Monday , 23 April 2018
north champs 14

Mike Albanese: Looking Into My Football Playoffs Crystal Ball…

Oh, how I love to make predictions. And with the UIL football playoffs set to kick on Friday with both McKinney Boyd and McKinney North in the Bi-District Round, there’s no better day to do so.

Even if I’m wrong, there’s nothing I enjoy doing more than spitting out opinions.

boyd-mhs 4Lets start with McKinney Boyd,  who finished as the No. 2 seed in District 10-5A with a 4-1 record, 6-4 overall. Its first-round opponent, Richardson Pearce, played its way into the fourth and final playoff spot in District 9-5A with an overall record of 5-5, and 4-3 in district.

Boyd will roll into Plano’s John Clark Stadium with a tidal wave of momentum, as well as one of the most productive running backs in Dallas-5A – Dedrick Scrivens. Scrivens is the No. 3 rusher in Dallas-5A with 1,596 rushing yards and 23 rushing touchdowns, and leads the area in total scores with 28.

Despite its potent rushing attack, Boyd has a productive passing attack led by Curtis Ladd, the No. 15-ranked passer in the area with 1,698 passing yards. Ladd has thrown for 11 touchdown and 8 interceptions, too.

mike albanese column mugBoyd’s offense is ranked seventh in the Metroplex, averaging 430.3 yards-per-game and scoring an average of 33 points-per-game.

The Bronco defense has been on a tear lately, and has been holding opponents to under 26-points-per-game. They’ll try to stop the Mustangs, who earned the final playoff spot in 9-5A but have a strong offensive attack, scoring an average of 30.4 points-per-game.

Pearce also has a strong run defense, allowing just 118.9 yards-per-game on the ground, good for No. 5 in Dallas-5A.

Prediction: Boyd defeats Pearce 28-10.

Despite Pearce’s strong rush defense, Scrivens and the Broncos, I believe, are too strong up front on the line. Mahliek Bozeman and Brandon Bowling complement Scrivens in the backfield.

The story of the game will Boyd’s defense, holding the Mustangs to fewer than 100 rushing yards.

Moving on …. Roughly more than two hours down the road in Longview, McKinney North will face a strong Texas High School (Texarkana) squad in its first-round game.

north champs 12Texas High’s defense has been nothing short of dominant, giving up 98 points on the season. But as good as its defense is, its offense is just as strong, scoring 328 points on the season, an average of 33 points-per-game.

Texas High (9-1, 5-0) finished 2013 as 14-4A District Champions, last losing to Tyler Lee  38-37 on Sep. 21.

North (6-4, 5-2) earned a share of the 13-4A District Title with its 49-37 victory over Denison last week, and will need to have a big game from its biggest star – Ronald Jones.

Jones had a magnificent season, rushing for 1, 954 yards and is the No. 2-ranked running back among area 4A schools.

Under Center, Ben Dutze has been efficient all season, throwing three interceptions with 13 touchdowns, leading an offense that averages 40.3 points-per-game.

Prediction: Texas High Defeats McKinney North 42-35.

It has been a magical season for North, going from 3-7 in 2012 to 6-4 in 2013, but Texas High may be a challenge the Bulldogs cannot topple. North’s defense has been a cause for concern all season, and I feel, while they will give a tremendous effort and fight in a way only this Bulldog club can, Texas High will have enough at the end to move on in the 4A playoffs.

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