Tigers second half rally not enough against McKinney North

double overtime
Kobe Webster (13) caught three touchdown passes from Rian Cellers Friday as Texas High shocked fifth-ranked Lufkin in double overtime.
If Texas High head coach Gerry Stanford had his wish, it would be a faster start by his Tigers in Friday’s Homecoming game against McKinney North.

Stanford’s team won the second half by two touchdowns, but by then the Bulldogs were 34 points ahead en route to a 62-41 victory. The setback dropped the Tigers to 0-2 in District 7-5A, Division I play.
“They’ve done it to everybody,” Stanford surmised of North’s 34-point second quarter that decided the game’s outcome for all intents and purposes. “So that’s not uncharacteristic of them. I think what we would have wished for in that first half is for our offense to help out our defense a little bit more. We missed a field goal and that was huge. If we don’t get the holding call that cost us seven more points it really would have helped our defense.”
The Bulldogs (5-1, 2-0) came in averaging better than 600 yards per game offensively. The first-half show put on by senior quarterback Dillon Markiewicz was indicative of those numbers.

McKinney North got a scare in third quarter

But the second half was a different story. Tiger sophomore quarterback Braylon McHenry came of age by passing for 344 yards and four touchdowns. Three came in the second half. His 2-yard toss to Clayton and Smith, and 60-yard bomb to Kobe Webster. Tracy Cooper cut the Bulldogs lead to 48-34 on a 36-yard dash. The first of two Jayden Smith’s second-half TD runs slowed the momentum.
Both teams scored once in the fourth period, Smith taking the second of two fourth-down conversion passes 52 yards for Texas High and North’s Smith darting 23 yards with 4:55 left in the game.
“We did some things offensively in the second half to balance our formation, and we’ve got a young quarterback who really grew up tonight,” Stanford said. “I’m really proud of him, but we had hoped he would play that way in the first half. The throws he was making in the second half were the same as in the first, but he just figured out where he was throwing the ball.”
Cooper (16 carries, 85 yards) was held under 100 yards rushing for the first time this season, although a fourth-quarter holding penalty wiped out his longest run of the night. North’s Manny Fincher, the district’s leading rusher was held to a season-low 88 yards on 20 carries.

McKinney North

Mesquite Poteet next challenge for Tigers

It doesn’t get any easier for the Tigers, who face another undefeated district team in Mesquite Poteet next Thursday.
“I think what we learned tonight is we have to do better Monday through Thursday,” Stanford said. “We had some distractions this week that we allowed to happen, and we can’t continue to do that.”
Texas High had no answer for the strong-armed Markiewicz in the first half. The 6-5, 230-pounder completed 14 of 17 passes for 299 yards and six of the Bulldogs’ seven touchdowns. He also converted a 3rd and long with a 15-yard run to keep one scoring drive alive.
And he spread the wealth around, although it appeared early that he and tight end Brandon Frazier (6-7, 250) would be a two-man show. Frazier had touchdown catches of 12 and 21 yards in the first quarter after nabbing a 50-yarder on MN’s first possession. He finished with 10 catches for 191 yards.
But fleet-footed wideout JJ Henry took over in the second period with three TD catches, including a 47-yarder with 27.6 seconds left in the half. That catch completed a 3-play, 60-yard drive in 31.2 seconds after an interception.

Henry leads McKinney North offense

Henry also caught scoring passes of 19 and 36 yards in the quarter, while Sean Monsour got in on the act with a 12-yard reception two plays after Texas High’s punter fumbled the snap on fourth down.
He caught six passes for 129 yard. Markiewicz finished 20 of 24 for 378 yards.
Fincher was held to 62 yards on 12 carries in the half, but also had a 6-yard touchdown run.
With Cooper unable to shake loose, Webster was the only Tiger to find offensive success in the half. He scored on a 46-yard pass from McHenry to tie the game in the first quarter.  Then he sprinted 43 yards down the left sideline on a run to make it 21-14 with 7:46 remaining. But the Tigers could not score again. The Bulldogs had four straight touchdowns in the final 6:11.
In pre-game ceremonies Skyler Black was named Texas High’s 2019 Homecoming Queen.
The 2009 Texas High state championship baseball team was honored. So was the state-winning 800-meter relay track and field team from the same year.