WACO — Nick Ralston rushed for 130 yards on 14 carries and scored two first-quarter touchdowns to lead Argyle to a 42-8 win over Gladewater for the Class 3A Division II Region II championship at Panther Stadium.
“We felt like caged animals,” Ralston said. “It really quick-started our team to get two quick touchdowns.”
Ralston swept left for 32 yards for his first touchdown as Argyle (14-0) covered 56 yards in four plays on the game’s first possession.
A 41-yard pass from Brandon Boyzuick to Ian Sadler set up Ralston’s second touchdown. The running back then skirted the right side from 9 yards out as Argyle upped its lead to 14-0 late in the first quarter.
“The offense ran the ball down their throats early, and we controlled the clock effectively,” Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said. “Playing on Monday, I shot from the hip a little, and the kids treated it just like another football game.”
Next up for Argyle is a semifinal game with Graham (14-0) on Saturday at 6 p.m. at Justin Northwest.
Gladewater (7-7) fumbled on its next series, giving Argyle a short field at the Gladewater 29. On the second quarter’s first play, Boyzuick, who was 8-for-16 passing for 144 yards, connected with Sadler for a 16-yard scoring pass.
Argyle put the game out of reach with Connor Wilson’s 22-yard run and Boyzuick’s 39-yard scoring toss to Colton Hinnrichs with just over a minute remaining in the first half.
“It was great to get a win tonight after the long weekend,” Boyzuick said.
With a 35-0 halftime lead, Argyle worked the clock in the second half. Boyzuick collected the final touchdown with a 12-yard scoring pass to Sadler midway through the third period. Sadler finished the game with five receptions for 96 yards.
Gladewater, which struggled offensively throughout the game, finally cracked the scoreboard when James Reese broke loose for a 68-yard scoring run late in the fourth quarter. Daylon Mack bulled over for the two-point conversion.
Reese paced Gladewater’s offense with 172 rushing yards on 26 carries.
Argyle 42, Gladewater 8
A — Nick Ralston 32 run (Cole Hedlund kick), 10:02
A — Ralston 9 run (Hedlund kick), 2:32
A — Ian Sadler 16 pass from Brandon Boyzuick (Hedlund kick), 11:54
A — Connor Wilson 22 run (Hedlund kick), 8:16
A — Colton Hinnrichs 39 pass from Boyzuick (Hedlund kick), 1:07
A — Sadler 12 pass from Boyzuick (Hedlund kick), 6:42
G — James Reese 68 run (Daylon Mack run), 5:26
Rushing — A: Nick Ralston 14-130, Ian Sadler 4-23, Brandon Boyzuick 1-4, Connor Wilson 2-29, Hunter Treadwell 1-6, Brayden Helliker 6-10, Chance Bode 2-0, Chase Green 1-2, Jon Pucciarello 1 (-5). G — James Reese 26-172, Darnell McKnight 3-21, Daylon Mack 1-1, Justice Centers 8-17, Daryl Polk 2-4, Nick Caraguier 3-(-7).
Passing — A: Brandon Boyzuick 8-16-0-144, Cooper Rodgers 2-3-0-34. G: Nick Caraguier 3-6-0-18.
Receiving — A: Ian Sadler 5-96, Colton Hinnichs 1-39, Jon Pucciarello 1-11, J. C. Chalk 1-23, Chase Green 1-11, Hunter Treadwell 1-(-2). G: Justice Centers 3-18.