CORINTH — After two weeks of playing the weaker teams in District 14-5A, Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young said he knew Friday’s game against McKinney North represented a big step up in weight class.
It didn’t take long for the Bulldogs to show why. They scored the game’s first 22 points before holding on for a 38-22 win to hand Lake Dallas its first district loss.
“The whole key to the game was we had to get off to a good start offensively,” Young said. “That was the whole key, and we didn’t do it. We had a couple of chances, and we couldn’t do it. If we throw and catch it, we have a couple of easy touchdowns. We just didn’t do it.”
McKinney North star running back Lamar Lucas proved to be too much for the Falcons’ defense as the shifty and punishing 5-foot-8 runner had 141 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries.
Boxscore: McKinney North at Lake Dallas
Lake Dallas (3-3, 2-1) had its share of opportunities, especially early on, but too many of them came up short.
The Falcons’ dynamic playmaker Ky’lee Smith had a rare drop on what would have been a first down deep in the red zone on a drive that eventually ended on a failed fourth-down conversion. Later in the first half, Lake Dallas sophomore receiver Brandon Engel took a backward pass from Ryan Depperschmidt and saw Smith streaking down the sideline with no defenders within 30 yards of him, but he overthrew the pass on what would have been a touchdown.
“We’re a good enough team to beat them. We just didn’t,” Young said. “It’s just about making plays, and we’re not making plays. To win these games you have to make plays. We have to coach better to make plays, and they have to make them.”
The Falcons’ defense suffocated North (4-2, 2-1) in the third quarter and forced several punts while also getting a fourth-down stop deep in the Bulldogs’ territory. But Lake Dallas missed two short field goals and was stopped on fourth down deep in the red zone, squandering several chances to cut the deficit to one score.
“They’re really good offensively, so to be at end of third quarter and having given up 25 points, I would have told you I thought we’d be leading,” Young said. “[Lake Dallas’ defense] played really good, especially in the third quarter. We had bunch of three-and-outs and got great field position two or three times, but couldn’t do anything with it.”
McKinney North quarterback Cameron Constantine passed for 232 yards and two touchdowns and added 87 yards and a score on the ground. His leading target was Parker Brehm, who caught five balls for 109 yards and a touchdown.
Depperschmidt, the Falcons' junior signal-caller, finished his night 24-for-36 for 293 yards and three touchdowns with a late interception. He was sacked nine times.
“There was protection stuff, but we are also holding the ball too long,” Young said. “We had plenty of time on five or six of those sacks. We just have to learn incomplete passes aren’t bad plays. Sacks kill us, and we had too many tonight.
“But you get down 22-0 and have to throw 50 times, and that’s what’s going to happen. Your quarterback is going to take a beating. It’s happened a couple of times this year now.”