PLANO - The Plano Wildcats (5-1, 1-0) have gone back to the future and the philosophy seems to be paying off as they've won five of their first six games including Thursday night's 10-5A opener at Poe Stadium 28-7 over the McKinney Lions (3-3, 0-1). One constant for Plano through the first six games has been a stingy defense and a ball control ground game that has chewed up yards and time. That formula was on full display as sophomore RB Brandon Stephens ran for 259 yards on 26 carries to lead the Wildcats attack.
The Plano defense contained an explosive McKinney offense holding the Lions to just 227 yards of offense, much of that yardage gained when the game was no longer in doubt. Plano opened the game with an impressive eight play 75 yard drive that was capped off by a one yard run by junior QB Brooks Panhans giving Plano Senior High a 7-0 lead. Most of the legwork was done by Stephens who carried the ball four times for 63 yards on the drive.
After an exchange of punts it appeared McKinney had something going as the Lions had moved to the Plano 35, but on 4th and 2 MHS elected to go for it and the Plano defense would rise to the occasion. Sophomore QB Tyree Johnson would be stopped short of the first down line on a great tackle by Wildcats LB Myles Solsberry and Plano would seize the change in momentum. 3 straight runs to Stephens picked up 66 yards and a Plano touchdown and the Wildcats held a 14-0 edge after one quarter.
The lead would swell to 21-0 in the second quarter as Panhans hooked up with tight end Colby Cantu for a 37 yard touchdown pass and at halftime Plano held a comfortable edge. McKinney would show some fight in the second half as the Lions moved easily down the field taking a 21-7 lead on the opening drive of the third quarter. Johnson would score from two yards out for the Lions score. After a missed Plano field goal, the Lions had the ball and a chance to cut the lead to just one score early in the fourth quarter. After moving to the Plano 34 again the Lions came up empty as a penalty and three straight incompletions along with a sack ended the Lions hopes of a comeback. Plano would eat up a large portion of the fourth with a methodical drive that culminated in Panhans scoring on a ten yard run for the final margin of 28-7.
Plano will return to District 10-5A play next week as they head back to Poe Stadium to take on McKinney Boyd, while McKinney will visit Plano East.