Written by Tommy Cummings
Fort Worth Nolan goes old school, breaks out wishbone in 33-21 win over Prestonwood
PLANO — Fort Worth Nolan lined up in the wishbone formation, played opportunistic defense and even ran a little single wing Friday night against Plano Prestonwood.
As a result, Nolan held on to a 33-21 victory against Prestonwood at Lions Stadium.
Nolan, No. 1 in SportsDay’s large private school polls, improved to 6-2 and 4-0 in district play. No. 4 Prestonwood fell to 7-2 and 3-2.
Nolan coach Joe Prud’homme said the wishbone set was installed for the first time this season to counter Prestonwood’s speed and aggressiveness on defense.
“It’s real football,” Prud’homme said. “I was tired of all that shotgun mess. It was old-school football — and it worked.”
Prud’homme’s son, Joseph, directed the wishbone and scored the game-clinching touchdown with 1:53 remaining in the game.
Running back Luke Alves rushed for a game-high 116 yards on 17 carries. He scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, first taking a pitch from Prud’homme on a 16-yard option run, then scoring again on a 61-yard run up the middle.
Nolan had a 20-7 halftime lead and was up 23-7 in the third quarter. But Prestonwood stuck around and closed it to 23-21 with 6:24 left in the game.
Prestonwood quarterback Mickey Mitchell, who never received ample pocket protection, hit Jonathan Heasley on a 25-yard touchdown pass. Gabe Lozano’s extra-point kick made it a two-point game.
But on the ensuing kickoff, Nolan’s Jonathon Faltynski returned it 75 yards to the Prestonwood 6-yard line. The drive stalled and McCaleb Taylor’s 22-yard field goal made it 26-21.
On Prestonwood’s next series, Mitchell threw an interception to Frank Colin. A personal-foul penalty moved the ball to the Prestonwood 22. From there, Nolan ran exclusively from the tight wishbone formation, churning to the Prestonwood 1, where on fourth down, Prud’homme ran behind the right tackle for the final score.
Prestonwood coach Chris Cunningham huddled his players at midfield several minutes after the final gun sounded. It was Prestonwood’s second consecutive loss.
A week after giving up 63 points to TCA-Addison, Prestonwood gave up a big play on Nolan’s third play from scrimmage when Prud’homme read a blitz and hit David Authier in stride for a 68-yard touchdown pass.
Mitchell, who scored on a 1-yard run in the third quarter, finished 22-of-48 for 268 yards. But he threw three interceptions.
“The defense was outstanding,” Joe Prud’homme said. “They were the reason we were in this thing. They were the backbone tonight.”
Follow Tommy Cummings on Twitter at @tommycummings.