Prosper football may be in for its toughest challenge of the year on the road against McKinney North.
McKinney North (4-2) boasts arguably the best offense Prosper (5-1) has seen all year. After suffering a 46-18 loss at the hands of the Eagles last season, the Bulldogs will be hungry for revenge.
“They’re defensive line is really good, and they have some players on offense who are really explosive,” Prosper head coach Brandon Schmidt said. “We’re going to need a great week of preparation and be ready to play on Friday night.”
As he does throughout the year, defensive coordinator Jason Johns has been preparing in advance for the McKinney North offense. They return each of their most productive skill players from 2016.
“They’re back, and they’re all better,” Johns said. “They’re very talented and very well coached. Going over there is going to be a tremendous challenge.”
Prosper has a great running back of their own in senior Kaleb Adams, but McKinney North’s Lamar Lucas has put up even bigger numbers this season. The reigning District Offensive Player of the Year is averaging more than 150 yards and two touchdowns per game. Stopping him from moving the chains will be key for the Eagles defense. Lucas has found the end zone in 15 consecutive games since being held scoreless against Prosper in 2016.
The second crucial priority is containing McKinney North quarterback Cam Constantine in the pocket. His running ability gives McKinney North another layer on offense and will be a big task for Prosper’s experienced linebacker group, led by senior Justin Benvie. In Prosper’s only loss this season, Mansfield quarterback Chandler Rogers ran for 122 yards.
“He looks like Cam Newton,” Johns said about Constantine. “He can run around you and run over you.”
Constantine also has a trio of targets to throw to in the passing game. They include dynamic slot receiver Brett Hartland, as well as Parker Brehm (6 feet 3 inches tall) and Brandon Frazier (6 feet 6 inches). With Wayne Anderson Jr. expected to return to the field, Prosper’s talented secondary against the Bulldog receivers will be a matchup to keep a close eye on.
“We just have to lock in,” Eagles defensive back Devin Haskins said. “We have the same preparation and work hard every week.”
So far, Prosper (5-0) has cruised through all but one game on their schedule this season. Outside of a non-district 33-16 loss at Mansfield Lake Ridge, Prosper has won their games by an average of 35 points each. The Eagles also sport a four-game winning streak, have a top-five point differential (+170) among all 5A teams, and are coming off two of their most dominant victories of the year.
“We can beat you in a lot of different ways,” Prosper head coach Brandon Schmidt said. “We can beat you on the ground or throwing the ball when we need to, and our defense does a great job of creating turnovers. I think we’re tough to prepare for.”
Since a dramatic one-point loss to The Colony, McKinney North has dominated district opponents as well. Through six weeks, their potent offense has scored exactly as many total points (247) as Prosper in 2017.
Prosper is 3-2 in the annual district series against McKinney North since 2012. Expect a competitive game on Friday, Oct. 20. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.