The playoff picture for each district is beginning to take shape as we head into the final two weeks of the regular season. For some Denton-area teams, the outlook is great. For others, there is still plenty of work to do to guarantee a spot.
Two teams that have been rolling are Ryan and Argyle. Not only is a playoff berth a lock, but each team has a chance to earn the inside track to a district title this week. With that said, Argyle's road got a little interesting with the injury to quarterback Jon Copeland. You can read about that below.
Meanwhile, Guyer and Lake Dallas are seemingly on their way to the postseason as well, but have work to do. Denton and Braswell are on the opposite end of the standings.
What happens next? We will see. In the meantime, here are my thoughts on a few of the games from the week that was.
I'm not the only one who places a lot of emphasis on Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders. He's a man among boys and nothing he does is a surprise. On Thursday, he passed for 230 yards and five touchdowns while rushing for 117 yards and a score on four carries — all in the first half. He's the engine that makes it all go, but this is a loaded team that is sharpening its skills with each passing week. Players like Jamarion Robertson on offense and Kosi Eldridge on defense are making it increasingly difficult to find a weakness with this Raiders team. With the playoffs approaching, they'll get a much-needed test this week at Denison.
Guyer found itself needing a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to pull out a win over Wylie. That's the type of team we've got right now with the Wildcats, as halftime deficits are becoming the norm (Guyer has trailed at halftime in five of its eight games). The good news is Guyer's latest win moved it into a three-team tie for second place with two games to play. McKinney Boyd, which is one of those three teams, comes to town this week.
The outcome of this game took a back seat on Sunday when quarterback Jon Copeland confirmed he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He will miss the rest of the year. This is a huge blow not only for Copeland, who had been playing amazing football, but also for an Argyle team that is a Class 4A Division I state title contender. Argyle will have little time to regroup with Wichita Falls Hirschi up next. Both teams are unbeaten in district and will battle it out Friday for the District 4-4A Division I title. Look for Hayden Clearman or Alex Gonzales to start.
Denton is going to be a tough out in the very near future, but right now the marquee players on the roster are simply too young — and very injured. As a result, Thursday's game at Rider was almost not fair, and all of that combined will have the Broncos miss the postseason this year after a relatively solid start. Billy Miller will get it figured out, and so will his players. But in the meantime, it's one big exercise in patience in Bronco country.
I don't remember the last time Lake Dallas missed the postseason in two straight seasons. Barring some sort of wild turn of events, that won't happen this year as the Falcons control their playoff destiny after a solid win over Creekview. That's two wins in a row now for Lake Dallas, which is tied for first in 14-5A with Little Elm and Prosper. The Falcons face both to close out the year and have the tiebreaker advantage over four of the five teams behind them.
After winning its first game in program history against Wichita Falls, Braswell took a short trip back to reality with its loss to Denison on Friday. The Broncos will close the year with games against Wichita Falls Rider and Denton, but check out that season finale against Denton. With the Broncos being as injured as they are, this has the makings of a very interesting game to close out the year. Could there be a second win on the horizon for the young Bengals? Time will tell.
STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.