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Football: Big night from Sanders leads to dominant win for Raiders

Ryan's Spencer Sanders is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation, but he hasn't had to leave the pocket much these days. The Oklahoma State pledge had just 86 rushing yards and two scores on 18 carries in three district games entering Thursday's tilt with Wichita Falls.

He didn't scramble much in this game, either. But when he did, the Coyotes rarely touched him. 

Sanders, the No. 9 dual-threat quarterback in his class according to 247Sports' national composite rankings, rolled up 347 yards — 117 on the ground — while accounting for six touchdowns in a 41-13 win at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.   

Sanders didn't play in the second half. He carried the ball four times, with his lone rushing score coming on a 77-yard run just before halftime. He wasn't touched by a defender on the play.

"Honestly, I was waiting for a receiver to open up downfield, but I felt a defender dive at my legs from behind, so I stepped forward," Sanders said of his long score. "I saw the middle open up just a little. It doesn't happen often, so I wanted to make the most of it."

Box Score: Ryan vs Wichita Falls

Ryan (8-0, 4-0 District 5-5A), No. 3 in Class 5A, pushed its regular-season win streak to 28 games while outscoring Wichita Falls 34-6 in the second quarter. 

Before Sanders' touchdown run, he completed scoring passes of 13, 7, 10, 17 and 11 yards. He finished with 230 passing yards and just two incomplete passes. Jamarion Robertson led Ryan with two catches for 77 yards and a score. Gabriel Douglas, a Texas Tech commit, caught four passes for 48 yards and two touchdowns.

Defensively, Ryan forced three Wichita Falls turnovers and held the Coyotes (2-7, 0-5) to 210 yards — 99 of those coming before halftime.

Wichita Falls opened the game with a 22-play drive down to the Ryan 6-yard line that chewed nearly 10 minutes off the clock. But the Coyotes fumbled on the next play and only reached the Raider red zone one more time in the first half.

"It was disappointing the way we started," Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. "But we were able to put pressure on them with the scores. We'll play better. The good news is that everyone got in the game, which is always good for team morale."

Ryan was leading 14-0 early in the second quarter when Wichita Falls did not attempt to recover the ensuing kickoff. The Raiders recovered and went on to take a three-score lead when Sanders hit Tauskie Dove for a 10-yard touchdown with 9:01 left.

That score and the one before it came in a span of 44 seconds. 

After Wichita Falls  scored with 6:10 left in the half, Sanders hit Robertson for a 17-yard touchdown before finding Douglas for his second score. Exactly one minute later, Sanders broke loose on his long touchdown run.

Ryan did not score in the second half.

Ryan now turns its attention to Denison, which is the only other unbeaten team in the district heading into its game Friday against Braswell. Should Denison win, next week's game between Ryan and Denison would give the winner the inside track to the outright district title.

Ryan has won back-to-back district titles, one in Class 6A and the other last year in 5A.

"We are just going to take it game by game," Sanders said. "It really doesn't matter who we are playing. We're just trying to prepare and get better each week."

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.