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.
LAKE DALLAS — Lake Dallas had nothing to play for, and they played like they had everything. The offense jumped up and down on the sideline, pumping the crowd into a frenzy before the game’s final play. The defense sprinted off the field in celebration when it stopped Prosper on fourth down from the 1-yard line to preserve a 28-24 win on Friday.
PILOT POINT — Pilot Point entered Friday having played one of the toughest schedules in Texas, and it needed either a win or a Pottsboro loss to Whitesboro to sneak into the playoffs. After Pilot Point lost 42-31 Friday to Van Alstyne, its players, coaches and fans waited anxiously for an update from Pottsboro.
MIDLAND — The Calvary Lions desperately needed a victory Friday night to keep their slim TAPPS playoff hopes alive. Midland Trinity Chargers’ Jackson Pinnow returned the opening kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown as the Chargers rolled to a 64-30 triumph against Calvary, handing the Lions’ their sixth straight loss and ending their season with a 2-8 record.
FLOWER MOUND — The Ryan Lady Raiders’ run in the Class 5A Region I volleyball playoffs came to a sudden stop Friday with a heartbreaking four-set loss to Grapevine.
For the first time in three seasons, the Denton Broncos know before their 10th game whom they will play in the first round of the playoffs. The Broncos will host Justin Northwest next Friday at 7 p.m., but first they have to finish the regular season. Denton and Braswell square off at 7 tonight at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex to close out District 5-5A play.
Braswell coach Cody Moore leaned back in his office chair, both hands resting comfortably behind his head, and thought back on what he called a yearlong “adventure.”
If there is one thing Braswell is doing, it’s getting better — especially in the past few weeks of its inaugural season. Prior to the season’s start, Braswell coach Cody Moore said he hoped the home stretch would give the Bengal faithful a glimpse into the future of the program. Well, it did — on the field and on the scoreboard.Braswell broke a week-old scoring record — previously scoring 20 points in a 49-20 loss to Denison — scoring 27 points in Friday night’s 57-27 loss to Wichita Falls Rider at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
McKINNEY — By the end of the first quarter on Friday night, there was no doubt Guyer would come away with another win in District 6-6A play. It just took a while for the Wildcats to put away an overmatched McKinney Boyd team as they notched a 37-0 win against the Broncos behind their usually dominant ground attack and a standout defensive effort.
WICHITA FALLS — The Argyle Eagles were nearly their own worst enemy Friday night against Wichita Falls Hirschi. Dane Ledford scored two of his three touchdown runs in the second half, Don Williams rushed for 199 yards and also scored twice in the second half, and Dylan Sadler kicked four field goals as the Eagles pulled away for a 47-14 District 4-4A victory at Memorial Stadium.