McKinney North plays a Thursday night game this week so it will not be included in "Joe's Friday Night Football Picks", which is a shame because last week I nailed the prediction for the Dawgs' first game against Boyd. If you checked out the first installment of this season's Friday morning football predictions article then you saw that yours truly predicted a final score of 42-13. The real final score was actually 42-10 but come on… that's pretty good.
So, I'm predicting this game separate from the other two and that's probably a good thing because North may (or may not) be the only McKinney team to win in week two. The Bulldogs host Dallas Bryan Adams at 7:00 at Ron Poe Stadium but before you throw on your orange shirt and grab your stadium seat, here are 5 Things You Need To Know About Tonight's Game.
1. McKinney North Wins
-Let's just get this out of the way - McKinney North will win. I'm not predicting they will win, I'm just telling you it's going to happen. There isn't anyone in the city or reading this article that would call that a bold prediction. Normally, I would say there's no way a team can lose to another team by 30 points one year and then come back and beat them the next but I think McKinney High busted that myth last week. What I will say is that Bryan Adams is no Frisco and they don't have a Carlos Harris for a running back. McKinney North got beat up by Class 5A neighbor Boyd last Friday night and, unfortunately for the Cougars, the Bulldogs will take out all their frustration on the visiting team Thursday night.
2. North's Defense Is Going To Hammer Bryan Adams
-Head coach Mike Fecci wants to see better tackling on his defense. If he didn't he wouldn't' have called them out after last week's game. Considering the caliber of running back it was facing, North's defense played pretty well in its season opener. Unfortunately, the Dawgs were constantly stuck with bad field positing and failed to wrap up the ball carrier on several key plays, which hurt the defense throughout the night. This week, the Bulldogs will not have to spend the whole night their backs against the endzone and that will be a huge morale boost, which I believe should help get more defenders to the football and more ball carriers to the ground.
3. The Dawgs' Kick Returners Will Finally See Some Action
-After every Broncos' touchdown, McKinney North had to stand and watch as Boyd's Cameron Decell kicked the ball out of the back of the endzone for a touchback. Talk about frustrating. If memory serves me correctly, the Dawgs had just one kick return for the entire night. I don't know who Bryan Adams' kicker is but I doubt he has the leg strength of Decell so I fully expect to see some big kick returns tonight from North.
4. Jalen Jordan Is Back
-Who? The Bryan Adams quarterback who passed for 117 yards, two interceptions, and no touchdowns in last year's game. Oh yeah, that guy. If I had gone to that game I'm pretty sure I wouldn't remember that kid either but that's okay because we always have YouTube. Check out the video at the bottom of the screen.
5. North's Two Offensive Stars From Last Year's Game Are Also Back… Kind Of
-The Bulldogs crushed the Cougars last season by a final score of 30-0. Leading the offensive charge in that game was the rushing duo of QB Brylen Williams and RB Devin Smith, who combined for 233 yards and two touchdowns. So who scored those other two touchdowns? That would be DeAnte Moore and Marcquel Sheppard - but don't expect them to suit up tonight. As it turns out, both Brylen and Devin will be a part of tonight's game but in different roles. Devin is nursing a knee injury from spring football and is expected to return for the start of district play. His younger brother, Trey, is taking over in the backfield in his absence along with Selwyn Smith. Brylen will be on the field in his new role as a defensive back. Earlier this week, Fecci and I discussed last week's game and we talked about how comfortable Brylen looked on the defense after spending last season as the team's QB. I watched that Boyd game from the sidelines and I saw up close just how hard this kid can hit. He should have a great season back there. I'm going to go out on a limb and make one final prediction and say that Brylen finds a way to get into the endzone tonight. Last week, he was in position for an interception but it went to Justin DeLeon. And last year, Jalen Jordan threw two picks against the Bulldogs. The odds seem pretty good.
And now my prediction for McKinney North vs. Dallas Bryan Adams… *drum roll*
Bulldogs - 35
Cougars - 10
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com