Friday’s game between Flower Mound Marcus and Ryan turned into a battle of the recovering wounded and the soon-to-be hurt.
Ryan’s quarterback was the recovering wounded. Marcus’ quarterback was the soon-to-be hurt.
That proved to be the difference in Ryan’s 18-6 win over Marcus at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. It was the first District 5-5A game for both schools.
Raiders junior quarterback Mitchell Bridges returned to the starting lineup after missing three games with a broken fibula. Bridges completed 12 of 23 passes for 174 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.
Bridges said his left leg was very sore after the game, but he said he felt good. Bridges led Ryan’s offense to 15 points in the second quarter, giving the Raiders (3-2, 1-0 district) all the points it needed for the victory.
“We got the feel of the game better,” Bridges said of the Raiders in the second quarter. “Everyone started doing their part; knew what they were doing every play.”
The Marauders (1-5, 0-1) came into the game wounded and left with more names added to the injury list.
Marcus came in with its second-string quarterback, sophomore Cade Erwin, starting. Cade’s older brother, junior Cole Erwin, is out for the year with a knee injury.
On their first possession, the Marauders drove the ball from its own 25-yard line to the Ryan 27-yard line. On fourth-and-4, Erwin took the ball down the right sideline, picked up the first down and was leveled as he was going out of bounds.
Erwin was on his back on Ryan’s sidelines for a couple of minutes before gingerly walking across the field. The run was called back because of a holding penalty, and Marcus punted the ball to the Ryan 12-yard line.
After the game, Erwin was in street clothes as the team huddled around its head coach and Erwin’s father, Bryan Erwin. Cade Erwin was visibly upset. He was on crutches and there was a bulky, black cast reaching all the way beyond his knee.
“I felt bad for him, because his brother got hurt earlier in the year,” Bridges said. “I felt for him. I felt for their family. I know what it feels like to go down.”
Marcus also lost its starting running back, junior Mark Demery, with 9:43 left in the game with an apparent ankle injury. He did not return. He finished with 94 yards on 24 carries.
Bridges missed one play in the third quarter after he got the wind knocked out of him. He returned the next play and found Trent Willis for a big 24-yard gain and a first down.
Willis had four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown that sparked Ryan’s dormant offense.
With 2:35 left in the second quarter, Bridges threw a high, arcing ball to Willis, who had gotten behind Marcus’ secondary. Willis leaped into the air and came down with the ball and strolled into the end zone.
“Trent’s made some big plays all year,” Ryan head coach Joey Florence said. “That was a great call. I thought the line blocked really well, gave pass protection and Mitchell made a great throw. That was fun to watch. That will help us down the road.”
Ryan junior kicker Marc Orozco hit two of his three field-goal attempts to aid Ryan’s effort in the district-opening win.
The Raiders allowed its lowest point total of the season and surrendered 241 yards of offense. Florence, Bridges and junior defensive end J.T. Williams all agreed that Friday night might have been Ryan’s best all-around performance.
“This is showing us that we can take it in 5A,” Williams said. “First district game, this is the biggest win that we can get right now.
“I’m just really proud of my team right now. I’m going to enjoy this win for the rest of the weekend.”
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Ryan 18, Flower Mound Marcus 6
R — Marc Orozco 31 FG, 11:17
R — Trent Willis 54 pass from Mitchell Bridges (kick failed), 2:35
R — Xavier Gray 17 pass from Bridges (run failed), :06
R — Orozco 43 FG, 7:50
M — Ryan Vaughn 4 pass from Logan Sepanek (pass failed), 7:30
Rushing — M: Mark Demery 24-94, Cade Erwin 1-6, Ryan Vaughn 1-(-)6, Wyatt Verret 6-12, Court Prescott 1-5, Team 1-(-2); R: Mitchell Bridges 16-73, Tyrone Williams 14-43, Reynal, Caldwell 3-11, A.J. Anderson 3-10, Rashaad Traylor 1-0, Team 2-(-5).
Passing — M: Cade Erwin 2-3-0-21, Ryan Vaughn 8-17-0 107, Logan Sepanek 1-1-0 4; R: Mitchell Bridges 12-23-0 174.
Receiving — M : Cole Rowley 2-21, Logan Sepanek 6-87, Ryan Vaughn 1-4, Blake Bowling 2-20; R: Trent Willis 4-98, Kevin Ray 3-22, Xavier Gray 4-42, Daniel Telaneus 1-11.