After landing eight players on the All-District teams last year that were expected to contribute the 2019 season and 18 overall, to see what the McKinney North football team is doing -- this year shouldn't come as too much of a surprise.
Yes, the Bulldogs made the playoffs. Yes, the team put up a 90-spot in a district game last year. McKinney North has been to the playoffs in three straight years with a combined record of 20-14. In 2016, McKinney North went 6-5 (5-2) and averaged 39.6 points per game, bowing out in the first round of the playoffs. In 2017, the offense averaged 43.5 and the team finished 8-4, getting two rounds deep. Last year, it finished 6-5 and lost in the first round.
But this year's team is pumping on all cylinders on the way to a 5-1 start to the season and a 2-0 record in district play. In those six games, McKinney North is averaging 54.7 points per game and has hit more than 60 points twice. This output surge has been spearheaded by the dynamic duo of senior quarterback Dillon Markiewicz and junior running back Emanuel Fincher.
All these two have done is gone on to lead the area 5A rankings in yards in their respective categories. For Markiewicz, he leads 5A with 2,146 yards (357.7 yards per game), leads 5A with more than 100 pass attempts with a 73.9 completion percentage and shares the lead for touchdown thrown with 25.
Fincher, the junior back, is the only player in any UIL classification in the area over the 1,000-yard mark (167.2 yards/game; 6.6 yards per rush) and is tied atop 5A with 12 rushing touchdowns to his credit.
Along with a talented trio of wide receivers, McKinney North is sitting atop 5A in the area in total yardage, fifth in 5A in rushing yards and first in passing yards. The points per game is good for third in 5A.
Again, it's not like this wasn't possible considering Markiewicz's and Fincher's output in previous seasons. From his freshman through junior years, Markiewicz passed at a 61.3 percent clip, averaged 12.83 yards per completion and had 19 touchdowns to four interceptions without playing as a full-time starting quarterback. Fincher, as a freshman and sophomore, had 1,086 yards to his credit on 213 carries and 15 touchdowns.
What both have done is prove their respective values as being go-to players and making McKinney North a force to be reckoned with in 5A in 2019.
Despite a number of teams on byes this week, there were plenty of intriguing notes to come out of Week 4 - as is the case each week. That's the beauty of Texas high school football: everything that is known can dramatically change the next week.
Reader note: The notes below are for the most previous week only and are not meant to be applied the rest of the year.
The Real Season Begins (For Most)
It's finally time for the next portion of the season to begin - district. At least for most teams, as there were a lot of teams on byes in Week 4, so now we essentially get nothing but district games from here on out until the playoffs. This is where anything can happen and district champion predictions can be rendered to absolutely trash.
FW All Saints Will Win TAPPS
We didn't have All Saints ranked in our Top 10 last week, and that will certainly change this week after knocking off No. 1 Parish Episcopal. All Saints has done nothing but win this week and are legitimate contenders to win state now after the big upset win.
Braedyn Locke Will Be No. 1
The Rockwall quarterback certainly benefits for having the best WR in the state (Jaxon Smith-Njigba) to throw to each week, but Braedyn Lockeis does a solid job of getting other teams involved as well. After seeing his stats through four games - as a sophomore - and seeing him in person, I'm willing to say Locke will be the No. 1 QB in the state by the time he graduates in 2022.
In watching Rockwall-Heath and McKinney North on Thursday, I came away highly impressed with Emanuel Fincher's game. Fincher played extremely smart in rushing the ball, waiting for holes to develop, being shifty with his feet to avoid the first defender and runs really strong for someone just 5'9 and 200 pounds. He leads the 5A area in rush attempts, yards and tied for the TD lead, and he'll be a fine addition to any university he commits to, if that's in the cards for him.
Lastly, the weekly prediction record was 17-7 (70.8 percent), bringing the yearly overall record to 66-26 (71.7 percent). The biggest misses were Pilot Point against Gunter and North Dallas against Life Oak Cliff.