McKinney North and McKinney Boyd will continue their road through the UIL football playoffs this weekend, as the Bulldogs play Mansfield Legacy on Friday night and the Broncos take on Longivew on Saturday.
My predictions last week was a tale of two games — one pretty good, the other, not so much.
North vs. Mansfield Legacy
North earned its first Bi-District title since 2005 by defeating 14-4A Champion Texas High 26-14 last week, and will now face Mansfield Legacy, the No. 2 seed from 15-4A with a 9-2 overall record and 5-2 mark in district play.
North will have to contend with Legacy’s powerful running game, which averaged 361.5 rushing yards per game.
Mansfield Legacy’s worst rushing game came against Lancaster, when the team rushed for merely 252 yards. Mansfield Legacy also rushed for 308 yards during a 38-28 season-opening victory over McKinney High School.
The Bulldog defense, which has been much maligned for most of the season, came up with an impressive performance against Texas High, holding them to just 12 rushing yards and 165 total yards.
The North offense, of course, is centered on running back Ronald Jones and the efficient signal caller Ben Dutze, who threw for 173 yards on 10 completions last week.
Despite Manfield’s vaunted running attack, North’s defense continues to improve, and has given me enough faith to believe they will contain it for four quarters.
We know what the offense can do, and I believe Dutz and Jones can maintain the time of possession for the Bulldogs, chewing up clock while putting points on the board.
Boyd vs. Longview
McKinney Boyd looked dominant at times during its 24-9 victory over Richardson Pearce, who was the No. 4 seed in 9-5A.
And although the Broncos were without Dedrick Scrivens for the second half, Mahlieke Boseman filled in admirably by rushing for 67 yards in two quarters.
The Bronco defense continues to improve and impress, stuffing opponents’ running attacks while breaking down the pocket and pressuring the quarterback.
The Lobos, meanwhile, were crowned District 12-5A champions with a 9-1 overall record, finishing a perfect 6-0 in district.
Longivew has a balanced offensive attack, with both the passing and running game able to control a game.
The Lobos average 183.8 passing yards-per-game and 229.8 rushing yards, including a 359 yard outburst against Mesquite Horn in a 37-22 victory Oct. 18.
Prediction: Longview defeats Boyd 31-21
Although Boyd’s defense has been strong in recent weeks, its weakest aspect of its defense has been its passing defense, which may get burned against a strong passing attack.
No doubt Boyd will be able to put up points and run the ball, but for Boyd to be successful, it will need a strong passing game from senior quarterback Curtis Ladd.