The first game of the season ended with Denton on the wrong side of a closely contested seven-point road loss against Dallas Bishop Lynch with both the offense and defense looking unpolished.
But in the Broncos’ home opener against Carrollton R.L. Turner on Friday night, they illustrated just how efficient both can be as they defeated the Lions 51-18.
Senior quarterback Cy Ward’s command of the Broncos’ offense was under full control as he missed only one pass on the night, spreading the ball around for 185 yards and four touchdowns on 14 completions. Meanwhile, Denton’s backfield was led by sophomore running back Xavier Scott, who may be in line for more carries after his 135-yard performance on just 10 carries. The Broncos were outrushed 261-241, but it took the Lions 23 more carries to do so.
The Broncos’ receivers on the end of Ward’s passes showed they can deliver the game-changing plays that Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson was longing for after the 30-23 loss to Bishop Lynch.
“I thought we threw and caught the ball really well,” Atkinson said. “I’m just proud that we were a fundamentally sound scoring machine. We scored a lot of touchdowns tonight, even though we had some called back on penalties. We were able to put 51 up on the board, but we have to get a lot better because we are playing in a very tough league in a few weeks.”
Denton, which again had more than 100 yards in penalties, had several touchdowns called back for a variety of reasons, something Atkinson had hoped to conquer in this week’s practice, but even with the penalties, the Broncos still showed their offensive dominance with a large variety of passing plays connecting.
Senior Deandre Coleman led the Broncos’ wideouts with six catches and 111 yards with two touchdowns, while junior Key’andre Hearvey had 65 yard and also scored twice. Senior Ke’Von Buris also had a touchdown and 40 yards.
“The receivers played great,” Ward said. “They ran crisp routes, but the main credit goes to up front. They protected really well tonight, and the only time we had pressure was when we were running. Key’andre had some good catches. AD [Adarian Harris] had a pretty good catch, and KB had some touchdowns taken away from him, but he kept trying. Deandre [Coleman] was playing amazing, and I love when he plays like that.”
The Broncos have fallen victim to slow starts in the past, but that wasn’t the case against R.L. Turner as they marched down the field on their first drive, using 11 plays and a 6-yard touchdown by senior Deavonte Doucet to give them a 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.
R.L. Turner looked as if they were going to quickly level the score, but Carlos Ramirez’s lateral pass on Denton’s 21-yard line was tipped and fell to the ground for a fumble, which was swiftly scooped up by senior linebacker Maurice Wharton for the 79-yard touchdown to give the Broncos the 14-0 advantage just under six minutes into the first quarter.
On the Lions’ ensuing possession, they shot down the field again to the Denton 5-yard line, but again the Broncos were spry to the spot as Ramerez’s slant look was picked off on the goal line by junior Gabriel Aranda.
Despite surrendering 504 total yards of offense to the Lions, the Broncos were defensively strong on several occasions and their third-down defense was much better than against Bishop Lynch.
“There was no quit,” Atkinson said. “We didn’t have any turnovers and we made them turn it over a few times. It was a good play by Maurice. We’ve got a lot of things to build on that’s for sure.”
Ward and the Broncos quickly went to the air, and it was Coleman who scored the first of his two first-half touchdowns on a reception in the right flats, using his speed to beat his defender with a dive to the pylon for the 10-yard score that put Denton up 21-0 early in the second quarter.
After the Lions’ got on the board with a 35-yard field goal, Denton needed just five plays to take a 28-3 lead with 7:50 left in the half. Junior Key’andre Hearvey hauled in the 24-yard touchdown from junior back up quarterback Christian Rodriguez after dropping a similar throw in the end zone on the previous play.
The Lions then fumbled again on their next possession, which instantly gave way to a 34-yard Coleman touchdown to give the Broncos a decisive 35-3 advantage.
R.L. Turner was able to score with less than four minutes left in the half on a 2-yard touchdown by running back Bruttus Walters to make it 35-10 and looked to get back in the game with a deep drive to start the second half. But they were stymied on fourth-and-2 at the Denton 5-yard line.
The Broncos then took just three plays to punch in a Hearvey’s second touchdown of the game and secure the victory.
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.
Denton 51, Carrollton Turner 18
DN — Deavonte Doucet 6 run (Michael Husbands kick)
DN — Maurice Wharton 79 fumble return (Michael Husbands kick)
DN — Deandre Coleman 10 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick)
CT — Roberto Flores 35 FG
DN — Key’andre Hearvey 24 pass from Christian Rodriguez (Michael Husbands kick)
DN — Deandre Coleman 34 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick)
CT — Bruttus Walters 2 run (Roberto Flores kick)
DN — Key’andre Hearvey 15 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick failed)
CT — Kendavus Francis 41 pass from Carlos Ramirez (Bruttus Walters run)
DN — Michael Husbands 36 FG
DN — Ke’Von Buris 16 pass from Cy Ward (Michael Husbands kick)
Rushing — CT: Carlos Ramirez 18-141, Bruttus Walters 33-120, DN: Xavier Scott 10-135, Cy Ward 4-61, Ke’Von Buris 1-25, Deavonte Doucet 6-23, Deontrae Murray 4-15, Adrian Harris 1--6, Christian Rodriguez 2--12.
Passing — CT: Carlos Ramirez 15-23-1-243, DN: Cy Ward 14-15-0-185, Christian Rodriguez 3-5-0-63, Adrian Harris 1-1-0-31.
Receiving — CT: Kendavus Francis 5-112, Juan De La O Torres 5-102, Bruttus Walters 3-15, Christian Wolford 2-14, DN: Deandre Coleman 6-111, Key’andre Hearvey 3-65, Ke’Von Buris 3-40, Adrian Harris 3-39, Javier Noriega 1-13, Xavier Scott 1-9, Deavonte Doucet 1-2.