CORINTH — When asked how to best describe his season, Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young immediately delved into the root of his team’s problem.
In two of the Falcons’ first four games, they played fairly well and won. In the other two games, they struggled.
Last week’s game against Denton was one of those struggles, yet the Falcons still came away with a win in the District 5-4A opener for both schools.
But on the road tonight against Trophy Club Nelson, Young is fully aware that his team’s split personality disorder leaves his club at risk of losing a critical district contest.
“You can’t be inconsistent,” Young said. “That’s the difference. We’re not good enough to overcome a bad night. We’re darn sure not going to beat [Wichita Falls] Rider or Guyer if we have a bad night, so that’s impossible.”
Tonight’s kickoff is set for 7 p.m. against the Bobcats (3-1, 0-1 district), who got rocked by Rider last week 50-14.
Lake Dallas may be without defensive lineman Luke Medlicott, who injured his knee against Denton. Defensive back Roman Mitchell missed last week’s game with an ankle injury but will be back tonight against Nelson.
For Lake Dallas (3-1, 1-0), it’s been the first time in the last three years the Falcons have not lost their first two district games. The last two years, Lake Dallas has had to face Rider and Ryan to start this season, a burden gracefully lifted this season.
Young stressed the importance of tonight’s game, with Rider and Guyer next on the schedule. The head coach said a win tonight sets Lake Dallas up for a strong chance at making the postseason.
“This is the game that gets you in the playoffs,” Young said. “The Rider game and the Guyer game are what win you a district championship, but if you don’t win these games, like ones against Nelson, you find yourself not even going to the playoffs.”
According to Young, the two good games his team played this season were wins against Richardson Pearce and Carrollton Newman Smith, both decided by 14 points or less. Lake Dallas’ third win, a nine-point victory against Denton, summed up the Falcons’ problems this season.
In the second quarter, Lake Dallas exploded for 21 points. For the other three quarters, the Falcons were held scoreless.
“We didn’t play very good last week,” Young said. “That put us in trouble. And I don’t think we have to be consistently great. We just have to be solid every night through district play.”
Lake Dallas returned three starters from an offense that led all of Class 4A in passing yards.
Most of that offense left, including quarterback Dalyn Williams, who’s currently at Dartmouth.
Senior Marshall Dominy stepped in after playing wide receiver last season and will be the first to admit the transition hasn’t been the smoothest one.
Dominy’s first priority this week is to not commit any turnovers. Dominy has thrown four touchdowns and three interceptions this season.
“I haven’t done my best,” Dominy said.“I can do way better than what I’ve been doing. I expect way more out of myself.”
Young said his quarterback has had some good moments, but he’s fallen into the same inconsistency that’s plagued the entire offense, from the line to the wide receivers.
“He’s an emotional kid and he wants to do it so bad,” Young said. “I know it’s hard on him when things aren’t going well, but that’s kind of the way it is. Things aren’t always going to go well, and that’s something he can get better at.”
During practice Tuesday, Lake Dallas’ offense practiced against its first-string defense for the first time this season to help the offense adjust to the speed of the game.
With the exception of a blowout to Frisco Centennial — ranked No. 10 by The Associated Press in Class 4A — the Falcons’ defense has played well, Young said.
Senior defensive back Dante Basher said his head coach has avoided sugarcoating the inconsistency problem the team is dealing with.
“He’s basically been telling us all the stuff we’ve been doing wrong and doing right, being real honest with us,” Basher said. “We’ve been taking that to heart and trying to pull it out in practice. Some days you don’t have it, some days you do.”
Young said his team is gradually figuring out how to have it on most days.
“We see glimpses of it getting better,” Young said. “It’s just putting it all together and everybody doing it all at once.”
BEN BABY can be reached 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .