Offensive spark, clutch defense leads charge in second half comeback win


Amanda Hair

Senior Outside linebacker Tristan Kalina wraps up the ballcarrier in the backfield in Friday night’s 31-21 victory at McKinney Boyd. Kalina made the game-sealing play, running back an interception on a screen pass 60 yards for a touchdown.

Marcus Krum, Sports Executive Editor


MCKINNEY – Sprinting down the field, nothing but green turf in front of him, senior outside linebacker Tristan Kalina was overcome with emotion. As he ran towards the end zone to seal the Cowboys (2-0) 31-21 victory over McKinney Boyd (0-2), he knew nobody would catch him.

Kalina’s score was the icing on the cake to an incredible comeback victory for Coppell that saw the Cowboys outscore the Broncos 31-7 in the second half.

“Initially I was blitzing, but I saw they were going screen pass,” Kalina said. “I caught the ball and I took off.

“It was pretty unbelievable. I really can’t express how happy I was.””

— Tristan Kalina

Stagnant for much of the first half, the Cowboy offense only picked up 62 yards in the first two quarters of play. To start the second half, the unit got into a rhythm, marching down the field methodically.

“We got more physical up front,” Coppell coach Mike DeWitt said. “We got more physical, and the guys played with a little more passion. We executed some calls, and I was really proud of the guys.”

On fourth and two early in the third, with the ball around midfield, Coppell junior quarterback Brady McBride scrambled and threw on the run. The ball was batted into the air twice, then miraculously caught by sophomore wide receiver Blake Jackson, who finished with five catches for 69 yards and a score.

“That was huge,” DeWitt said with a smile. “It’s good to be lucky sometimes.”

Later that drive, McBride punched it in from the one yard line with a sneak up the middle, putting the Cowboys on the scoreboard. The Cowboy defense kept the momentum going, stuffing Boyd for a three-and-out. The offense responded with a field goal, pulling Coppell within four.

After another Boyd punt, a pair of personal foul calls on the Broncos sparked an 82 yard touchdown drive capped by an 11 yard run from Timmie Heard, giving the Cowboys their first lead of the game.

“We knew that we were a better team than what we were playing,” Jackson said. “We had a game plan, just to keep chopping at that tree, keep chopping down the score. We knew that we could do it.”

Boyd took the lead late, plunging it in on fourth and goal at the one to go up 21-17. Then, the Cowboys clutch offense that was on display in week one’s overtime victory showed up again on Friday night. McBride engineered a drive that started at the 32 yard line with under 2:30 remaining and only one timeout. In this drive, McBride went 4-8 passing for 74 yards.

With only a minute remaining, McBride scrambled to his left and fired a pass in the direction of two receivers. Jackson bobbled it twice then secured the catch in the end zone, giving the Cowboys the 24-21 lead.

“I saw the safety cheating over before the play,” Jackson said. “I knew I had to run right across his face. I thought I was going to get open, and I was thinking touchdown because he was cheating over.”

Then to finish it off, Kalina and the defense rode the momentum, in the game-sealing interception return for a touchdown.

This Coppell team now starts the season with back-to-back close victories. Heading into Allen next week, there is a sense of confidence with this team after the two hard-fought wins.

“It’ll make you stronger in the end,” DeWitt said. “Anytime you go through something like that, it’ll make you tougher and have more confidence.”

As it moves on to what might be the biggest game in the season in week three, this season, the team, has had no absence of drama or fight, but two different teams showed up in each of the halves. What it has shown in dramatics, it has lacked in identity. However, if its identity next week is anything close to the electric team of the last 24 minutes of football on Friday night, things might just work out .