Denton was able to strike first with a 66-yard interception return, but Dallas Bishop Lynch also forced the Broncos into turnovers to go along with a stout rushing attack as they responded with 30 straight points for a 30-14 victory in the opening game of the season at Bronco Field.
“We jumped it [the throw] and made a great play on the ball with a tip,” Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson said of the interception return. “We always say a tipped ball is a picked ball and when I saw that I thought, here we go.”
Bishop Lynch’s Rawleigh Williams III led the Friars with 143 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carriers, including a 2-yard touchdown 16 seconds into the second quarter to cap a 98-yard drive that included 12 rushes. The Broncos were able to contain the Friars’ backs on the outside but were not able to stop them up the middle most of the night.
“We probably got a little tired,” Atkinson said. “They have a really good back. He’s a sophomore and has already been offered a scholarship by Ole Miss and other Division-I schools. He is really talented. We didn’t keep the defense off the field. We need to control the clock a little bit more.”
With the score tied at 7, the Friars capitalized on the momentum by taking advantage of a high snap that led to a blocked punt that was recovered in the end zone by Ryan Plugge to put the Friars up 14-7.
“We didn’t execute on that punt team and ended up giving them a touchdown and that hurts,” Atkinson said. “There were things we have to do not to beat ourselves. I think the kids have good attitudes. I think they understand that.”
Down 14-7 at halftime, the Broncos had been able to move the ball through the air in the first half to combat the Friars’ rushing attack. However, the second half was a different story as the Broncos struggled to put together a prolonged drive.
“We talked to our kids about being mentally tough and we need to get better at that,” Atkinson said. “I saw some kids with some sad faces and we just need to put some good plays back-to-back. In golf, to get off the tee box, you need to hit another good shot where you can score. It’s the same thing for defense. We need to find a way to be a little more firm on the run.”
Williams rattled off a 28-yard touchdown up the middle to put the Friars ahead 21-7 with 6:18 remaining in the third quarter.
Then, the scoreboard lost power, which seemed to signify how the night was going for the Broncos. Junior quarterback Cy Ward threw an interception on the next offensive play, which the Friars instantly used to march 46 yards that culminated in a 22-yard touchdown by senior running back Ira Nunley IV to put the Friars ahead 28-7.
After a quick three-and-out by the Broncos, the Friars blocked another punt for a safety to increase their lead to 30-7.
With the scoreboard off, the Broncos were able to relax a bit and attempted to get their offense back on track. They finished the game with a sustained drive, using a solid mix of run and pass plays that was capped by a 22-yard touchdown pass from Ward to junior wide receiver Deandre Coleman.
“That was a beautiful work of art driving down the field right there,” Atkinson said. “I’m glad we finished the way we did. We finished strong, and we didn’t lose our composure.”
The Broncos finished with a negative 15 rushing yards on 13 carries, and will surely look to have a better run-game next week against R.L. Turner.
“We had a lot of things we wanted to do tonight that we couldn’t when you get down,” Atkinson said.
“You have to abandon the run game a little bit and I would have liked to get more of that. When the defense has the momentum, it’s hard to get the run game going and you’re eating up your own clock. Hopefully we’ll be in a different position when we play R. L. Turner.”
Atkinson was confident most of the errors his team made were mental, and he thinks they can eliminate them in a timely manner.
“I told them that if a team loses, most of the times it’s when you beat yourselves,” Atkinson said. “We didn’t execute some assignments in the first half offensively. If we can eliminate beating ourselves, we are going to be OK. We’ve got to get there, but it takes time. To me, there were a lot of encouraging things and there were a lot of quick fixes that we can get repaired before next week.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
Dallas Bishop Lynch 30, Denton 14
D — Dantrell Forte 66-yard Interception return (Michael Husbands kick), 8:03
BL — Rawleigh Williams III 2 run (Devon Holy kick), 11:44
BL — Ryan Plugge blocked punt recovery (Devon Holy kick), 10:06
BL — Rawleigh Williams III 28 run (Devon Holy kick), 6:18
BL — Ira Nunley IV 22 run (Devon Holy kick), (No time because scoreboard went out)
BL — Safety, blocked punt
D – Deandre Coleman 22 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick)
Rushing — BL: Rawleigh Williams III 19-143, Anthony Mullins 1-8, Barrett Renner 3-32, Chris Jordan 10-56, Ira Nunley 8-41, Gerrett Smith 1-(-2). D: Deavonte Doucet 3-6, Tre’Von Jackson 1-(-5), Cy Ward 5-(-1), Luke Satterfield 1-(-16), Ke'Von Buris 1-1.
Passing — BL: Barrent Renner 5-11-29-1. D: Cy Ward 19-25-180-1, Luke Satterfield 1-1-5-0.
Receiving — BL: Nick Martinez 1-9, Rawleigh Williams III 1-(-2), Chris Jordan 1-6, Anthony Mullins 2-16.D: Ke’Von Buris 2-15, Deavonte Doucet 2-8, Adarian Harris 5-66, Tre’Von Jackson 3-52, Michael Husbands 1-(-2), Ryan Daniels 2-22, Deandre Coleman 2-23, Key’andre Hearey 2-4.