By Bill Spinks
By Bill Spinks
WYLIE — A full week of distractions off the field for the adults was, without a doubt, no help to the Sherman teenagers on the field on Friday night.
But in the end, the Bearcats are still left with a puncher’s chance at qualifying for the upcoming postseason.
Wylie East quarterback Garrett McCain passed for three touchdowns and Aubrey White ran for 202 yards and a score, leading the host Raiders to a 38-14 win over the Bearcats at Wylie Stadium in District 13-4A play.
Sherman head coach Gary Kinne returned to the sideline after serving a one-game University Interscholastic League suspension last Friday. As an additional punishment, Kinne was stripped of his title as Sherman’s athletic director this week.
"Every time you pick up the paper, there’s an article about something," Kinne said. "I’m sure that’s distracting. You click on the news station, and there we are again. Hopefully at some point, that stuff’s going to end.
"But we can’t control all that stuff. All we can control is coming out and playing between the white lines, and we didn’t do a very good job of that. We didn’t play very well and we didn’t coach very well. We can only blame ourselves. All the rest of that stuff is just fluff."
The Bearcats (2-4, 1-2) are tied with Royse City and Lovejoy for fifth place, with a game against each opponent upcoming in the next two weeks. Sherman will likely need a victory in each game to remain in contention for the playoffs.
McCain finished with 250 passing yards as Wylie East (3-3, 2-1) totaled 518 yards of offense.
White, a receiver filling in at tailback while starter Kevon Mack remained on the sideline all evening, had a 39-yard run and a 52-yard run in addition to his 13-yard scoring run in the first quarter.
The extreme balance that the Raiders displayed made things tough for the Bearcats. McCain threw for three scores, including two to sophomore Jared Wyatt.
"As long as they have the same quarterback as they have, they’re going to be fine," Kinne said. "(McCain’s) probably the best player in our district. He can throw, he can run, he directs that offense."
The Bearcats were once again without senior defensive tackle Tarrence Franklin, who suffered an injury to his right ankle last week in the opening series against Denison. Franklin watched the game from the sideline in shorts with a protective boot on his injured foot.
"He’s the best football player we got," Kinne said. "Him staying on the sideline, that hurts."
Wyatt finished with five receptions for 135 yards and a pair of TDs for Wylie East, including an 80-yard TD catch. Tyler Hughey added a TD grab, and McCain also kicked a 36-yard field goal and all five of Wylie East’s extra points.
Wylie East’s defense held Sherman to 164 total yards, 149 of which came through the air by quarterback Case Rolen, who passed for a touchdown but was also intercepted twice. Tre’ Mask added 50 yards rushing and a score.
"We didn’t play very good on offense," Kinne said. "We haven’t played very well on offense all year. We are what we are, and we’ve got to get better. Hopefully we can come out and play better next week."
Without Franklin in the middle, the Raiders were not intimidated, and it showed from the very beginning.
Wylie East’s very first play from scrimmage was a White gash for 13 yards up the gut, and that set a tone. Six plays later, McCain did a play fake and kept for the score.
After a Raider onside kick worked, the Bearcats made an impressive defensive stand to thwart the momentum shift. The Bearcats then drove 84 yards — with 56 coming on a bubble screen from Rolen to Jordan Hume — and knotted the ledger at 7-all on Rolen’s toss to a wide-open Treyson Jones, who juggled the ball in the end zone in heartstopping fashion and pulled it in.
Then on the ensuing Raider possession, the Bearcats had the Raiders stopped, forcing a punt. But a 15-yard penalty on Sherman for roughing the punter extended East’s drive. White ran up the middle to make it a 14-7 lead, and the Raiders never trailed after that.
McCain’s field goal made it a 10-point halftime differential.
To start the second half, Sherman went for it in East territory on fourth down, but Rolen’s short toss to Hume resulted in a loss of one. From there, East went 44 yards on seven plays to make it a 24-7 game, and for all intents and purposes, that was that.
Mask hit pay dirt on his best run of the game, a 14-yard scamper to keep it a two-possession contest with 5:28 left in the third. But East removed all doubt to the outcome with two rapid-fire markers before the period was through.
"Their offensive line knocked us off the ball," Kinne said. "We hit them at the line of scrimmage a lot, but we didn’t wrap up. We had a lot of missed tackles, more than I can ever remember. So we gave up big plays again. We’ve got to eliminate the big plays. We made a few nice plays, but we gave up a couple of real long passes and that hurt."