McKinney North Puts Clamps on Texas High + Eliminates Tigers With 26-14 Win
[By Johnny Green, Special to ETSN.fm]
LONGVIEW — For the first time this season Texas High was outplayed defensively, the end result a 26-14 loss to McKinney North in a Class 4A Division I Region II bi-district playoff at Lobo Stadium.
The primary reason for that was the running of McKinney North junior Ronald Jones, who carried 37 times for 194 yards and two touchdowns. Another was the inability of Texas HIgh's offense to move the ball effectively against a Bulldogs defense that had been yielding 35 points a game entering Friday's game.
Jones, who went over the 2,000-yard rushing mark in the game, scored on the third play from scrimmage after North received the opening kickoff. He sailed through a big hole off left tackle — a feat he repeated several times in the game — and bolted 34 yards to the end zone with only 40 seconds gone.
Texas High managed just 78 yards total offense in the first half and trailed 14-0 after quarterback Ben Dutze scored from the 1-yard line on fourth down less than a minute into the second quarter. Dutze's run capped a time-consumng, 15-play, 80-yard drive.
The Bulldogs (7-4), who play the winner of Saturday's John Tyler-Mansfield Legacy game in the area round next week, came up empty on another long drive in the half, missing a 34-yard field goal with only 48 seconds left.
Texas High had first possession in the second half, but went three-and-out, giving North the chance to extend its lead, which it did on a 36-yard pass from Dutze to KIrvin Parks, who worked his way open over the middle.
Texas High countered with its first touchdown with exactly two minutes left in the third quarter. The payoff came on a 38-yard pass from Kody Hunter to Jarion Anderson, who outleaped a defender in the end zone. The touchdown came on a fourth-and-14 play after the Tigers had first lined up for a 49-yard field goal attempt.
Texas High regained possession after the score, but Tyler Files intercepted a deep pass and returned it 30 yards to the Texas High 33-yard line. Jones converted a fourth-and-1 play with a 17-yard run and later banged over from the 1 to make it 26-7 with 5:59 left in the game.
The Tigers (9-2), District 14-4A champions, again answered quicklly, driving 59 yards in just five plays. Anderson's 26-yard twisting catch on the sidline set up Hunter's 9-yard pitch to Corey Jones with 4:29 remaining. But an onsides kickoff failed and North ran out the clock.
With Texas High's defense keying on Jones, Dutze used play-action to complete 10 of 13 passes for 128 yards and the one touchdown. Hunter threw for 153 yards, but running back Traevon Walker was held to a season-low 44 yards on 11 carries.