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May 15, 2009

Lake Dallas Spring Report

In what is sure to be a tradition that Lake Dallas fans and opponents will see all season, the offense defeated the defense today 50-30 in the first fourty minutes of a controlled offensive vs. defensive game where a running clock was utilized. The game had unique scoring opportunities for both teams which rewarded the offense for big plays and long drives and that rewarded the defense for sacks, tackles for losses and three and outs.

Kudos to Lake Dallas for putting their best players out for the spring game. The talk around the water cooler all week was if James Franklin would be playing - and he did not disappoint. He threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown in the simulated half.

Coach Michael Young told me before the game that wide receiver Tyler McGee was having a great spring, and he continued his great spring by snagging the first touchdown over several defenders. McGee ran crisp routes and will be someone to watch when 7 on 7. Listed at only 5'9 - he plays much bigger and has very good speed.

Franklin, listed at 6'3, 225, looks more like a linebacker than a quarterback, was a handful to bring down. His breakaway speed in the open field led to a 61 yard touchdown on a 4th and one play.

Also on the offensive side of the ball - two standout offensive lineman - kids we won't get to see develop at 7 on 7 - Daryl Williams (6'5, 275) and Bradley Chapman (6'3, 280) made the right side of the offensive line the strong side - and Lake Dallas ran several "trips right" plays toward that strong side. Opponents will have to keep from overloading to keep Franklin from running to the weak side, as he did in his 61 yard jaunt.

Defensively, the Falcons are going to struggle this year. A lot of positions will be open and the competition will be fierce. 7 on 7 will be crucial to the development of that back 7.

Coach Young also spoke highly of middle linebacker Drew Hamilton before the game - noting that the 6'0, 215 pound senior to be has flown under the radar and will be a big contributor to the team.

Another player that stood out to me more because of his size was 6'3, 245 pound defensive lineman Gerald Pleasant. He is the type of player that if he can develop on the defensive line could help out some sorely needed defensive deficiencies. A big reason why he did stand out was because of his size - the defense was built more on speed than size this season.

Analysis: Lake Dallas is going to be the type of team that may have to outscore its opponents this season. Offensively, they ran a lot of bubble screens and sideline to sideline type of plays - which teams with speed (Denton Ryan, for instance) will be able to shut down.

I did like that they would go down the field - but the middle yardage stuff (10-20 yards) was either not shown or not completed. The running game looked to be anemic - but a running back may emerge as a pure starter as 7 on 7 and two-a-days continue. The defense will have a trouble stopping big teams. I don't see them stopping a team like Denton Guyer - a Wing-T team that will simply pound the ball down their throat - with the size and speed that I saw.

Fresh Face: Dalyn Williams caught my eye. A 6'0, 180 pound sophomore-to-be probably hasn't been seen by many yet. He has good size - and he was running the second team offense and playing on first team as wide receiver. If he develops during 7 on 7 - he may have scouts and analysts saying "Who is that kid?". From the pairing as second team quarterback, he may be slated as the heir apparent for the next two seasons (2010, 2011) after James Franklin graduates.

Building anew: Under construction was the Lake Dallas stadium. The stadium is having two extra wings added to the home side as well as the press box being rebuilt. The double deck press box should be operational by the 2009 season and could make Lake Dallas a place for 2A/3A/private school playoff games over the next couple of seasons. Teams like Argyle Liberty Christian might turn to Lake Dallas for home-neutral games.

This was my first trip to Lake Dallas's Falcon Stadium - and it has a very homey-y feel with the stadium being nestled against the school and the road. Along the north side of the stadium, fans were sitting in cars watching the spring game. It had a small town feel with a big town stadium being built.


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