By Rodney Hays
The Prosper Eagles had another offensive explosion against a much-improved Mansfield Lake Ridge team, with the Eagles piling up another 500-yard offensive game in a 57-42 win. It was the third 500-plus performance in a row for the Prosper offense. Last year’s squad had two 500-plus offensive games all season.
The Eagles offense had 518 yards of total offense, including a 235 yard night passing with a combination of Chase Dawkins and Steele Walker. Dawkins went 13-for-18 with 245 yards and two touchdowns. Walker was 4-for-8 with 50 yards and one touchdown.
Marquez Houston had 19 carries for 58 yards and two touchdowns before going down with an injury late in the second half. Walker also had three carries for 57 yards in the game.
But it was Chris Jackson who might have been the offensive star of the game, when he picked up a loose ball in the Eagles end zone for officially a 93-yard touchdown run (it was actually more like 109-yard return). The play made both the Dale Hansen’s Whataburger Play of the Week and Mike Doocy’s Doozy for last week. Jackson also lead the Prosper receiving corps with 7 catches for 94 yards. Riley Davis had two catches for 87 yards, including a 76-yard touchdown.
Coach Kent Scott said after the game "it’ wasn’t a pretty one, but I’ll take the win."
The team was a little slow coming off the bye week last week. Scott said the open week came a little too early in the season for his liking.
"You start to get some things going and then you have that open week. I don’t know that we really gained a bunch," he said.
But as the offense continues to roll, the defense seemed at times to struggle. But did they?
Scott said, while there is always room for improvement, some of the high scores and garish yards by opposing teams may just be the trend in football, from high school to the NFL.
"People are going to these fast, no-huddle, hurry-up [offenses]," Scott said. He said that requires the Eagles to get in what he calls "NASCAR mode" on defense.
"We are limiting the calls we can put in," he said. "We are at our best we are moving our defensive front."
On Friday night, the Lake Ridge offense ran almost 100 plays from scrimmage and gained 572 yards. Running back Duke Carter led the Lake Ridge Eagles with 256 yards and two scores.
But the Eagles did limit the Lake Ridge attack from about 4 minutes left in the third quarter on, with just one scores as time was running out for Lake Ridge.
Tyler Webb had a monster night from his safety spot with two interceptions, including one for a 22-yard touchdown. Senior Benjamin Banogu had three sacks for the Eagles defense.
Still, Scott said expect a lot of close, high-scoring games this year.
"I’m going to be surprised if a lot of games are not like this," he said. "All I have to say is Texas A&M and Alabama."
He was referring to Alabama’s 49-42 win over the Aggies, where two good offenses seem to dominate to pretty good defenses. Alabama had 568 yards of offense while A&M piled up 628 yards in a losing effort. Most of the yards (334 and 464 respectively) were gained through the air. Both teams run up-tempo offenses.
Several NFL teams are already averaging more than 400 yards of offense a game, including the league-leading Denver Broncos with 462 yards per game (before Monday night’s game against Oakland).
So, get your popcorn ready if you like a lot of offense on Friday nights. And Prosper is capable of putting up big offensive numbers.
Dawkins already is averaging 240 yards per game through the air and Houston has averaged 139 yards per game in the first three.
But this week the games start to count for real as the Eagles open up district play with Frisco Heritage.
Last year the Eagles beat Heritage 45-14, but the game was close throughout.
"Heritage, for whatever reason, is a budding rivalry," Scott said. "Last year’s game was a great game, despite the final scoreboard."
Heritage had last week off but the team is 1-2 coming into this week’s match-up with a win over Greenville and two losses coming to Lovejoy and McKinney.
Heritage is led by quarterback Malik Walker with 800 yards passing and 10 touchdowns through three games. Sean Jones has 190 yards rushing and Keaton White as 25 catches for 308 yards and four touchdowns to lead the team.
"The first district game is always big," Scott said. "We have to make sure we are not looking ahead."
The kick-off is set for 7 p.m. this Friday at Eagle Stadium. Before the game the Eagles will crown the 2013 Football Sweetheart at 6:40. This year’s candidates are: Jacqueline Brauer, Jordan Cobb, Kelsie Mayo and McKenna Shirley.