Just because Ken McLaurin committed to SMU in October didn’t mean the chase for his services was over. McLaurin was a highly touted defensive tackle for Ryan and said he racked up 17 Division I offers.
As of a few weeks ago, Pilot Point’s DaCoven Bailey didn’t have too much in the way of offers, lacking in serious Division I interest. But that didn’t get Bailey down. He knew that one way or another he would be playing football for someone next year.
ARGYLE — Football has always been a big part of life for J.C. Chalk. Chalk is the grandson of well-known college player and coach Gene Stallings, so in many ways he was born with the game coursing through his veins. Chalk just needed to find where his athletic skill set fit best.
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — In an overcrowded room of eager coaches and school district officials, Ryan coach Dave Henigan positioned himself in front of a large projection screen.
NORTH RICHLAND HILLS — Braswell coach Cody Moore has a long list of things he wants to accomplish before the Bengals open their varsity football schedule in 2016.
Change is the keyword for what is facing Denton-area high schools following Monday's announcement of the UIL district realignment which begins with the 2016-17 school year and football season.
ARGYLE — Taylor Sweatt’s obsession with Japanese anime cartoons started with a six-second video clip. It’s a self-admitted obsession, one that just about everyone in Argyle’s football program is aware of heading into the final game of his high school career.
ARGYLE — As Argyle coach Todd Rodgers watched playoff brackets unfold over the last few weeks, his immediate thought was that Carthage might end up being one of the participants in today’s Class 4A Division I state title game.
ARGYLE — Dane Ledford didn’t need his arm twisted on the idea of him being Argyle’s starting quarterback. And that was a good thing for the Eagles’ coaching staff, which not only needed a new leader under center to begin this season but had the athletic junior pegged as its guy all along.
WACO — Argyle scored more points Friday than Abilene Wylie gave up in its previous four playoff wins combined. But the Eagles had to work for every inch while reverting to their ground and pound days of old.
ALLEN — In the overtime period of Friday’s state semifinal game between Lake Dallas and Frisco Lone Star, the Rangers were scoring touchdowns with relative ease. And each time Lone Star scored and put the ball in the Falcons’ court, they kept finding more miraculous ways to answer.
WACO — All week in practice the Argyle Eagles heard how great the Abilene Wylie defense was. How the Bulldogs allowed only 9.2 points per game all season, and how they outscored their playoff opponents 162-22. Well, Argyle’s defense had an answer to those impressive defensive statistics, not in numbers, but in timely play from interior linemen Hudson Speed and Shane McKinney.
AMARILLO — Perhaps the one statistic that hasn’t been emphasized enough during Ryan’s impressive playoff run — and really the bulk of this season — has been its ability to protect the football.Rarely have...
ALLEN — Guyer coach John Walsh’s play-calling identity has long been one to score as many points as quickly as possible. But in Friday’s Class 6A Division II area-round playoff game against Southlake Carroll, Walsh threw the Dragons a curveball. Guyer, knowing the potency of the Dragons’ offense, executed its game plan to perfection in rolling up 544 yards on the ground and milking the clock en route to a 48-35 win against the Dragons, avenging a loss in the same round of the playoffs a year ago.
ARLINGTON — Sometimes, you have to give a team the credit it deserves. It’s no secret Ryan has had its doubters this season. Fueled by a battered defense that forced four second-half turnovers, Ryan’s offense rallied from a five-point hole in the fourth quarter with two touchdowns in the final 8:50 — both from sophomore quarterback Spencer Sanders — to steal a 43-35 win in a wild finish at AT&T Stadium.
JUSTIN — Facing the Aledo Bearcats for the second consecutive season in the Class 5A Division I Region I area round at Northwest ISD Stadium, the Denton Broncos knew they had to put together a near perfect game to take down the defending state champs. It was Aledo that played the mistake free game, using a balanced blend of run and pass to expose the Denton defense and with the Bearcats scoring on their first three drives of the game, the Broncos were facing a severe uphill climb from the get-go. Denton’s offense struggled and Aledo kept its foot on the gas pedal and breezed its way into the regional semifinals with a 52-3 victory on Friday.
ROYSE CITY — Turnovers ultimately kill a team’s momentum, and forcing turnovers is a message Argyle coach Todd Rodgers and the Eagles’ defensive coaches drill into the defense every week. The Eagles used that type of defense then used a number of offensive weapons and a deadlock defense to topple the Pirates 59-34 in its Class 4A Division I area round game at Royse City ISD Stadium Friday.
BEDFORD — The Lake Dallas defense allowed Burleson to drive the ball to the red zone, but facing a fourth-and-13, it needed a stop. As Burleson quarterback Preston Paden dropped back, it quickly became apparent he had no chance. The pocket collapsed, and several Lake Dallas defenders reached Paden with enough force that his helmet popped off and skittered backward 5 feet for a turnover on downs. Already up by two touchdowns, Lake Dallas cruised the rest of the way for a 35-14 win on Friday at Pennington Field.
Ryan surrendered more points and yards on Friday than it had in any game this season, but with its offense moving the chains at will and Plano East consistently shooting itself in the foot, it was hardly a cause for concern. Spencer Sanders threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns, Tyreke Davis added two more scores on 144 rushing yards and the Raiders’ defense stiffened when it needed to on its way to forcing two crucial turnovers in a 56-33 win in a Class 6A Division I Region I bi-district game at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Memories of last year’s playoffs have faded and a host of players have claimed new roles, but the Denton Broncos’ winning ways seem to be here to stay. For the second straight year, the Broncos match up with one of District 6-5A’s best in the opening round of the Class 5A playoffs. The Broncos drew Birdville last season, and at 9 p.m. today in the fourth scheduled game at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium, Denton dances with Grapevine, which has the same five-game winning streak and 8-2 overall record as the Broncos.
JUSTIN — It’s been three years since Lake Dallas advanced past the second round of the playoffs. In other words, nobody on the team has been here before. The Falcons made it that far Friday, beating Fort Worth Brewer 49-14 in a Class 5A Division II bi-district playoff game at Justin’s Northwest ISD Stadium. They’ll play Burleson next week.
Ryan coach Dave Henigan said he has enjoyed each of his team’s wins this season, but never was his smile as big as it was when his players hoisted him on their shoulders during Friday’s postgame speech. On a night where the unbeaten Raiders still were viewed in many eyes as underdogs, Henigan’s crew — specifically quarterback Spencer Sanders and the offense — engineered a masterful 31-28 win against rival Guyer to claim the District 5-6A title while making a powerful statement heading into the Class 6A Division I playoffs.
ARGYLE — The Liberty Christian Warriors broke their three-game losing streak by routing the Plano John Paul II Cardinals (0-10, 0-5 TAAPS 1-l) 50-8 in the final game of the season when Liberty quarterback Nick Starkel threw for 503 yards, completing 26 of his 36 passes.
KRUM — Conner Pingleton and the Celina offense picked up right where they left off in a dominating win against Aubrey last week, as Pingleton threw for 294 yards and seven touchdowns in the first half to lead the Bobcats to a 69-14 win against Krum on Friday night.
FARMERSVILLE — After last week’s two-point loss to Pottsboro eliminated Pilot Point from the playoff chase, Friday’s District 5-3A (Division I) regular season finale against Farmersville didn’t hold the weight the Bearcats’ had hoped for, but that didn’t stop running back Tyler Gray from putting on an offensive demonstration.
In last year’s regular-season finale against Wichita Falls, the Denton Broncos didn’t have much to play for. As Denton enters the final game of the regular season this time around against the Coyotes — at 7 tonight at Memorial Stadium in Wichita Falls — Scott and the Broncos have a chance to earn a share of the District 5-5A championship with Saginaw Boswell, something that hasn’t happened since 1999.