The Wylie Pirates are ready for home-field advantage.
After just one home game last season because of COVID-19, Wylie (0-2) gets its second home game in two weeks. They’ll take on the winless Plano East Panthers (0-2).
The Panthers haven’t won a game since 2019 but have an offense that has averaged 27 points per game this season.
Wylie should have the advantage in this game, but it will take a team effort to get the victory. Here are the three keys to Wylie beating Plano East.
1. Contain Ismail Mahdi
IsmailMahdi leads metroplex 6A schools in rushing. Through two games, Mahdi has 427 yards and three scores on the ground, as well as one receiving touchdown.
Mahdi is a player Plano East likes to move around the field, lining him up in the backfield, slot and out wide to create a mismatch. In open space, the track and field athlete is difficult to tackle. The Pirates have maintained a decent rate at slowing down the run in their first two games, with Gage Phillips and the rest of the Wylie defensive line filling the gaps.
If Wylie wants to beat Plano East, it’ll involve preventing a shootout and containing Mahdi in the backfield.
For the full story, see the Sept. 8 issue or subscribe online.
By Kyle Grondin • [email protected]