The Wylie Pirates open the District 9-6A competition next week, opening the season against the South Garland Titans.
The Titans (1-1) didn’t win a single game in 2020 but opened the regular season with a 40-21 victory over the Carrollton Turner Lions. They showed new life on the offensive side of the ball and more skill across the entire roster.
With one less non-district game, the rest of the season is more important with playoff positioning on the line. Here are the three keys to Wylie (1-1) defeating South Garland on the road Thursday, Sept. 8.
1. Contain the quarterback
South Garland’s new quarterback Mirko Martos has made a splash his senior season, scoring five total touchdowns in the Titans’ opening two contests. Martos has shown an ability to beat teams with both his arms and his legs, as evidenced in week two when he had 123 yards rushing and two touchdowns in their loss to Irving High School.
Wylie’s front seven has proven to be difficult to beat in their opening two contests. From the size up front of Cam Draper and Dane Farley to the speed at linebacker from Trevor Ferland, Austin Fabian and Brady Dalton, the Pirates have allowed just 27 yards rushing in two games and sacked the quarterback 10 times in two games.
If the Pirates’ front seven can continue to dominate the line of scrimmage, they can have success against the Titans’ offense.
2. Find a rhythm in the passing game
Wylie’s passing game looked better in week two, as Jagger Bale threw for 125 yards and had a 31-yard touchdown pass to Chris Lewis in the first half. Against South Garland, there will be opportunities to move the ball downfield.
Through two games, the Titans have surrendered a 58 percent completion percentage to opposing quarterbacks and given up three touchdowns in the passing game. As the Pirates continue to groom their sophomore quarterback and inexperienced receivers to the varsity game, this could be the game for them to show out and make big plays.
If Wylie’s passing attack continues to improve each week, they’ll put themselves in a great position to reach the postseason in 2022.