Denton High held the lead and momentum midway through the third quarter after starting the game sluggishly, but it was Bishop Lynch’s exploitation of the Broncos’ secondary and penalties that gave the Friars enough gas to come back and claim a 30-23 season-opening victory at Roffino Stadium on Friday night.
In last year’s season opener, the Broncos fell 30-14 to Lynch, but this year’s matchup went much differently and head coach Kevin Atkinson says he can see the significant improvement from this time last season.
“If you snapshot tonight versus a year ago, we are a better football team and that’s what we have to grasp on to and stay hungry,” Atkinson said. “Up front, we were way better with our offensive line. We were way better at our running back position and being explosive. The receivers did well using their talents, and defensively, we were swarming to the ball well. We didn’t force a turnover, but overall there was a lot of hustle and a lot of moxie.”
After a 26-yard field goal by Joe DiFroscia put Bishop Lynch on the board, the Broncos’ first drive fell flat right away, going three-and-out before surrendering prime field position on a punt to the Friars’ 45-yard line.
Lynch didn’t waste any time to add their second score as senior quarterback Barrett Renner found senior Tremel Glasper on the third play of the series on a 41-yard touchdown strike for a 10-0 advantage.
Renner finished with 345 yards passing and three touchdowns.
“I felt really good on the opening kickoff,” Atkinson said. “We got them pinned down, but then we gave them a big third-down conversion, and offensively, we didn’t stay on the field. We kept leaving our defense out on the field. Finally, we started clicking some on offense and we hit some big plays with some big offensive kids. We have to keep chipping away.”
In an attempt to exploit Denton’s secondary, the Friars went to the air three straight times with passes of 36 yards and 12 yards before Renner connected with Glasper again, but this time in the left flat as he was able to scamper in for the 12-yard touchdown with 56 seconds remaining in the first quarter to give the Friars a 16-0 lead.
The Broncos finally got on the board with a 38-yard field goal by Michael Husbands to start the second quarter after an eight-play drive stalled at the Friars’ 21.
Denton’s defense began to settle down in the second quarter as Lynch moved the ball down to the Broncos’ 17-yard line on its next series but were forced to punt after a fumble lost them several yards.
Despite the poor field-position, the Broncos finally woke from its slumber as sophomore running back Xavier Scott helped lead and cap off a nine-play drive with a 4-yard touchdown run with 15 seconds remaining in the half to bring the Broncos within 16-10.
In the third quarter, two straight runs by Brown, including a 27-yarder, gave the Broncos the ball at the Lynch 23-yard line. On the next play, Ward sold the play-action and found Deandre Coleman wide open down the middle of the field for the touchdown to give the Broncos their first lead of the game at 17-16.
Unfortunately, for the Broncos, they were tagged with a few penalties on the ensuing Lynch possession, which ended with Renner’s 19-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Gannon, giving the Friars a 23-17 lead.
Denton’s defense was at attention to start the fourth quarter as they forced the Friars to turn the ball over on downs, which quickly turned into momentum for the Broncos as it took them just two plays to get down the field. Ward found senior Ke’Von Buris streaking down the left sideline for a 57-yard score. But Denton fumbled the snap on the extra point to keep the game tied at 23-all.
“They kind of stole the momentum from us there and that’s kind of where it melted down, but that points back to beating ourselves,” Atkinson said. “If we learn from that, we’ll be better.”
After several penalties on the kickoff, the Friars quickly took advantage of the prime field-position and took just two plays to take the lead for good at 30-23 as Glasper’s 38-yard snag put Bishop Lynch 3 yards from the end zone.
Alex Lara punched it in from there on the next play with under 10 minutes remaining.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873.
Dallas Bishop Lynch 30, Denton 23
BL — 26 FG
BL — Tremel Glasper 41 pass from Barrett Renner (Joe DiFroscia kick)
BL — Tremel Glasper 12 pass from Barrett Renner (Joe DiFroscia kick failed)
DN — 38 FG
DN — Xavier Scott 4 run (Michael Husbands kick)
DN — Deandre Coleman 23 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick)
BL — Joseph Gannon 19 pass from Barrett Renner (Joe DiFroscia kick)
DN — Ke’Von Buris 57 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands run failed)
BL — Alex Lara 3 run (Joe DiFroscia kick)
Rushing — BL: Alex Lara 8-34, Rawleigh Williams III 4-14, Tremel Glasper 3-14, Barrett Renner 7--36, DN: Deavonte Doucet 11-96, Xavier Scott 11-56, Ke’Von Buris 1--3, Cy Ward 2--11.
Passing — BL: Barrett Renner 25-35-0-345, DN: Cy Ward 15-22-0-179, Christian Rodriguez 2-5-0-37.
Receiving — BL: Tremel Glasper 8-161, Matthew Phoenix 6-105, Joseph Gannon 5-53, Rawleigh Williams III 1-14, Nick Martinez 1-14, Alex Lara 4--2, DN: Ke’Von Buris 4-64, Key’andre Hearvey 4-61, Deavonte Doucet 1-41, Deandre Coleman 5-32, Adrian Harris 2-13, Jacob Audirsch 1-5.