Sherman shut out by McKinney to end non-district play

Carrie Johnson
For the Herald Democrat
Sherman's Aries Jones tries to get away from a pair of McKinney defenders during non-district action at Bearcat Stadium.

The Sherman Homecoming festivities started off promising with hopes for the Bearcats to earn a third straight victory to close out non-district play but the McKinney Lions jumped out to an early lead and dominated on both sides of the ball to hand Sherman a 57-0 loss at Bearcat Stadium.

“There are lessons in every win or loss," Sherman head coach Cory Cain said. "We will learn from what we went through tonight and be better next week.”

It was the first time the Bearcats (2-2) had been shutout since a 62-0 loss against Wylie East — the team Sherman kicks off District 7-5A (I) play on Friday against — in 2014. That defeat was also the last time the Cats had suffered as lopsided a loss as the one McKinney (3-1) handed them.

Sherman was also shut out at home for the first time since a 19-0 loss against Dallas Kimball, a span of 185 games.

The Bearcats struggled to put anything together offensively. Phoenix Grant completed 6-of-14 passes for 25 yards and had 24 yards on six carries while Collins Muriithi had 12 carries for 19 yards, Kane Bowen finished with eight carries for 17 yards and Aries Jones caught two passes for 14 yards.

Sherman had just 70 yards of offense, including 30 carries for 45 yards.

Alec Griagosian led McKinney by completing 15-of-21 passes for 247 yards with two touchdowns and also ran for a score, Sheldon King had 25 carries for 101 yards with two TDs Bryan Jackson had 70 yards and two scores on 15 carries to go with two catches for 51 yards and Xavier Filsaime finished with four catches for 104 yards.

Sherman got the ball first but a mishandled snap and a sack led to a three-and-out that sent possession over to the Lions, who began to put together a four-touchdown quarter.

Jackson ran for24 yards, Dylan Rhodes had a 10-yard catch for a first down and then Griagosian connected with Messiah Washington on a post route for a 23-yard touchdown pass with 7:35 left in the frame.

The Bearcats had a second straight three-and-out before Griagosian ended the next McKinney drive with a seven-yard TD run.

Sherman came up with a defensive play to keep it a 14-point margin when Zacoreion Harris came up with an interception in the front left corner of the end zone.

But the spark didn't last long. McKinney recovery a fumble on the ensuing SHS possession and Jackson scored on the first play from 10 yards out, bouncing the run outside to the right for a 21-0 game.

The Lions defense widened the gap to 27-0 by the end of the first quarter when Josh Dixon came up with an interception off a deflected pass and returned it 35 yards for the touchdown.

Sherman’s struggles continued into the second quarter and following another punt McKinney put together an 11-play drive that was capped off by a King one-yard plunge into the end zone.

The Bearcats picked up one of their five first downs on a counter by Bowen but couldn't string together anything after that.

The teams traded punts before the Lions were able to score right before half-time. Jackson had a two-yard touchdown run with 38 seconds remaining in the second quarter for a 41-0 lead at the break.

McKinney had to settle for a 30-yard field from Luke Watkins on the Lions' opening possession of the third quarter.

Sherman’s second half was just as frustrating as the first and the Lions were keying on trying to pitch the shutout.

McKinney moved down the field later in the third quarter, converting a fourth down on the way to Dylan Brown's one-yard pass from Griagosian to make it 50-0 with 1:08 left in the quarter.

McKinney closed out the scoring early in the fourth quarter when King had a 13-yard touchdown run.