Two victories into their playoff crusade, the Denton boys are striving to find the correct formula.
With a 2-0 win over Saginaw in the bi-district round and a 5-0 area-round victory over Wichita Falls Hirschi, the results would suggest the Broncos are peaking at the right time, but Denton coach Scott Heffley says his team has some untapped potential.
“I see on a daily basis what we’re capable of, and I just didn’t think we were at that level against Hirschi,” Heffley said. “There were several factors that definitely played a role. The long bus ride and the wind are some things that we have to overcome. The guys continue to look really good at practice, and I’m hoping that since we know what to expect it will play into our hands.”
While the team seemed unfazed by the wind at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium, Heffley wanted to see more energy and for the Broncos to convert on more of their chances, which they produced at a plentiful rate.
The Broncos (10-8-5), having made the playoffs for the second consecutive season, will face Wichita Falls Rider at 6 tonight at Memorial Stadium. The Raiders of District 9-4A defeated Azle 2-0 in the area round after earning a first-round bye.
Heffley said he believes his team can hang with Rider.
“They’re a strong team,” Heffley said. “Rider has a long-standing tradition of making it not only deep in the playoffs, but in 2012 they were the state runner-up. They’ve got a great pedigree. They’ve already established their tradition of playoff success that we are just now trying to establish for ourselves. We hope to take a step forward with the culture that we’re trying to create over here.”
On offense, Denton has leaned on Feliciano Amaya, who scored in both playoff games, including two straight goals against Hirschi.
With goalkeeper Christian Rodriguez and the Broncos’ back-row defense looking as stout as they have all season, Denton is looking to replicate its recent success against the offensively gifted Rider.
“That’s huge,” Heffley said of his defense. “To get into the playoffs is one thing, but to face two opponents and not give up a goal — it says a lot about our defense and the continuity that we’ve tried to establish all year. Both the teams we played had potent attacks, so it’s a real credit to those back four defenders that they were able to deny not only goals but not give up too many scoring opportunities.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.