Football: Backups get time for Ryan

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GRAPEVINE — Were it not for the humidity and the heat Friday night, many of Ryan’s starting football players wouldn’t have broken a sweat.

Friday marked the last time this season contests wouldn’t make a difference in the team’s win column, and the last time backups would see much action under the lights.

Aside from a field goal from Marc Orozco and a 70-yard touchdown strike from junior backup quarterback Shomari Cann, Ryan’s offense failed to manage points in a clash where points didn’t matter.

Following the scrimmage against Grapevine, the Raiders kneeled around their head coach as he told them how their intensity levels were set to go up before next week’s season opener against Corsicana.

“We just played a lot of people today,” Florence said. “It’s flat. Second scrimmage, there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm. You can’t play this game without emotion. It was very much business-like tonight. But I saw a lot of good things. We got to play a lot of kids tonight.”

Grapevine, the only Class 5A team the Raiders will face until they play McKinney on Sept. 27, was in the midst of a quarterback battle between Sam Barry and Adam Sandy, Mustangs coach Dave Henigan said.

The Mustangs’ most explosive play came when Barry took off up the middle and then down the right sideline, swatted away the tackle attempt by Ryan’s Randalle Williams and scored a 70-yard touchdown.

Midway through the scrimmage, Henigan sent a messenger to the press box to tell the person running the clock to clear the points off the scoreboard.

Coming into the contest, Florence expressed concern about his secondary. The group of defensive backs came through early when Ronnie Coleman, a move-in from Lake Dallas, intercepted Barry.

As for his offense, Florence wasn’t as pleased.

“Offensively, I’m not pleased with our passing game just yet,” Florence said. “But our running game is solid. I think our passing game will come.”

Running backs Tyrone Williams and Maurice Gordon were fairly effective on the ground for the Raiders.

The scrimmage and the preseason ended with a 12-minute quarter. Grapevine was driving near Ryan’s end zone when time mistakenly elapsed.

Florence pointed toward the clock without any time on it, waved his arms and blew his whistle like a referee without a striped shirt. Grapevine ran one more play, and the final pass fell harmlessly out of bounds near the end zone.

Ryan starting quarterback Mitchell Bridges said the Raiders’ intensity level will be far different Friday.

“We’re ready to get after Corsicana,” Bridges said. “Scrimmages are different. You have to get other people in. It’s more relaxed. But by the time Corsicana comes around, everyone will be fired up and ready to hit.”

BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869.


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