It was billed as a showdown. The result was a beatdown. That’s the best way to describe Friday’s one-sided District 5-5A opener between Ryan and Denton. It’s been a crosstown rivalry that, even though it hadn’t been played since 2011, has been dominated by the Raiders. In the latest installment, Ryan showed just how big of a gap there is between two of the top six teams in the state.
Through the first four games of the Denton Broncos’ season, their defense has had just as much a hand in their victories as their offense. In three halves this season, their defense has held the opposing team to seven points or less while racking up 10 takeaways. In their District 5-5A opener, though, the Broncos’ defense had its hands full.
PLANO — Guyer coach John Walsh had plenty to like about his team’s District 6-6A opener on Friday night. Guyer rushed for 353 yards, had 14 carries of more than 10 yards and controlled the tempo of the game for much of the night en route to a 34-24 win against Plano to open district play.
PLANO — Jon Copeland gutted through a back injury suffered this week in practice, and Liberty Christian coaches weren’t even sure their quarterback would start the second half on Friday. Despite his effort, Plano Prestonwood simply was too much to handle in a 57-20 win against the Warriors.
BROCK — The 2016 football season has proven to be rough on the Pilot Point Bearcats, and Friday night was no exception. The Brock Eagles, the state’s top-ranked Class 3A team, used a relentless running attack and a stifling defensive effort to shut out Pilot Point 60-0.
Losing all-state running back Xavier Scott to graduation left a huge hole in the Broncos’ offense entering this season, but thankfully Denton has senior running back Caleb Osuofa to fill the gap.
There was a time when Ryan and Denton were the only high schools in town. They would square off every season on the field and everyone in the community came to watch. To this day, there are fans who refer to it as the Denton school district’s original rivalry.
Unlike many of the teams in Guyer’s new district, there is a history between it and Plano. The teams met just two seasons ago in the bi-district round of the playoffs with Guyer picking up a resounding win over a school with 3,000 more students.
It’s not like Ryan’s offense played poorly in its first three games. But after relying so heavily on second-half heroics, even the Raiders were itching to start fast for a change — and perhaps build some cushion in the process. Ryan, ranked No. 3 in The Associated Press’ Class 5A poll, got the fast start it was looking for Friday and, with a suffocating defense in tow, decimated No. 5 Frisco Lone Star for a 51-34 win at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. Lone Star hung around for the most part but turned the ball over four times.
KAUFMAN — With third-string quarterback Jacob Nalls running the offense for Kaufman, Braswell knew what the Lions would try to do: run and run some more. Even with that knowledge, Braswell’s defense failed to stop Kaufman’s ground-and-pound all night. The Lions racked up 334 rushing yards for four scores en route to a 42-3 win against the Bengals.
PONDER — A powerful rushing attack from the Ponder Lions and the Sadler S&S Consolidated Rams kept the game close, but one spark of brilliance from Ponder senior running back Jonathan Aguilar set the teams apart. With 2:15 left in the game, Aguilar bounced off a tackle and reached for the end zone from 9 yards out to give the Lions a 35-31 win on his only touchdown of the night.
AUBREY — There never was a doubt Aubrey would win. Gatlin Grisso’s 99-yard interception return with no time left on the clock in the second quarter was just icing. Grisso, playing defensive back, came down with a Hail Mary from Benbrook (0-4) and returned it to put Aubrey (3-1) up 48-9 headed into halftime. The game ended with Aubrey winning 62-9.
PILOT POINT — After being held to only 53 first-half yards, the Pilot Point Bearcats used their defense to get their sluggish offense out of its slumber. The Bearcats’ defense forced five turnovers that led to a one-point lead early in the fourth quarter, but they couldn’t keep Gunter from scoring twice as Pilot Point fell 27-21 on Friday to move to 0-4 on the season.
KELLER — Down at halftime for the first time this season, the Denton Broncos’ offense had amassed just 187 yards, but the second half was a different story. Denton scored the final two touchdowns of the game and its defense came through in the clutch, allowing the Broncos to put together a crucial eight-play drive for breathing room to hold off Timber Creek for a 37-28 victory and stay undefeated at 4-0.
Braswell coach Cody Moore finally thinks he has the right players in the right spots. The process to get to this point hasn’t been easy, and Moore isn’t suggesting that all of his team’s woes have been solved with a few personnel moves. The Bengals are not only searching for their first win, they’re also trying to be competitive.
Ryan coach Dave Henigan and Frisco Lone Star’s Jeff Rayburn were in the same boat on realignment day in February. Both coaches had just led their teams to deep playoff runs, and were favorites to again compete for state titles. But as they worked the room that day trying to round out their nondistrict schedules, that success was working against them.
On the first day of practice, coach Cody Moore said he’s not worried about any of the 10 opponents that Braswell will face this year. That was just more than three weeks ago, and now Braswell is hours away from kickoff against Haslet Eaton. It’s safe to say Moore has the Eagles on his mind.
The Denton Broncos have seen run-focused teams the past two weeks in Sanger and The Colony and used a combination of defense and timely scoring to emerge with victories, but in today’s game at undefeated Keller Timber Creek, the Bronco defense is preparing for a change of scenery.
Holding a healthy 12-point lead at halftime, the Denton Broncos found themselves in a situation similar to last week’s second half against Sanger. The Broncos’ offense grinded to a screeching halt and The Colony capitalized, scoring late in the third quarter to draw within two points. But again, Denton used a familiar mixture of stout defense, timely running by Caleb Osuofa and a crucial fourth-quarter drive, allowing the Broncos to sneak away with a 35-29 victory in their first home game of the year to stay perfect at 3-0.
DALLAS — For the past couple of weeks, Guyer juniors Luke Stillwell and Donovan Greenhoward have been itching to show what they could do to complement Guyer’s renowned rushing attack. On Friday night at Sprague Stadium, albeit against an overmatched opponent, the Wildcats took to the air early and often in a 63-7 rout of Dallas Kimball behind their junior quarterback and No. 1 wide receiver.
ARGYLE — No Dane Ledford. No problem. Playing without its starting quarterback for a second straight game due to injury, Argyle again turned to a trio of backups led by sophomore Hayden Clearman and promptly scored on four of its first five possessions while rolling up 348 total yards in a 43-14 win at Eagle Stadium.
The back-and-forth play ended there. Prestonwood scored on the drive that ollowed as it outscored Lake Dallas 29-9 for the final 20 minutes for a 59-40 win, sinking Lake Dallas to 1-2 in non-district play thanks to a relentless pass rush and an unstoppable quarterback.
For the first two weeks of the 2016 season, the Calvary Lions couldn’t get their offense going and scored six combined points in two lopsided losses. That all changed Friday night when the Lions’ offense got on track, and the result was a 52-6 rout of the Stoneburg Gold-Burg Bears in a game that ended in the third quarter due to the TAPPS mercy rule.
WYLIE — Perhaps Ryan simply feels more comfortable playing from behind. That certainly appears to be this team’s modus operandi. The Raiders, ranked third in the state, have trailed at halftime in all three of their games this season. But rather than panic, they continue to find a way to win.
FRISCO — In the end, Braswell may have lost by 16 points, but the final score did not indicate how close the Bengals were to a win against Frisco Reedy. With 4:27 remaining in the third quarter, Braswell trailed Reedy 14-12. Late in the fourth, the Bengals surrendered two rushing touchdowns by Reedy running backs Justin Gipson and Trevor Heavner.
The Denton Broncos finally are getting some recognition across the state. After landing just outside the top 10 of The Associated Press’ Class 5A poll after their opening win over Lake Dallas, the Broncos moved up to No. 8 following last week’s 31-21 road win over Sanger.
Following Tuesday’s practice, Braswell coach Cody Moore said there will be personnel changes heading into its Week 3 matchup against Frisco Reedy at the Ford Center at the Star. In particular, a new face in the backfield. Third-string quarterback Palmer Campbell, a sophomore from Ryan, is set to make his first varsity start tonight following injuries to Braswell starter Florentino Rodriguez and backup Omari Ross.