COPPELL — When the Ryan backups stepped on the field late in contests earlier this season, it meant the Raiders were just waiting for time to expire before they collected a win.
But by the time Ryan’s second-string players trudged onto the field, it was Coppell that had all but wrapped up the District 5-5A win on Friday night.
For the second straight season, Coppell held Ryan to just a field goal as the Cowboys picked up the 28-3 victory at Buddy Echols Field.
Ryan was held to a season-low 195 total yards.
“They’re a good football team,” Ryan head coach Joey Florence said. “There’s no secret to it. They’re a good defensive football team.”
The loss drops the Raiders (6-2, 2-2) to third place in District 5-5A. Coppell players emptied a cooler on head coach Joe McBride in the game’s final seconds as the Cowboys (7-1, 4-0) clinched at least a share of the district title.
Ryan could have clinched its 14th straight playoff berth with a win on Friday night, but the Raiders will now most likely need a win against Flower Mound in the final game of the regular season.
However, with Flower Mound’s triple-overtime win against Flower Mound Marcus, Ryan is a full game ahead of Lewisville, Marcus and Flower Mound. Ryan’s two district wins this season were against Marcus and Lewisville.
Friday’s 25-point loss was Ryan’s biggest margin of defeat since a 45-7 loss to Wichita Falls Rider in 2007. Ryan failed to pick up a first down in the second half.
“It wasn’t nothing we haven’t seen,” senior Xavier Gray said of Coppell’s defense. “I guess it was just a lack of execution on our part.”
Ryan quarterback Mitchell Bridges completed seven of 14 passes for 90 yards. Ryan was held to 105 rushing yards, led by senior Tyrone Williams’ 68 yards.
“I think it’s all about that,” McBride said of stopping the rushing attack. “I think football is about stopping the run and trying to make an offense predictable. Every week we play, I just try to do everything we can to stop the run.”
Senior Gavin McDaniel led the Cowboys with eight carries for 144 yards and a touchdown. McDaniel also had a 54-yard touchdown reception, his only catch of the night.
On Coppell’s first play from scrimmage, McDaniel took a handoff and sprinted down the left sideline for a big 61-yard run.
A few plays later, McDaniel scored on a seven-yard run to put the Cowboys ahead 7-0 with 5:17 left in the first quarter.
After Coppell forced Ryan to punt on the ensuing possession, Coppell added to its lead when junior quarterback Skyler Bonneau found McDaniel wide open in the Ryan secondary for a 54-yard touchdown reception.
Ryan had an opportunity to score a touchdown but was forced to settle for a 25-yard field goal by Marc Orozco. Orozco attempted a 40-yard field goal later in the quarter, but it was blocked by Coppell’s Solomon Thomas.
Thomas is ranked as the third-best defensive end in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com.
The most interesting play of the first half occurred midway through the second quarter.
Ryan was trailing 14-3 and initially seemed to recover a fumble at the Coppell 15-yard line on third-and-15. However, the referees talked among themselves for a while before calling a 15-yard facemask penalty on Ryan, giving Coppell an automatic first down.
“We did have the fumble recovery,” Florence said. “Yep.”
Regardless of the call, Ryan’s offense failed to find any success against Coppell, a theme that resounded in last year’s 21-3 loss to the Cowboys.
For the second straight year, Ryan’s playoff hopes will come down to the final week after a loss to Coppell.
“They came to play,” Ryan senior defensive end J.T. Williams said. “They wanted it more than us. Like Coach Flo said, this game didn’t affect us and next week does. We’re just going to get after it and go beat Flower Mound.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Coppell 28, Ryan 3
CP — Gavin McDaniel 7 run (Adam Centers kick)
CP — Gavin McDaniel 54 pass from Skyler Bonneau (Adam Centers kick)
DR — Marc Orozco 25 FG
CP — Connor Williams 6 pass from Skyler Bonneau (Adam Centers kick)
CP — Brandon Rice 7 run (Adam Centers kick)
Rushing — CP: Gavin McDaniel 8-114, Brandon Rice 11-42, Charles West 10-20, Parker Wilson 2-17, James McCrae 5-14, Skyler Bonneau 5-12, Myles Paschal 1-4, Team Stat 2--2, DR: Tyrone Williams 14-68, Maurice Gordon 5-28, Shomari Cann 3-7, Mitchell Bridges 7-3, Team Stat 1--1.
Passing — CP: Skyler Bonneau 8-9-0-111, DR: Mitchell Bridges 7-14-0-90, Tony Caballero 0-1-0-0.
Receiving — CP: Gavin McDaniel 1-54, Deion Foster 1-21, Josh Fink 1-14, Blake Mahon 2-8, Obi Obialo 1-6, Connor Williams 1-6, Parker Wilson 1-2, DR: Reilly Martinez 2-44, Xavier Gray 2-29, Trent Willis 3-17.