The one thing that Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young wants to see from his Falcons during Friday night’s District 7-5A Division II opener against Dave Campbell Texas Football’s No.-6 ranked Frisco is how they respond to adversity.
After putting together a defensive masterpiece in a 20-3 win over Denton two weeks ago in their season opener, Lake Dallas committed three turnovers, had a punt blocked, and was flagged for seven penalties totaling 60 yards in a 38-15 loss to Frisco Centennial.
Things don’t get easier for Lake Dallas (1-1) as Frisco (2-0) brings one of the stingiest defenses in the area to Falcon Stadium on Friday night to kick off district play for both teams. The Raccoons have yielded just 9.5 points per game over their last 10 outings dating back to last season. But for the Falcons, it’s an opportunity to return to Falcon Stadium, where they held Denton to 100 yards of total offense two weeks ago.
“We've had a good week of practice,” Young said. “We have a good plan. I think we're going to play good Friday. We didn't play good at all last Thursday. We just need to play good. We're playing a really good team. It's going to be tough to beat them. The main thing is to where we're playing well. That's one thing with a good team is being consistent. If we play good every week, the wins will happen. But we've got to get back on track to do that."
The run-based, clock-eating style of offenses that both teams operate will make every possession that much more critical Friday night.
Frisco’s Wing-T formation features pre-snap motion and a lot of misdirection. The Raccoons’ ground attack has tallied 394 rushing yards through two games, with 150 of that total coming from Bradford Martin. Frisco will also utilize the occasional pass to catch the opposition off guard. Senior quarterback Caree’ Green went 5-for-9 through the air for 174 yards and a touchdown in last week’s 31-0 rout of Frisco Reedy.
Lake Dallas is also capable of putting together long drives. Senior quarterback Trevor Moon engineered a 12-play drive that led to an Aundre Minnifield touchdown run for the game’s first score last week. That touchdown put the Falcons on top of Centennial 7-0 in the first quarter.
“There won't be very many possessions,” Young said. “There might be six possessions in a half for both teams. You've got to make all of the ones that you've got count. However, it would not be a bad thing to punt the ball to them and make them go a long field. We’ve just got to get first downs and run the clock.”
Frisco’s run game is anchored by a big offensive line that includes 6-5, 300-pound junior Cole Hutson, the nation’s No. 38 rated offensive lineman for the class of 2022 by 247sports.com, plus seniors Greer Rush, who has received an offer from the University of Central Arkansas, and Jackson Baker, as well as junior Chase King.
But, Lake Dallas boasts a front seven that features plenty of speed and is physical, which could help neutralize Frisco’s rushing attack. Senior linebacker Patrick Wenger has 17 tackles through two games while fellow senior Gerry Beck has contributed 15 stops on defense to go along with two sacks.
“One thing that you have to be against them is fast essentially in all of your positions,” Young said. “Your defensive line has to be able to run. Our defensive line can run and they are athletic. I think that is one thing that is going to help us is our speed at defensive line and at linebacker. You've got to be able to run sideline to sideline and kind of soften their offense. I think we can matchup with that.”
Frisco’s defense presents just as much of a challenge to Lake Dallas.
Last week, the Raccoons held Reedy, a playoff team from a year ago, to just 88 rushing yards on 36 carries for an average of 2.44 yards per carry.
The previous week against Frisco Independence, Frisco applied nonstop pressure on Knights senior quarterback Braylon Braxton, holding him to 130 passing yards on 14-of-29 through the air. Arkansas commit Chase Lowery jumped a route to make an interception in the final minutes to preserve a 17-14 win for Frisco.
"They're one of the best teams in the state,” Young said. “They're going to compete for a state championship. Defensively, they're as good as anyone around. They shut Reedy out last week. They played a really good Independence team and held them to 14 points. They're a handful on defense."