McKinzy, Bulldogs defense lead comeback against Schlagle


By NICK SLOAN, NJSloan212@gmail.com

After two lengthy drives by the Schlagle Stallions offense in the second quarter, it appeared the Stallions were going to cruise to another league victory Friday night at Wyandotte High School.

Instead, Wyandotte's defense became a brick wall and quarterback Dimonic McKinzy became Harry Houdini as the Bulldogs cameback in the second half to win 19-13.

The KCKAL over the years has garnered a reputation of all offense and little defense. That was not the case Friday night, as both defenses put on a strong display of tackling and physical play.

Early on, it was Schlagle's Trevon Wallace, Derrick Gibbs and D.J. Sayles who led the defensive effort against Wyandotte's high flying attack on offense. Gibbs earned an early sack, while Wallace and Sayles were flying all over the field.

Schlagle's defense held Wyandotte on a goal-line stand early on in what was the deepest drive of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, it was Schlagle's offense that turned on a bit.

J'veyon Browning ripped off a 40-yard run to put the Stallions inside Bulldogs territory. Sayles would find wide receiver Corey Smith on a 34-yard passing play to put the Stallions deep inside Bulldogs territory.

Wallace, who plays fullback on offense, would punch it in from five yards out to put the Stallions on the board.

Schlagle's defense again held and the offense would have its second beautiful drive of the game.

Smith again made a big reception - a 15-yard gain setting up a fourth and short, which Browning would easily convert for the Stallions.

One play later, Sayles would find De'Ante Ambler on a 20-yard touchdown pass to extend Schlagle's lead to 13-0.

It would remain 13-0 until a late drive in the second quarter by the Bulldogs, a turning point in the game.

Schlagle could not run the clock out in the first half and called a passing play on third down, one that would result in an incomplete pass and allowed Bulldogs head coach Eddie Brown to preserve a key timeout.

That timeout would be used before a fourth-down play call during Wyandotte's half-closing drive. It turned out the timeout was huge, as McKinzy delivered his first of three touchdowns in the game on the next play.

"Our kids stuck together in the game," Brown said after the win. "They grinded it out and followed our mission statement. They responded and I'm so proud of every one of them."

McKinzy found Mario Garcia for the first score of the game for the Bulldogs - a play that clearly swung the momentum.

In the second half, it was Wyandotte's defense that was the story, along with McKinzy's ability to escape pressure. Schlagle did not sniff the red zone the entire second half, as the Bulldogs limited Browning and the Stallions rushing attack.

With the defense keeping the Stallions offense at bay, McKinzy continued the comeback.

After escaping multiple Stallions in the backfield, McKinzy scrambled and found a wide open Garcia, who took the ball over 80 yards for the game-tying touchdown.

The game-winning drive featured a clutch play from sophomore wide receiver Antonio Moore. Moore, who was limited on special teams and offense most of the night, was on the receiving end of a 25-yard completion on a 4th-and-10 that put the ball on the Stallions one-yard line.

From there, McKinzy would score his third touchdown of the game from one yard out.

Wyandotte's defense held steady - a key interception late in the fourth quarter set up the offense in what would end up being the clock-killing drive.

McKinzy found wide receiver A.J. Kimbrough to convert a 3rd-and-12 for a first down. On 4th-and-1, McKinzy would draw the Stallions defense offsides, enabling the Bulldogs to kill the rest of the clock.

"I'm proud of our coaches and players and what we've accomplished for this program," Brown said. "For over 20 years, Wyandotte never responded to adversity. Tonight, we won the big game."

The win improves Wyandotte to 4-1, while Schlagle drops to 3-2 on the season.

It's the first time in nine games the Stallions have lost a KCKAL game.