IRVING — McKinney North’s high-powered offensive attack met its match Friday in the area round of the Class 5A Division I playoffs against Lancaster.
A Bulldogs’ offense that entered averaging 56.5 points and 594 yards per game was limited to just three offensive scores and 354 total yards in a 58-28 loss to the Tigers at Joy and Ralph Ellis Stadium in Irving.
North also turned the ball over four times as Lancaster used a 44-7 run spanning the second and fourth quarters to pull away, racking up 601 yards in the process.
“The points weren’t there tonight,” said Mike Fecci, North head coach. “It’s a credit to (Lancaster). They’re good and have tremendous team speed and that makes it tough.”
Lancaster quarterback Glenn Rice Jr. completed 12-of-15 passes for 239 yards and five touchdowns while also rushing for 61 yards and a score. His primary target was LaTrell Caples, who hauled in seven receptions for 178 yards and three scores.
The Tigers also gashed the Bulldogs’ defense to the tune of 364 rushing yards on the night, including 171 on 15 carries from Tre Bradford and 124 yards on six rushes with two touchdowns from DQ James.
Lancaster had built a 35-21 lead thanks to an ultra-efficient first half that saw the Tigers score on five of six possessions in the opening two quarters and rack up 388 yards of offense, including a perfect 8-of-8 passing for Rice Jr. and more than 10 yards per carry on the ground.
The Bulldogs spotted the Tigers 14 points to open before drawing even at 14 apiece early in the second quarter.
Later in the second, with North trailing, 29-21, the Bulldogs cut the deficit to eight courtesy of a 14-yard touchdown pass from Markiewicz to Noah Ford only to see Lancaster answer moments later on a 57-yard scoring strike down the sideline from Rice Jr. to Caples.
“We just didn’t play very well,” Fecci said. “That’s the bottom line. We didn’t play like we can and this time of the year, if you do that, you’re going to get beat. The people you are playing are so high-caliber. That was the case tonight. They got the separation on us and we started spinning our wheels a little bit and couldn’t make the comeback we hoped.”
With the win, Lancaster advances to face the winner of Frisco Independence at a time and place to be determined.
North, meanwhile, was seeking an appearance in the third round of the playoffs for the third time in five years.
“As disappointed as we are, we’ll wake up in the morning and realize we went 10-2 and were undefeated district champions,” Fecci said. “That’s special. I told the seniors afterward that every group leaves a mark for others to follow and this group did that. They raised the bar of our program in every single area and really showed the guys coming behind them what it means to be a leader all of the time. That’s invaluable and how you build a program and build culture.”