FLOWER MOUND — Argyle left little doubt where its collective head was at after the first round of the Class 3A state football playoffs.
The Eagles, bolstered by a hot start to the game, cruised to a 45-0 victory over Bridgeport in a Class 3A Division II Region II bi-district showdown at Marauder Stadium on Friday night.
The Eagles (10-1), who have not lost since their season-opening defeat to Abilene Wylie, will face Melissa in a Region II area contest tentatively set for 2 p.m. Friday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton. Melissa defeated Wilmer-Hutchins 53-29 in a bi-district game Thursday night. Melissa won a Class 2A state title last year.
The victory marks the sixth straight year the Eagles have won their first-round playoff game. Their last first-round playoff loss came in 2006, when Argyle lost to Sweetwater 20-14 in bi-district. Friday night’s win also was head coach Todd Rodgers’ 99th win at Argyle.
The Eagles have won their first-round playoff game in eight of their nine playoff seasons.
Argyle racked up more than 500 yards of total offense and put the game in the hands of its quarterback, Brandon Boyzuick. Bridgeport (4-7) ran a Cover 3 zone, so the Eagles used a short, efficient passing game to move the chains and build a large lead.
“What Bridgeport does is simple, but they execute it well,” Rodgers said. “The short passing game was what they were giving us.”
Boyzuick finished the contest 22-of-30 passing for 286 yards passing and two touchdowns. He even scampered in from 16 yards out for a touchdown in the second quarter. On the drive, Argyle had to convert a first-and-28 in Bridgeport territory to keep the drive moving. Boyzuick threw an incomplete pass, followed by completions of 19 yards to Ian Sadler and 9 yards to Chance Bode to move the chains to the Bulls’ 16.
The Eagles used some deceptively simple pass routes to open up the contest. Those helped Sadler — who scored three touchdowns — gain 119 yards receiving on nine catches. That included a route that Sadler broke several times for large chunks of yardage.
“It’s just a little curl route where we’re trying to get the cornerback off of [Sadler], and he’s always open,” Boyzuick said.
Running back Nick Ralston added 136 yards on 17 carries. Bode caught seven passes for 94 yards and scored a rushing touchdown on his only carry of the game.
Sadler scored the game’s opening touchdown, a 1-yarder, in the first quarter. But the Bulls had a chance early to tie the contest at 7-7. They were set up at the Eagles’ 29 when Bulls quarterback Hunter Gantt threw an interception to Argyle’s Hunter Treadwell. That forced a change of possession and led to Argyle’s second touchdown. It was Treadwell’s second interception of the season.
“We put a lot of pressure on the quarterback on that play and Hunter came up with a big play,” Rodgers said.” It really gave our kids a little spark.”
From there, the Eagles scored on their next four possessions to take a 31-0 halftime lead.
Argyle 45, Bridgeport 0
A — Ian Sadler 1 run (Cole Hedlund kick)
A — Ian Sadler 9 pass from Brandon Boyzuick (Hedlund kick)
A — Brandon Boyzuick 16 run (Hedlund kick)
A — Ian Sadler 40 pass from Brandon Boyzuick (Hedlund kick)
A — Hedlund 24 FG
A — Chance Bode 1 run (Hedlund kick)
A — Terry Moore 1 run (Hedlund kick)
Rushing — A: Nick Ralston 17-136, Terry Moore 8-22, Brayden Helliker 3-17, Brandon Boyzuick 3-16, Ian Sadler 2-7, Gage McCook 2-7, Dalton Ledford 1-4, Jon Pucciarello 1-4, Chance Bode 1-1, Stat Team 3—21, B: Hunter Gantt 17-60, Chase Collins 1-20, Gabe Huerta 11-19, Trey Cook 1—4.
Passing — A: Brandon Boyzuick 22-30-0 286, Ian Sadler 1-1-0 31, Cooper -Rodgers 3-4-0 18, B: Trey Cook 1-7-1 36, Hunter Gantt 2-7-1 9, Chase Collins 0-1-0 0.
Receiving — A: Ian Sadler 9-119, Chance Bode 7-94, Jon Pucciarello 5-82, Chase Green 3-27, Nick Ralston 1-7, Dalton Ledford 1-6, B: Gabe Huerta 2-28, Alex Kline 1-17.