Plano West vs. Wylie

Plano West juniors Dermot White (21) and Vance Feuerbacher (15) combined for five rushing touchdowns in Friday's 49-32 victory over Wylie.

The Plano West football team began its 2021 campaign with the proverbial tale of two halves Friday at Wylie ISD Stadium. 

For as forgettable as some moments were early on for the Wolves, there were more than enough positive vibes to go around during a 42-point second half, which piloted West to a 49-32 come-from-behind victory over Wylie.

“We couldn’t played a worse first half, I don’t think. We took that into the first play of the second half where Wylie scored on its first play to make matters worse,” said Tyler Soukup, West head coach. “I think the kids have really embraced the way we do things. We calmed them down and took it one play at a time. We were down 18 at the half and there’s no 18-point touchdown. You’ve got to focus in the moment.”

The Wolves (1-0) used their ground game to sway the tide, relying on the junior backfield of quarterback Vance Feuerbacher and Dermot White to anchor the rally. Trailing 30-7, West scored the next 42 points of the contest — all in the second half. White led the charge with 214 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 13 carries, while Feuerbacher — donning a No. 15 jersey after West was unable to find his No. 14 uniform earlier in the day — accrued 149 rushing yards and two touchdowns to go along with 77 passing yards and a score. 

“They were terrific and everything we hoped and thought they could be,” Soukup said. “Vance and Dermot showed glimpses of that production a year ago and both had terrific offseasons and are very coachable young men. It didn’t surprise us.”

For as familiar as the West backfield looked at times on Friday, Soukup saw a similar progression for a defense that held Wylie out of the end zone over the final 23:45 of the ballgame. Over the final two quarters, the Pirates lost a fumble and had two turnovers on downs.

“I asked our kids at the end of the game how many of them had their first varsity experience tonight and 80-90% of the hands went up,” Soukup said. “They got hit in the mouth and it was really nice to see them respond the way they did.”


Plano rally falls short

Over at Clark Stadium, Plano submitted a strong second half of its own but fell short against visiting Trophy Club Byron Nelson, 28-22, on Friday.

The Wildcats were shut out in the first half, trailing 14-0, and had only six points to show for the first three quarters of their season after Ian Minter scored on a 21-yard run.

Plano managed to strike with two more touchdowns over the final 3:14 of the ballgame to put a late scare into the Bobcats. Kameron Jones found the end zone from 2 yards out, which was followed by a two-point conversion on a run by quarterback Austin Gonzalez to trim the gap to 28-14.

Following a Nelson punt, Gonzalez found Savion Miles for a 39-yard score with 35 seconds left, followed by another two-point conversion, to make it 28-22. Nelson recovered the ensuing onside kick and kneed out the remainder of the clock.

The Wildcats held the Bobcats under 100 yards rushing for the night but struggled to contain quarterback Jacob Wilson, who threw for 331 yards and three touchdowns. Plano was paced by 198 passing yards from Gonzalez, as well as 123 receiving yards on nine catches by Miles. Jones accrued 91 yards on the ground in the loss.

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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