McKINNEY, Texas -- McKinney North defeated crosstown rival McKinney on Friday, 14-7, with a running offense that lost its quarterback early in the game.
North (5-2, 3-1 District 10-4A) started strong, forcing McKinney (3-3, 2-2) to a three-and-out. After a strong defensive showing, the Bulldogs put together a 13-play drive that ended on a 2-yard run from Devin Smith.
The Bulldogs would follow with another three-and-out stop against the Lions, but on their next offensive drive would experience a slight scare.
Quarterback Brylen Williams went down with a leg injury after scrambling for a 53-yard gain. North head coach Mike Fecci had two quarterbacks available, senior Austin Laudenslager and junior Hunter Walling.
Laudenslager was already playing defensive back, which meant Walling would be under center. But he would mainly hand off the ball off to Smith.
Smith finished with 115 yards on 35 carries and scored both of North's touchdowns. Fecci was more than pleased with the performance Smith and his offense put up.
"We were worried at first when we saw Brylen go down after that long run, but we knew we had two guys who could help run the offense for us and Smith who we knew would be a tough runner," Fecci said.
North would finish the first half with a 14-0 lead over McKinney, but the Lions would come out in the second half with a determined defense.
The Lions forced North into three straight punting situations, one of which set up a McKinney score. A play-action pass to running back Travis Tarver II went for 24 yards to the North 1-yard line. Morgan Maribo sealed the drive with a play-action score.
But penalties would hurt the Lions. On North's final possession, flags turned third-and-long situations into first downs for the Bulldog offense, which would kill the clock. North missed a field goal from 34 yards out but left McKinney with just under two minutes to try and gain 80 yards for a tying score.
On the third play of McKinney's final McKinney, quarterback Robert Somborn was intercepted by Laudenslager to seal the win.
"You just have to come out strong in these district rivalries and know that you are capable of winning, no matter the situation," Fecci said. "I am real proud of these boys."
McKinney North will face Highland Park next week, while McKinney takes on Richardson Pearce.