Written by SportsDayDFW.com
16-play TD drive helps Plano East grind out 34-13 win over Berkner
After offense’s big first half, swarming defense brings it home in second
MURPHY — Just because Plano East’s no-huddle offense can score quickly, it doesn’t mean East can’t grind down opponents. Plano East used two first-half drives to wear down Richardson Berkner in a 34-13 victory Friday night at Kimbrough Stadium.
Ranked No. 19 in SportsDay’s 5A poll, East (3-0) took a 14-7 lead in the second quarter after an eight-play, 80-yard scoring drive. East junior linebacker Landis Durham intercepted a Berkner pass to set up a field goal and, after a 16-play drive taking up most of the second quarter, East led 20-7 at halftime on a 25-yard field goal by junior Daniel Antoniou. Randy Jackson, East’s first-year coach, would have preferred touchdowns to field goals.
“It was a good win but we shot ourselves in the foot a little too much in that second quarter,” Jackson said. “I challenged them in at halftime to come out in the third quarter, and our first drive was three and out and took about 19 seconds. But we scored on our second drive. Our defense really played well in the second half. We gave up a lot of 10-plus plays in the first half.”
Less than eight minutes after tying the score, 7-7, Berkner (1-2) found itself with a two-touchdown deficit at halftime. East’s explosive offense scored on a 63-yard scoring catch and run by junior receiver Denim Sansom from sophomore quarterback Miles Thompson early in the third quarter and allowed East to cruise through the second half with a 27-7 lead.
Calvin Jones, Berkner’s speedy option quarterback who also returns kicks, rushed for 106 yards. Jones’ only touchdown came on a 1-yard run to make it 7-7 after a strip and fumble by Berkner defensive back Tyrone Randle set up the 37-yard scoring drive.
East substituted liberally, with Thompson getting a 3-to-1 ratio in series to senior Keith Long. They combined for 351 yards passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions.
East rotated nose guards Alex Anosikeh and Travion Powell as part of a swarming defense led by the athletic Durham and sophomore defensive back Ade Omotosho held Berkner to 16 first downs. The 6-3, 228-pound Durham, who also punts for East, had an interception for the second consecutive week.