Immediately after my pro day was over on March 10, my family, my agent, my girlfriend and myself all went to go grub out after a very successful day.
After so many years as childhood friends and being on the same football teams, Ryan’s Tyreke Davis and Delano Robinson are taking different paths as recruits for rival programs North Texas and SMU. And the playful jabs were thrown around early and often during national signing day on Wednesday.
Though his team came up just short of a victory in its final game of the 2016 football season, Guyer senior safety Bryce Jackson had a game to remember. His 18 tackles in a two-point playoff loss to Cedar Hill drew some high praise from Guyer’s longtime defensive coordinator.
With offers swirling around the heads of Denton’s Grant Polley and Chris Miller, at the end of national signing day on Wednesday, both players found a home at Colorado. Polley had committed to Kansas as a junior and had offers from Texas, Oregon, Baylor, California, Michigan, Mississippi, Oklahoma State, Purdue, TCU and Texas Tech.
CORINTH — From being the third verbal commitment in Texas’ 2017 signing class to seeing a complete upending of the university’s coaching staff, Lake Dallas’ Kobe Boyce stuck to his early commitment. Boyce verbally committed to the Longhorns on April 3, a day after he received an offer from then-coach Charlie Strong. Seven months later, Strong was fired after his third straight losing season and Tom Herman of Houston was hired to lead the Longhorn program.
The Guyer football program was dealt a significant blow Thursday when star running back Noah Cain announced he is leaving the school to attend IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Cain, a 5-11, 205-pound sophomore, is 247Sports’ top-rated running back in the national class of 2019 and already has 15 offers from programs such as LSU and Oklahoma after two phenomenal seasons at Guyer.
After a breakout season as a freshman in 2015, Guyer sophomore running back Noah Cain solidified his place in the upper echelon of the state’s top ballcarriers Thursday when he was named to The Associated Press’ Class 6A all-state team.
Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, confirming what many close to the junior’s situation anticipated after he was injured in last weekend’s Class 5A Division I state semifinal loss to Highland Park.
Injuries happen in sports. You just hate to lose that one guy. For Ryan, that guy was quarterback and Oklahoma State commit Spencer Sanders. Sanders went down with a right knee injury with roughly seven minutes to play in the first half, drastically changing the Raiders’ offense for the rest of the day as Highland Park pulled out a stunning 31-24 win at AT&T Stadium.
Junior cornerback Jordan Rucker knew a significant amount of pressure was on him and his Ryan defensive teammates heading into Saturday’s state semifinal matchup against fellow defensive power Highland Park.
When Ryan and Highland Park last played each other in a state semifinal, it was 2003 and the Raiders won 45-21 to advance to their fourth straight state championship game. To get back to the title game — their sixth trip since 2000 — Ryan again must go through the Scots.
ARLINGTON — Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders loves having a great defense on his side, so much that if he had it his way, that unit would spend the majority of every game just standing on the sideline....
ARLINGTON — Four carries into his day, Ryan senior Tyreke Davis had an eerily familiar feeling. After a 25-yard scamper, he felt a tweak in his right knee — the knee he injured in Ryan’s third-round playoff win last year that allowed him just one carry in the Raiders’ loss to Allen the following week.
Ryan has been here before — lots of times. Just last year, the Raiders entered the fourth round of the playoffs unbeaten and on a roll in the state’s largest classification. But that run was halted in a hurry in a tough loss to Allen, then a three-time defending state champion.
ABILENE — Credit the Ryan Raiders with this from Friday night: They’re tough to beat, even when trying to beat themselves. Despite more than doubling Lubbock Monterey’s offensive production, Ryan found itself clinging to a three-point lead in the fourth quarter thanks largely to 140 yards in penalties and a late burst from Monterey.
MINERAL WELLS — Offense hadn’t been an issue for the Argyle Eagles as they scored 63 points and 49 points in their two playoff wins. But against the defensively dominant Abilene Wylie Bulldogs, the Eagles met their match.
When Ryan was presented with its area-round trophy after last week’s win over Richland, the comment was made that while it wasn’t the trophy the Raiders were ultimately after, it did represent being one step closer to the one they want.
The Argyle Eagles don’t celebrate for very long. Following its 63-7 destruction of Lubbock Estacado in which the offense put up its second-highest point total of the season while punting just one time, Argyle took the two-hour bus ride home from Burkburnett to reflect on its success.
MANSFIELD — As dominant a showing as Guyer put on in the first half of Saturday’s area-round playoff game against powerhouse Cedar Hill, Guyer coach John Walsh went to the locker room knowing the game could have been even more in his team’s favor. When the clock hit zeroes and the teams were walking to midfield for the customary postgame handshake, the thought was eating at him even more. A holding penalty negated a Noah Cain touchdown run in the final minute of the first half that would’ve given the Wildcats a 21-point lead and the ball to start the second half, but instead Cedar Hill fought back with a stellar second half to hand Guyer a 23-21 defeat and end the Wildcats’ season.
John Walsh and Joey McGuire got to know each other while coaching in the Under Armour All-America Game back in 2010. Since then, they’ve become good friends and share a lot in common. Both have won state titles and are considered to be in the upper echelon of Texas high school football coaches.Today, Guyer and Cedar Hill renew a rivalry that saw them play four straight years and twice in 2010, and the loser will have nothing to look ahead to except spring football.
BURKBURNETT — Argyle skated its way to a commanding bi-district win over one-win Snyder to kick off its Class 4A Division I playoff campaign last week. Facing a more competent challenger in Lubbock Estacado in the area round, the Eagles figured to have to up their game. On Friday at Bulldog Stadium, the Eagles did so by putting on an immaculate show.
STEPHENVILLE — Sweetwater sought and gained revenge on Friday night at Tarleton State University’s Memorial Stadium. Sweetwater’s dual-threat quarterback Chris Thompson — who was injured in last season’s playoff loss to Krum — was the difference maker for the Mustangs. Thompson rushed 13 times for 90 yards and four first-half touchdowns en route to a 40-14 win to secure a Class 4A Region II area championship. The win advances the Mustangs to a regional quarterfinal matchup against Glen Rose.
TYLER — The Aubrey Chaparrals didn’t learn anything new about playoff football in Texas. You can’t afford to make mistakes. The Chaparrals made far too many, whether by penalty, by interception or by coverage breakdown, and the result was a 35-21 loss to Jasper on Friday night in a Class 4A Division II area playoff at Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.
Denton offensive lineman Grant Polley had quite an up-and-down season during his senior year. He missed several games with a painful knee injury, and the Broncos lost a heartbreaker at home in their opening-round playoff tilt against Justin Northwest.
ARGYLE — Two weeks ago, Liberty Christian used a big game from junior quarterback Jon Copeland to fuel a come-from-behind 27-23 win over Dallas Bishop Dunne.
When the Denton Broncos stormed out to an impressive 23-0 lead in their bi-district playoff opener against Justin Northwest, it seemed as if all the pieces were finally falling into place and Denton might easily roll into the second round. But Northwest was relentless, scored 21 fourth-points, including a touchdown with 16 seconds left, and defeated Denton 31-29.
MESQUITE — Aubrey coach Keith Ivy never saw the ice bath coming. But as his players sneaked up behind him to empty the remains of the team cooler on his head, he could only laugh. “It’s pretty cold,” Ivy said, smiling. “It’s all worth it. I’ll do that every Friday.”
ALEDO — Ponder did not play with a lack of effort, just a lack of experience.Led by a suffocating defense and a big-play offense, Clyde — which is in the midst of a four-year playoff run — outgained Ponder 265 to 30 in the first half, then put the pedal to the floor in the second half en route to a 42-6 win in a Class 3A Division I Region I bi-district playoff contest at Aledo’s Bearcat Stadium on Friday.
FORT WORTH — By its standards, Ryan didn’t get off to the start it would have wanted in Thursday’s playoff opener at Fort Worth Brewer. The offense sputtered at times, and penalties were a glaring issue.But when you’re Ryan, those miscues tend to get overshadowed in a hurry.
In many ways, the Denton Broncos are staring into a mirror when it comes to their Class 5A bi-district playoff matchup against Justin Northwest. Both teams sit at 9-1, with each loss coming at the hands of powerhouse programs. Denton lost to Ryan to open its district schedule, and Northwest fell to Aledo two weeks ago.
GRAHAM — Drawing a one-win Snyder team for the opening, bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs, the Argyle Eagles wanted to get their postseason started on the right note. Their offense struggled temporarily to start the game, but once the Eagles got their engine revved up, they rolled to a 49-14 win Thursday to advance to next week’s area round.
COPPELL — After pulling off a somewhat shocking run to the regional final a year ago, Krum began its postseason run on Thursday night at Buddy Echols Field. In what seemed like nothing more than a prelude to what is sure to be a heated rematch next week, the Bobcats made quick work of Waxahachie Life with a 35-11 victory as they pulled most of their starters after three quarters with a 35-0 lead.
Guyer came away with a dominant victory on Friday night in its regular-season finale against Plano West at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, but what happened in the moments before the game left a sour taste in the Wildcats’ mouth as they prepare for the postseason.
WICHITA FALLS — Ryan coach Dave Henigan has been saying all year winning a district title and finishing the regular season unbeaten wasn’t his team’s end goal. But it sure does look nice heading into the postseason. Ryan, the No. 4 team in The Associated Press’ Class 5A poll, nabbed its second straight unbeaten run through the regular season with a 38-14 win Friday against Wichita Falls Rider at Memorial Stadium.
KRUM — The Krum Bobcats keep racking up firsts. After making their deepest run to the playoffs a season ago, the Bobcats backed that up by going undefeated in District 3-4A on the way to the program’s first district title.
DECATUR — A week ago, the Decatur Eagles couldn’t find a way to get stops or make plays defensively in a loss to a then-winless Burkburnett.Friday night with the second playoff seed out of District 4-4A Division I on the line, the Decatur defense flipped the script. Starting with Dylan Nation’s 50-yard fumble return midway through the first quarter, the Eagle defense and special teams helped build a 21-point halftime lead. Decatur kept pulling away in the 58-31 victory against the Sanger Indians at Eagle Stadium in the regular-season finale.