The Pirates defense, led by Beau Cobb and Matt Sandgren, shut down the Lions last gasp effort on the final play of the game.
By Shiela K. Haynes
The Pirates eked out a 23-20 win over McKinney at Wylie Stadium. The Raiders were ousted by McKinney North 35-16 at Ron Poe Stadium.
The outcome of the Wylie-McKinney game was anything but certain until the final whistle blew. Wylie took the initial lead with Seth Hiddink’s 21-yard field goal. McKinney stepped in front with a 28-yard touchdown run. Wylie responded with a 3-yard touchdown run by Paul Branish and a 5-yard pass play for touchdown from Nico Ramirez to Jermaine Merdock. Wylie held a 16-7 lead at halftime.
The Lions shocked Wylie early in the third quarter with back-to-back touchdowns. With five minutes to go in the third, McKinney scored on an 8-yard run at the end of a lengthy drive. A Wylie fumble deep in their territory opened the door, and the Lions walked right in with a 5-yard run to take the lead 20-16.
The Pirates went away empty-handed when a 14-play drive stalled at the 1-yard line, and they turned it over on downs with 7:43 remaining. The Wylie defense killed the Lions' ensuing drive to give their offense a last shot at victory. Starting at the McKinney 48, Ramirez led the Pirates on a 10-play drive that included a successful fourth-down conversion. On third and goal, Ramirez carried it in from six yards out to put Wylie up 23-20 with 1:14 left on the clock.
It was a less happy outcome for the Raiders in their first district contest. Wylie East held a 7-6 halftime lead, but things began to unravel late in the third quarter. The Bulldogs' defense limited the Raiders' ground attack and took advantage of five turnovers. They scored 22 points in the final frame for a lopsided victory.
Quarterback Jesse Brubaker completed 13 of 26 passes for 185 yards and rushed for another 50 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Brandon was his favorite target with just over 80 yards receiving. Marcell Ateman and Brandon Young also caught four passes each.
In other District 10-4A action, Highland Park wrapped up Rockwall 37-30, and Rockwall Heath tore down J. J. Pearce 45-20.
For the complete game stories, pick up a copy of this week's Wylie News.