It's been another rough non-district season for McKinney High.
The Lions have struggled coming out of the gate in recent years and are 0-3 for the third time in four years. The good news is that MHS' two previous 0-3 non-district seasons resulted in playoff appearances. The bad news is that the Lions were district favorites in those years. This summer, McKinney High was picked to finish second to last in District 10-4A and if the Lions can't find a way to turn the ship around soon they may just prove Texas Football right.
If anything could help MHS steer the ship in the right direction it would be a win over the Wylie Pirates. In the two school's three previous meetings, Wylie has emerged victorious each time. The closest game of the series took place last fall at Pirates Stadium when Wylie eked out a 23-20 victory over MHS.
The Lions capitalized on a fumble recovery deep in Pirates territory to take a 20-16 lead in the third quarter. The fourth quarter saw both teams’ defenses step up for huge stops. With one last opportunity to win the game, senior quarterback Nico Ramirez led the offense on a 10-play drive ending with a 6-yard touchdown run on third-and-goal with 1:14 remaining. Wylie was able to hold on for the district victory.
MHS This Week
Who: Wylie Pirates (2-1) vs. McKinney High (0-3)
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
Where: Ron Poe Stadium
About the Opponent: The Wylie Pirates advanced to the state semifinals in 2010
Passing: Donald Slay (33-of-73, 330 yards, 1 TD, 3 INT)
Rushing: Victor Jones (29 carries, 184 yards, 2 TD), Donald Slay (40 carries, 121 yards, 2 TD)
Receiving: Victor Jones (6 rec, 132 yards, 1 TD), Freddy Gibbs (4 rec, 77 yards, 1 TD)
Wylie Season Recap
Week 1: The Pirates featured new quarterback, Donald Slay, in their season opener and the result was a disappointing 30-16 loss at home to Class 5A Sachse.
Week 2: The Wylie offense was once again held to 16 points but this time it was in a rebound game versus West Mesquite that saw the Pirates come out on top, 16-6.
Week 3: Wylie stunned 5A Rowlett (30-27) with a fourth-quarter rally that ended with a clutch 39-yard Seth Hiddink field goal as time expired.
McKinney High vs. Wylie
2004 - Wylie 14, MHS 7
2005 - Wylie 22, MHS 14
2010 - Wylie 23, MHS 20
Smith's Take On Wylie
"They always play great defense over there. Their front seven are very physical, very quick, and very athletic. In a game like this, five yards is a great play."
The Lions Will Win If…
they limit their turnovers to zero. McKinney High can and will win this game if the offense can play a mistake free football game for four quarters. Both teams should be able to score on each other's defense at will so if this game turns into a shootout, the team that gives up a big pick or a fumble will lose the ballgame.
The Pirates Will Win If...
they steal momentum early in the game. The Lions are currently 0-3 and Thursday night is their chance to turn things around. Emotions on the MHS sideline will be high so if the Pirates come out of the gate and take a big lead early it could take the wind out of the sails of an already desperate football team.
This one is a tough call. I think the game will be very close and most likely come down to a final possession like last year's matchup. If that's the case, my money is on the team that is coming off of a nail-biter. The Pirates were able to win with a field goal at the buzzer against Rowlett to end the non-district season and such a dramatic win has no doubt been a huge boost for the program.
Wylie 35, McKinney High 30
-Joe Arriola, TownSquareBuzz.com