By DAVID CLAYBOURN
Greenville’s defense will face another strong test when the Lions travel to McKinney on Friday to face the McKinney North Bulldogs in District 13-4A football.
McKinney North is averaging 38 points and 444 yards of total offense per game. The 3-4 Bulldogs have scored 40 or more points in four games, including victories of 48-45 over Lucas Lovejoy and 42-13 over Royse City, plus losses of 55-44 to Sherman and 59-48 to Prosper.
McKinney North has also beaten Newman Smith (34-17) and has lost to Frisco Centennial (43-27) and Wylie (38-24).
McKinney North is averaging 259.7 yards rushing per game and 184.4 passing.
“I think they’re a little bit more run-oriented than the teams we’ve seen,” said Lions coach Marvin Sedberry.
The Bulldogs’ offense features probably the best running back the Lions will face in district play: 6-1, 185-pound junior running back Ronald Jones, who has rushed for 1,265 yards and 22 touchdowns on 119 carries.
Sedberry described Jones as a “good runner” who runs very hard.
“I think in district he’ll be the best we’ll see,” he said. “He’s a little bit more physical than what you’d think and he’s just a junior.”
McKinney North’s senior quarterback, Ben Dutze, can run (102-390, 3 TDs) or throw (89-145-3, 1,212 yards, 3 TDs).
“We’ve seen some good field generals,” said Sedberry. “He’s right in there with those guys. They like to run the ball but they can throw it.”
Senior Tre Sanders has caught 22 passes for 395 yards and 3 TDs for the Bulldogs, while junior Kervin Parks has snagged 22 passes for 273 yards and 2 TDs.
McKinney North won 31-6 over the Lions last year in Greenville, rolling up 381 total yards. Jones rushed for 126 yards on just nine carries, scoring on bursts of 51 and 19 yards and Dutze was 13-of-19 passing for 107 yards but two interceptions.
McKinney North needs a victory over the 0-7 Lions to stay in contention for one of the four playoff spots from 13-4A. The Bulldogs, at 2-2, are tied with Lucas Lovejoy and Sherman for fourth place in 13-4A. Denison, Wylie East and Wylie are all tied for first at 3-1. Royse City (1-3) and Greenville (0-4) trail the field.
“It’s very competitive,” Sedberry said of the district. “The biggest thing is everybody offensively is pretty good. If you can’t generate points then you’re going to struggle.”
Wylie East rushed for 383 yards and threw for 104 in a 48-6 victory over the Lions on Friday. The Lions finished with 133 yards rushing and 19 passing. Quarterback Matthew Riskey scored the Lions’ only touchdown on a 15-yard run.
“I didn’t think we played with a lot of intensity,” said Sedberry. “Still making too many mistakes. It’s been very difficult to correct some of them.”
The Lions lost two fumbles and a pass interception and also muffed a kickoff return.
“We’ve had a few illnesses that have affected our offensive execution,” said Sedberry.
Their game is set for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Ron Poe Stadium.