TSB previews this week’s MISD varsity football games with a look at playoff possibilities in the city.
Well, it seems as if McKinney North didn’t clinch a playoff spot after all.
Following the Bulldogs dramatic 42-39 victor over Wylie East last week in overtime, North head coach Mike Fecci, and the rest of the North squad, celebrated securing a playoff sport – its second playoff berth since 2009.
That wasn’t that case, Fecci said Tuesday, noting what they understood the rule to be and what it actually is were two different things.
Fecci said North is “theoretically” not in the playoffs on paper due to points from district standings.
The Bulldogs, along with Wylie, Wylie East and Lovejoy, are all 4-2 in 13-4A play. North owns wins over Wylie East and Lovejoy.
Fecci said he thought North gained the advantage through head-to-head records, thus placing them as the No. 2 seed in 13-4A.
But once standings have begun to be determined by points, they never stop, and head-to-head records don’t count.
“It’s very confusing,” Fecci said of the playoff scenarios.
With that being said, North will have to rebound, and face a win-and-in situation Friday when they take on the only 13-4A squad to clinch a playoff sport – Denison.
Fecci said if North wins, it will clinch a playoff spot and claim a share of the District 13-4A title. North could also get in with losses by Wylie or Lovejoy.
Fecci said there is also a scenario where there would be a three-way tie between North, Denison and Wylie for the district championship.
And if the task for North wasn’t pressure packed already, Fecci said his Bulldogs will be walking into hostile territory, as Friday will be the final game at 75-year-old Denison-Munch Stadium.
The stadium, which was built it 1938, will be torn down Monday for a new stadium.
Fecci said a “very, very large crowd” is expected to show Friday, and noted it will be challenge dealing with the atmosphere and Denison’s home-field advantage.
On the field, Fecci said North will have to stop a strong running game from Denison, and will rely heavily on running back Ronald Jones and quarterback Ben Dutze to shoulder the load on the ground.
He added recievers are going to have to have to make catches when they are called upon.
North and Denison is scheduled to kick off at 7:30 p.m.
McKinney Boyd – McKinney High
Battle lines are being drawn across McKinney heading into the crosstown game between McKinney Boyd and McKinney High.
On one side, you have the Broncos, a team that has already clinched a playoff spot, and awaiting to hear their first-round opponent.
And the other, McKinney High, a team searching its first 10-5A win of the season, and playing for much more than a playoff spot.
“We’re playing for pride. We’re playing for our school,” McKinney High head coach Jeff Smith said.
Despite the record of the Lions (3-6, 0-4 in 10-5A) this season, Drake recognizes the danger the Lions present, saying MHS has “fought” to put themselves in the position to win games in the fourth quarter, but just coming up a few plays short.
“We can’t look past this one,” Drake said.
Boyd may be having its eyes on a much larger prize with a playoff berth wrapped up, and Drake hopes his players don’t become complacent and start thinking about the playoffs a week early.
“It’s a trap we could fall into,” Drake said.
To combat that, Drake said, he and his coaches have been trying to send the message of treating this game like it’s the playoffs, and to bring the same mentality and focus to the field.
Smith noted the big challenge for MHS will be moving the ball against a Boyd defense that improves each week, saying the Lions need to find ways to move the chains and make first downs.
While the running backs and receivers get all the glory, Smith said Friday’s game will come down to the battle in the trenches between the offensive and defensives lines.
The season finale for Boyd and MHS is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.