Sunday , 20 May 2018

Mike Albanese: Time for Lions to Take Flight

mike albanese column mugSitting at 3-1  and heading into its final non-district game before an Oct. 11 showdown with Plano, the McKinney High football team finds itself in an interesting situation.

The Lions are tied for second best overall record in District 10-5A with Plano West, who are both looking up at the undefeated trio of Plano East, Senior and Allen.

And all of this has been done without much of a passing attack.

No, not because junior quarterback Bryan Sutter isn’t capable. But the Lions have focused so much of their offensive attack on the ground, so the air attack has yet to take flight.

With district play weeks away, it may be time for the Lions to take to the air.

Through McKinney’s first four games, Sutter has 54 pass attempts, but the Lions have rushed the ball 144 times. Sutter, however, has completed 63 percent of his passes on the season and his 494 passing yards is good for 44th in the state in 5A football. Sutter also has six touchdowns against three interceptions.

And Sutter is not the only signal caller McKinney can put out there. They also have sophomore Tyree Johnson, who can spread the defense with his speed and give the Lions’ passing attack another dimension.

While McKinney does have the capability to use both quarterbacks, Sutter, as the starter, must become the leader and offensive catalyst this McKinney team needs to make a push for postseason play. And in just their second season back in 5A – MHS finished its final season in 4A at 0-10 in 2011;  then went 5-5 last season in 5A – the Lions have a chance to make noise.

But to do that, Sutter must air the ball out and connect with receivers T.V. Williams, Dalon Willis and Tommy Candea, and make defenses respect the air-attack of MHS.

Sutter and the Lions will have a stiff test Friday against an undefeated Denton Ryan squad that has surrendered just 24 points in three games. Win or lose Friday, the 2013 McKinney football squad has a chance to make some noise and give the Planos and Allens of 5A a run for their money — or even win a few games.

To do that, the Lions must take to the air.

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