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Rivalry Runaway: Wildcats amass nearly 400 yards on ground, blow out East
BY Bill Conrad, email@example.com
Senior Braylan Campbell and the Plano Senior football team (5-3, 2-1) ran past Plano East (4-3, 0-3) Friday night at Clark Stadium.
The senior running back carried the ball 18 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the Wildcats' 42-12 victory. The game was the 31st all time between the two rivals and evened up the series at 15-15-1.
"I think that we came out tonight and that our team was really focused after the disappointing loss to McKinney Boyd last week," said Jaydon McCullough, Plano head coach. "We didn't have any turnovers and executed at a very high level."
Campbell closed the half out with a 50-yard touchdown run to give the Wildcats a 21-0 lead heading into the locker room.
Even though East had only gained 60 yards in the first half, McCullough said the Wildcats were not taking anything for granted.
"East has a good football team," he said. "We created some turnovers early and I thought that was huge. We got that 21-0 lead at halftime, but we were up 17-0 at the half last year and lost. Our kids still had that in their memories so that was the battle cry at halftime."
McCullough said he was proud of the way his offense played, including a young offensive line with three sophomore starters.
"Braylan is going to get the credit, but it was a team effort and he would be the first one to tell you that tonight was about his offensive line," he said.
Lagow opened the scoring in the second half with his second 1-yard touchdown run of the night with just less than 10 minutes remaining in the third.
Down 35-0, East began to find its offensive rhythm.
With McGehee out of the game with an apparent injury, the Panthers relied on running back Lionel Wills to shoulder the load.
The junior answered the call and got East on the board with a 1-yard run with 6:58 to go in the third. The touchdown run came at the end of an eight-play, 86-yard drive with Wills accounting for all but 23 of the yards.
Wills had a 46-yard run early in the fourth quarter on a drive that was capped with a 10-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Justin Wheeler to senior Anthony Maioriello. Wills finished the game with 164 yards on 20 carries.
"Lionel has had some injuries throughout the season but has shown flashes of this," said Johnny Ringo, East head coach. "He provided a spark out there."
Lagow finished the game by completing 7-of-8 passes for 91 yards and a score. He also ran for two touchdowns.
In addition to Campbell, Wildcat running back Andre Morman had a big game. The senior carried the ball 13 times for 140 yards and one touchdown. Behind Campbell and Morman, the Wildcats ran the ball 48 times for 387 yards, an average of more than 8 yards per carry.
McCullough said with two games remaining, he is happy with the progress his team has made.
"We feel that we have a good football team but we have to get a lot better," he said. "We still have a bunch of fish to fry."
The scariest moment of the game occurred early in the fourth quarter when East's senior tight end Cody Verhulst was injured while blocking on a running play. Verhulst stayed down on the field for about 20 minutes with an apparent neck or back injury before being carted off the field on a stretcher. No update on his condition was available after the game.
Plano returns to action Friday against Plano West at Clark Stadium, while East hosts McKinney Boyd at Kimbrough Stadium. Both games kickoff at 7:30 p.m.
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