After last week’s dismal 3-yard passing performance, McKinney High’s varsity football team will hit the field Friday, Oct. 14, at 7:30 p.m., at Ron Poe Stadium against crosstown rival McKinney North with an additional tangent available to their offense.
Junior quarterback Robert Somborn, who sat out last week because of a concussion, was cleared to play for the rivalry matchup.
“The passing game has been pretty good all season and I think that we can add it back into the game plan this week,” Somborn said. “So now, we’ll be able to run the ball effectively and mix it up. I think we’ll play well.”
Without Somborn this past week, McKinney High completed one of five total passing attempts, and still managed to stay alive well into the 4th quarter with more than 400 yards of offense. Red Shannon, with 293 of those yards, added that the offense can rely on the running game, but a balance of the two offensive lines of attack could prove capable of overwhelming a North defense that allows 30 points per game.
“If we were able to get our first win against our crosstown rival, it would be huge,” Somborn said. “It would be the best win to get.”
However, the true key to obtaining a win this week might not lay within the offense, but its counterpart – the defense. The past two games, McKinney High’s defense has allowed 54 points in the first halves alone.
“We’re looking to step up the intensity this week against North,” senior defensive lineman Elliot Parkman said. “We had a good second half against Rockwall last week. They only scored like 10points, so I feel like we could definitely stop North. I’ve been watching them on film all week and we have the tools on defense to go out there and probably even get a shutout.”
A key aspect of McKinney High’s defensive strategy is to stop the run — to put the ball into McKinney North senior quarterback Hunter Walling’s hands and force a pass.
“[Hunter Walling] is a pretty good passer, we just have to disrupt him in the pocket,” Parkman said. “We saw him last year, and I’ve seen a lot of film on him. He’s nothing we can’t handle.”
Thus, in giving the ball to Walling, the North offense would have to refrain from utilizing their star player, quick sophomore running back Trey Smith.
Regardless, At this point in the season, any victory for McKinney High (0-6) would be an upset, especially against playoff-hopeful McKinney North (3-3).
Despite the odds in favor of the orange, I expect McKinney High to bring home the gold, 28-17.
Story by TSB contributor Quinn Murray.