The timing couldn’t have been any better for the McKinney Boyd offense to turn in its best performance of the season.
And by a landslide.
The Broncos totaled just 33 points across their four non-district games and needed just over three quarters to eclipse that number altogether in Thursday’s District 5-6A opener against Denton Braswell — erupting for season-highs across the board in a 42-12 blowout of the Bengals at McKinney ISD Stadium.
“It was critical. Braswell’s offense is so potent and has Division I kids everywhere,” said Joe McBride, Boyd head coach. “It was big for us to try and keep them off the field and maintain clock and possessions, and our offense did a phenomenal job of moving the chains and using the clock. We played great complementary football last night where all three phases fed off each other.
“But that wasn’t our Super Bowl — we have to continue doing that.”
Finding the district win column for the team’s homecoming game, the Broncos came to life with a season-best 514 yards to complement six trips into the end zone for the offense. For comparison’s sake, Boyd entered Thursday’s ballgame averaging 200.8 yards per game and having only totaled three offensive touchdowns.
But as shown in the team’s 14-7 overtime victory the week prior against Trophy Club Byron Nelson, the Broncos’ personnel has changed and players are gaining comfort in new roles. Look no further than late in the first quarter after Boyd quashed a 13-play Braswell drive with a goal-line stand and, one play later, extended its lead to 14-0 on a 99-yard touchdown pass from sophomore quarterback Ryan Shackleton down the seam to junior Carter Whitefield.
“It helped with the confidence and momentum. We had a great play call there and knew it would likely be open. Everyone did a great job executing and showed what we can do anytime you eliminate self-destructive plays,” McBride said.
Shackleton helped steer the Broncos to victory against Nelson last week in his first-ever start. He improved on that performance on Thursday, passing for 248 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-19 attempts.
Fittingly enough, his top target was Whitefield, who began the season behind center for Boyd but has been deployed elsewhere following an injury sustained earlier in the preseason. Donning a cast over his right hand, Whitefield can still run and catch just fine — proving as much behind 190 total yards of offense and four touchdowns scored against the Bengals.
“I’m super proud of him. At the end of the day, football is the consummate team game — it’s not about individuals or stats or accolades, it’s about being the best teammate you can be and putting the noise behind you,” McBride said. “Carter’s a football player and there’s a lot of things he can do. He’s physical, tough and brings leadership. He’s a true football player and much more than a one-position guy. Being able to utilize him this way really complements what our personnel is right now.”
Whitefield caught touchdown passes of 99, 10 and 18 yards, while junior Peyton Shaw found the end zone twice at running back — rushing 19 times for 110 yards in the win.
It was more than enough of a cushion for a Bronco defense that held the Bengals well below their normal output. Braswell entered Thursday’s game averaging nearly 48 points per game but mustered only 12 points on 331 yards gained. Boyd’s offense helped steer time of possession in its favor, which shortened the game for the normally potent Bengals.
“It came down to playing great complementary football,” McBride said. “When you’re playing great offenses like that, you’re going to bend some. They’ve got a great scheme, but you just can’t fold tent anytime they make a big play. You have to keep battling and make great things happen.”
Lions out-gunned by Guyer
Despite being tied 21-21 after one quarter, McKinney failed keep pace with state-ranked Denton Guyer as Thursday’s 5-6A opener progressed out of C.H. Collins Stadium
The Lions scored just 14 points for the rest of the night — all coming in the fourth quarter and after the Wildcats had built enough of a cushion to pick up a 55-35 victory.
McKinney got an early boost from senior Geor’Darrius Mays, who picked off Guyer quarterback Eli Stowers’ first throw of the ballgame. Five plays later, the Lions drew first blood on a 19-yard touchdown pass from junior Sampson Nazarko to senior Omari Walker for a 7-0 lead.
The two sides traded scores for the duration of the quarter — senior RJ Carver and freshman Bryan Jackson both found the end zone for McKinney — until Guyer blew the game open with 20 unanswered points in the second stanza for a 41-21 halftime lead.
Guyer outgained McKinney, 523-326, in the win, while the Wildcats zeroed in on slowing the Lions’ rushing attack to the tune of 103 yards on 32 carries. Jackson led that unit with 53 yards on the ground, while Nazarko threw for 223 yards and totaled three touchdowns.
The Lions, 3-2 on the year and 0-1 in district, have a bye for the coming week before returning to action at 7 p.m. Nov. 5 against Prosper.