For the fourth straight season, the McKinney Lions will end the football year with a loss to the Highland Park Scots. The first two losses took place in bi-district playoff games at Kimbrough Stadium in Murphy. Last year, the Lions hosted the Scots in a game that MHS needed to win in order to have a chance at making the playoffs. Despite a valiant effort from the running back duo of Travis Tarver and Damion Willis, the Lions fell short of their postseason goal and had to say their final goodbyes on the turf of Ron Poe Stadium.
Now, one year later McKinney High is set to play Highland Park in a season finale game that will go down in history. But not the good kind of history.
After Friday’s road game versus unbeaten, District 10-4A champion Highland Park, the Lions will go down in the record books as the first 0-10 football team in the history of the program. It’s a sad way to end the year for a team that I firmly believed had the tools necessary to not only finish above the .500 mark but also to make the playoffs.
I fully expect a lot of changes to take place in the offseason. For now, Lions fans should just enjoy the performance their team delivers on Friday night because it’s going to be a long, hard road back to August.
McKinney High vs. Highland Park Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Highlander Stadium.
The Scots may have already secured the district title but there’s no way they’re going to blow their chance at a perfect season.
Highland Park 58, McKinney High 20
One year ago, I traveled to HB Johnson Stadium in Garland to witness a historic district title game between the visiting McKinney Boyd Broncos and the South Garland Colonels. It was a game that I won’t soon forget, highlighted by a gutsy performance by backup quarterback Tyler Phelps, a swarming and physical defensive effort, and one of the best game-winning touchdown runs I’ve ever seen from then sophomore Brian Driskell.
This Friday, Boyd and South Garland will meet at Ron Poe Stadium in a less-anticipated rematch of their 2010 showdown.
South Garland is sitting at the No. 5 spot in District 10-5A and would need a great deal of help to get into the playoffs. McKinney Boyd, on the other hand, secured their playoff fate with a shutout of Rowlett last Thursday. The Rowlett Eagles beat South Garland 38-30 in week three of the district season.
Bryan Driskell is over 200 yards away from reaching the 2,000-yard rushing mark for the season. I don’t’ expect he’ll reach it though since the Broncos may want to rest their starters as soon as they get a comfortable lead. On the bright side, the junior running back will have a chance at going for 30 regular season touchdowns.
Through 9 games, Driskell has rushed for 26 touchdowns, caught for one touchdown, and returned a kickoff for a score.
McKinney Boyd vs. South Garland Thursday at 7 p.m. at Ron Poe Stadium.
Since losing to Garland, the Broncos have been on a tear and that will no doubt continue this Friday as the program celebrates its senior night.
McKinney Boyd 44, South Garland 17
For the last week of the 2010 regular season, I had the privilege of watching all three of our McKinney football teams compete. In addition to watching the Broncos claim the district title on the road, and witnessing the Lions’ heroic effort versus Highland Park, I also drove to Wylie for the first half of McKinney North’s season finale.
It was disappointing to say the least.
With the Wylie Pirates standing between them and a postseason berth, the Dawgs quickly discovered that they just didn’t have the firepower necessary to contend with the home standing Pirates. By halftime, Wylie held a commanding 33-7 lead over the Bulldogs and that was the last I saw of McKinney North football.
This Friday, McKinney North will host Wylie in a rematch game with huge playoff implications. By defeating Richardson Pearce last week, Wylie put itself back in the playoff picture and a victory for either team this week will send that program to the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs.
The Bulldogs showed a lot of heart in their victory over Rockwall and I expect a bigger celebration to take place at Ron Poe Stadium on Friday night. If I were McKinney North, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of the Pirates pulling off the upset. If there’s any team that can come into Ron Poe Stadium and get a big win its Wylie.
McKinney North vs. Wylie Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Ron Poe Stadium.
McKinney North 31, Wylie 21
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com