’ defense has surrendered over 700 yards on the ground and the Broncos will no doubt look to take advantage of the Lions’ weak run defense.

“Running the football is a large part of what we do and everybody knows that,” Drake said. “We want to chew up some yards, put up some points, and keep our defense off the field.”

Defense Gets Two-For-One

Boyd’s offense has two games of experience under its belt so far. The defense, however, already has three games worth of plays in the books.

In the first half of last week’s game versus Flower Mound, Boyd’s defensive players were on the field for a whopping 65 snaps. By the end of the night, the Broncos played a total of 105 plays.

“That’s almost two games worth of defensive plays,” Drake said. “We’re never happy giving up 44 points and a ton of yards. There’s a lot of things we’re not satisfied with. But one of the things I was proud of was that our kids played a lot of snaps.”

It wasn’t just the number of snaps that stood out but also how intense and focused Boyd’s defense played late in the game. With less than two minutes remaining, the Jaguars were ahead 44-36 and had the ball in Boyd territory. Quarterback Marshall Williams, who was nearly perfect for four quarters, was picked off by Boyd’s Chris Stanton on an amazing defensive play that highlighted the amount of pride the Broncos have on the defensive side of the ball.

“It was late in the ballgame and they were exhausted and he was still making plays to keep us in the game,” Drake said. “We kept fighting and kept getting after it all the way to the finish.”

Getting Ladd Back On Track

There’s been a great deal of local buzz surrounding Curtis Ladd’s three-interception performance against Flower Mound. During Saturday’s film session, it was important for the Broncos’ coaches to show the sophomore QB exactly what happened on those plays so that he could learn from the experience and, most importantly, move forward.

“This is the one we’ve got to learn from,” Drake said. “We took those three interceptions that everybody’s highlighting and showed him that it’s not all negative.”

Out of the three interceptions, Drake said that only one of the picks was a result of poor judgment by Ladd. The other two turnovers resulted from a great defensive play by the Jaguars’ defense, and a fourth-down situation where Boyd decided to take a chance and go for the long first down.

“He won’t take the field Friday night and worry about throwing picks again.”

Another Rushing Threat For Boyd

Junior Bryan Driskell is Boyd’s main rushing threat. He has led the team in rushing in his last four games as a starter. Not since 2010’s showdown with Rowlett has another Boyd player ran for more yards in a game. That player was, of course, Jonovan Griffin.

Last week, Driskell’s four-game streak was snapped as sophomore QB Curtis Ladd led the Broncos’ rushing attack with 122 yards on 17 carries. In Boyd’s six-year history, the Broncos have always featured a quarterback with scrambling ability and, against the Jaguars; Ladd proved that he has what it takes to be a dual-threat quarterback. Drake said Ladd’s running plays were a big boost for Boyd in the first half and were the reason that he stayed in the game for all four quarters.

“We had full intentions of playing another quarterback but I thought some of the positive production we got out of our offense came from Curtis and some of the running he did. Some of the only positive things we got out of the first half were the result of his legs.”

Players of The Week

In all honesty, the player of the week should be the entire Boyd defense. But if I had to narrow it down to one player on that unit it would be junior Chris Stanton. I was standing on the Flower Mound sideline when he made that late game interception and I was less than 10 yards away from the play. It wasn’t just his athleticism and timing on that pick that was impressive but also, as Drake pointed out, the fact that the defense was so worn down by that point. It would have been easy to let the Jaguars run out the clock but Boyd’s defense and Stanton refused to give up, even with their backs against the wall. Great play. Great player.

-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com

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