ARLINGTON — Shawn Robinson admitted to having some jitters when he took the field at AT&T Stadium on Saturday for the first time in his career. In his playoff debut, it didn’t take long for him to get rid of them.
JUSTIN — Amassing a two-possession lead by halftime and holding the Class 5A leading rusher Isaiah Duarte to just 72 yards in the first half, the Denton Broncos had their lead, but the Birdville Hawks weren’t going to go quietly. Duarte finished with 212 yards and four touchdowns with the Hawks scoring 19 fourth-quarter points to set up one final drive, but on fourth-and-10 at midfield with less than a minute remaining, defensive lineman Adam Bershell’s outside rush helped him come up with his third sack of the game to allow Denton to secure the 40-33 victory for the Class 5A bi-district championship at Northwest ISD Stadium on Friday.
The last time the Guyer Wildcats were in the postseason in the state’s largest classification, they had their earliest playoff exit in program history when they were bounced in the second round by Mansfield in 2011. That Guyer team started seven sophomores — a stark contrast from its senior-laden team the prior year that went to the Class 5A Division II final in the program’s first year playing with the state’s biggest schools.
SAGINAW — Two weeks ago, freshman C.J. Jackson was quarterbacking Sanger’s junior varsity team. On Friday, he led the Indians to a 31-21 win against Springtown in the Class 4A bi-district matchup to send Sanger to the second round of the playoffs for the first time in nine years.
BEDFORD — All DaCoven Bailey needed was a little help from his defense. The junior running back did his part Friday night in Pilot Point’s Class 3A bi-district playoff game against Red Oak Life, rushing for six touchdowns and finishing with 298 yards on 24 carries.
GROESBECK — Liberty Christian running back Kylen Howell had only 10 yards rushing on six carries Friday night against the Tomball Concordia Lutheran Crusaders but scored three rushing touchdowns to lead the Warriors to a 50-20 victory in the TAPPS Division I playoffs.
FORT WORTH — Krum was desperate to taste some playoff success. Dallas Lincoln obliged, over and over again. The Bobcats rolled up 390 total yards, 327 of that rushing, and scored five touchdowns off Lincoln turnovers — the Tigers had six for the game — while cruising to a 40-6 win in a Class 4A Region I Division II bi-district game at Brewer Bear Stadium.
The Denton Broncos’ fast start to the season, their win over Saginaw Boswell in the final seconds and their first playoff berth since 2010 highlight their season so far, but tonight against Birdville, all of those peaks climbed are merely hills compared with the task ahead.
Lake Dallas wide receiver Keegan Brewer is focused on scoring touchdowns. He’s just never kept track. Brewer, a junior, was floored when he heard the numbers — 21 touchdowns, 18 of them receiving — earlier this week. Coupled with his 1,002 yards, he is ranked fifth in the Dallas-Fort Worth area among Class 5A receivers heading into Friday’s Region I Division II bi-district tilt against Wichita Falls — slated for 7:30 p.m. at Springtown.
On Thursday night, before Ryan and Guyer had even taken the field at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, the Raiders received bad news when they were eliminated from postseason contention. Friday night was no better for Ryan thanks to a dominant display by the Wildcats, who cruised to a 52-7 win against their crosstown foe.
Despite the absence of importance in their final game of the regular season, the Denton Broncos came into Friday’s contest against Wichita Falls with the hope that it would serve as a dress rehearsal for next week’s playoff game against Birdville. However, the Coyotes also had designs on entering the playoffs on a high note as they shot out to a 28-0 lead on the way to a 49-14 blowout at Bronco Field.
When Joey Florence took over at Ryan before the 2000 season, he inherited a Raider program that, historically, was in rough shape. The Raiders were coming off a one-win season in 1999, and won two games the year before that.
PILOT POINT — Pilot Point receiver RyLee Hellman caught a 44-yard touchdown pass to pull the Bearcats within six of Farmersville with 4:36 remaining, but the Farmers quickly answered on Darrin Pennington’s 55-yard scoring run to seal the 42-28 victory.
ANNA — Anna came from behind in the second half to make a playoff statement in a 20-14 win against the Aubrey Chaparrals on Friday night.
When Guyer and Ryan renew their crosstown rivalry tonight, one team will look to wrap up a dominating run in District 5-6A before turning its attention to the postseason. The other will play for nothing more than pride.
FORT WORTH — It wasn’t pretty, but Lake Dallas finished its district schedule undefeated. The Falcons (9-1, 6-0 District 6-5A) defeated the Fort Worth Dunbar Wildcats 45-36 on Thursday, capping an undefeated run through the district with their ninth consecutive win overall to claim the 6-5A championship. The win also gives the Falcons a top seed in the Class 5A Division II playoffs.
Ryan needs just about everything to go its way this week to make the playoffs for a 15th straight year, beginning tonight when the Raiders will watch for the outcome of a game that could end their postseason hopes before they even take the field Friday against Guyer.
The Denton Record-Chronicle recognizes athletes and their game-changing performances. Email nominations to email@example.com.
POTTSBORO — Zane Pritchett and the Pottsboro defense knew they had a tall order Friday, playing Pilot Point with a district title on the line. But Pritchett ran for 259 and two touchdowns on 27 carries and added three takeaways on defense to lift Pottsboro (8-1, 4-0) to a 22-7 win over No. 16 Pilot Point (8-1, 3-1) and to clinch the District 5-3A Division I championship.
ARGYLE — A few weeks ago, Argyle had a decent test from an explosive Carrollton Ranchview team in the Eagles’ quest for yet another district championship. Since then, Argyle has encountered nothing but minor speed bumps, with its most recent coming in Friday night’s 65-14 win over Dallas Pinkston, which clinched at least a share of the District 6-4A (Division I) championship for Argyle.
If Ryan expects to challenge for a playoff spot out of District 5-6A, it undoubtedly must avoid the turnovers that have plagued the team all season.
Jetting out to a 6-0 start, the Denton Broncos were riding high. Now, after two consecutive losses that have tested their trust and belief, they are faced with needing to win their remaining games to make the playoffs for the first time since 2010.