As Ryan’s coaches and players stood and faced the home stands for the playing of the school’s alma mater, the faces and the body languages of the players summed up what transpired since the first play from scrimmage at 7:33 p.m.
The entire team wore a look of apathy with its right hands raised. The voices that had been loud all game were mute during the playing of the school song. When the team looked and faced the opponent’s band, Ryan quarterback Preston Compton stood with his hands on his hips, helmet in his right hand, shaking his head.
For a team accustomed to winning, the Raiders lost their second straight game of the season, falling to Wylie East 34-31 on Friday night at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
When Ryan head coach Joey Florence addressed his team, with some of the players crying, he opened his postgame speech saying, “You keep your heads up tonight.”
The Raiders surrendered a fourth-quarter lead and failed to come back for the second straight week.
“It’s probably going to be the worst loss this season,” defensive end J.T. Williams said. “We lost last week, we were out in practice all pumped up, ready to beat these guys. They played better than us.”
Running back Jabari Anderson led Wylie East’s offense with 36 carries for 206 yards and three touchdowns, while quarterback Garrett McCain had 313 combined rushing and passing yards.
For Ryan (1-2), Compton completed 8 of 15 passes for 147 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Running back Tyrone Williams had 16 carries for 74 yards, his first game of less than 100 yards rushing this season.
East (2-1) racked up 528 yards of total offense. East receivers Marcell Ateman and Quan Jones have orally committed to Oklahoma State and Baylor, respectively.
On homecoming night, Ryan lost the lead with 5:38 remaining in the game, when Anderson plowed his way into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run.
Then, after a long completion by Compton to Trent Willis and a 13-yard run by Compton, Ryan had the ball at East’s 34-yard line, with the clock and the offense rolling.
Then, Florence opted to send in Xavier Gray, who had split snaps with Compton throughout the game. Florence called four straight run plays. After the fourth play and a run by Williams that was stopped in the right side of the backfield, East’s players exploded along its sideline before the visiting offense closed out the game.
Florence took full responsibility for the play calling on Ryan’s final offensive drive, and he said he was proud of the way his team responded against a strong 4A team.
“We made some mistakes on the last drive,” Florence said. “My fault. I put that on myself. I thought we line up and run it at ‘em. To their credit, I thought they did a good job and stopped us.”
Both offenses started out the game by trading points until the second quarter. The game’s first punt didn’t come until midway through the second quarter.
In the second quarter, East had two straight possessions that were cut short. Anderson gained 18 yards on a carry to East’s 48-yard line before he was hit hard and fumbled. It looked like the ball had already went out of bounds before Ryan recovered, but the Raiders were awarded the ball. Ryan couldn’t muster anything out of the good fortune and was forced to punt.
On East’s next possession, the visitors were forced to punt again. Ryan’s Reynal Caldwell broke through and blocked the punt, and Nolan Robinson scooped the ball up and returned it 34 yards for a touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 21-17.
Orozco hit a 26-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to send Ryan into halftime up 24-17. But East outscored the Raiders 17-7 in the second half en route to the victory.
“We didn’t compete in the second half,” Gray said. “We just needed to come out with how we started the game.”
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Wylie East 34, Ryan 31
WE — Dylan Cook 19 FG, 9:19
R — Xavier Gray 29 run (Marc Orozco kick), 6:27
WE — Jabari Anderson 1 run (Cook kick), 3:11
R — Gray 12 run (Orozco kick), 11:32
WE — Anderson 2 run (Cook kick), 10:30
R — Nolan Robinson 17 blocked punt return (Orozco kick), 5:12
R — Orozco 26 FG, 0:00
WE — Cook 28 FG, 1:11
WE — Quan Jones 1 pass from Garrett McCain (Cook kick), 11:29
R — Trent Willis 21 pass from Preston Compton (Orozco kick), 10:03
WE — Anderson 1 run (Cook kick), 5:38
Rushing — WE: Will McCarthy 3-15, Jabari Anderson 36-206, Garrett McCain17-110, Team 1-(-)6.. R – Tyrone Williams 16-74, Xavier Gray 12-89, Preston Compton 6-29.
Passing — WE: Garrett McCain 16-26-0-203. R – Preston Compton 8-15-0-147, Xavier Gray 1-1-0-(-)4.
Receiving — WE: Marcell Ateman 8-92, Jesse Brubaker 4-72, Quan Jones 3-38. R – Kevin Ray 2-25, Xavier Gray 2-52, Daniel Telaneus 1-14, Robert Conner 1-(-)4, Trent Willis 2-56.