It takes a look back to 2010 to see the last time the Ryan defense dominated on the scoreboard like it did on Friday night against Lewisville.
It’s been three years since the Raiders shut out an opponent, something they did in a 33-0 win over the Fighting Farmers.
The Raiders allowed a season-low 104 yards of total offense to give them a District 5-5A win that keeps their playoff chances in very good condition.
“I thought we’ve played good defense all year,” Ryan head coach Joey Florence said. “I’m proud of our defense. I think we gave up some big plays last week [in a loss] against a good football team [Hebron].
“I challenged them at halftime to come out and finish, and I thought they did. I thought our defense played well tonight.”
Ryan’s previous shutout came in a 33-0 victory against The Colony in 2010, the year the Raiders lost in the Class 4A Division I state championship game. Friday night was the longest the Ryan starters played in a victory.
Ryan senior quarterback Mitchell Bridges completed 14 of 22 passes for 161 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Senior running back Tyrone Williams carried the ball 13 times for 95 yards, two touchdowns but lost a fumble.
Lewisville was led by wide receiver Trinity Benson, who hauled in three catches for 52 yards.
A week after the Raiders (6-1, 2-1 district) suffered their first loss of the season, their defensive line took turns racking up sacks of Lewisville’s quarterbacks, a theme that was constant throughout the night.
The Raiders were playing without starting defensive end Nolan Robinson and defensive back Ronnie Coleman. Both suffered injuries in last week’s 31-17 loss to Hebron.
Still, Fighting Farmers starting quarterback Matt McDougal was knocked out of the game near the end of the first half after he was sandwiched by two Ryan linemen in the backfield after an incomplete pass.
Lewisville junior Adrian Villarreal replaced McDougal in the second half. Villarreal completed 4 of 10 passes for 51 yards and an interception in the loss for the Fighting Farmers (3-5, 1-2).
However, the game’s most exciting and influential passing play came from Ryan senior kicker Marc Orozco.
After the Raiders’ second offensive drive of the game seemingly stalled out deep in Lewisville territory, the field-goal unit trotted out on the field.
Holder Shomari Cann took the snap and flipped the ball to Orozco, who then rolled to his left and threw a strike to Ken Mclaurin for a 15-yard touchdown reception that gave Ryan a 14-0 lead.
It was Orozco’s third career touchdown pass, one for each season he’s been the team’s kicker. The senior said once assistant coach Eric Lokey returned to the team as he continues to fight stage IV kidney cancer, Lokey wanted to try the fake field goal for yet another year.
It worked again.
“It’s better than making a field goal, I’ll tell you that,” Orozco said.
Ryan didn’t waste any time in pulling ahead of the Fighting Farmers. On Ryan’s first drive, Bridges threw a screen pass to Trent Willis. Willis scampered in the end zone for a 20-yard touchdown to put the Raiders ahead 7-0 before two minutes had elapsed off the clock.
By the end of the game’s first 12 minutes, the Raiders had already built a commanding 17-0 lead. Ryan gained 135 total yards in the first quarter. Lewisville gained 1 yard.
Earlier in the week, Florence talked to his team about starting games quickly, something that wasn’t a problem against Lewisville.
However, Ryan committed two turnovers on the evening and committed seven penalties for 78 yards; things Florence wasn’t pleased with after the game.
“We’re making a lot of mistakes, and that’s going to cost us down the road if we’re not careful,” Florence said. “There’s no such thing as an ugly win, but if there was, this was one of them. We made a lot of boneheaded mistakes. We gotta start playing a little smarter.”
It was a win Ryan needed to keep its playoff hopes from being jeopardized in the final two weeks of the regular season. The Raiders close their season against Coppell and Flower Mound.
Ryan has made the playoffs the past 13 seasons, and Florence has never missed the postseason in his 19 previous years as a head coach. Friday night’s victory was another step to help the Raiders extend both of those streaks.
“It was a really big game,” Ryan senior defensive end Alex Funches said. “We’re just trying to do what we need to do to get in the playoffs right now.”
BEN BABY can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @Ben_Baby.
Ryan 33, Lewisville 0
DR — Trent Willis 20 pass from Mitchell Bridges (Marc Orozco kick)
DR — Ken Mclaurin 15 pass from Marc Orozco (Marc Orozco kick)
DR — Marc Orozco 26 FG
DR — Tyrone Williams 3 run (kick failed)
DR — Tyrone Williams 3 run (Marc Orozco kick)
DR — Marc Orozco 21 FG
Rushing — DR: Tyrone Williams 13-95, Maurice Gordon 11-53, Mitchell Bridges 4-16, Paul Hunter 1-3, Jordan Murray 1--1, Team Stat 3--3, LV: Metrick Buhler 14-33, Trinity Benson 1-12, Carl McGhee 1-3, Matt McDougal 5-1, Montrel Marshall 1--1, Adrian Villarreal 6--10.
Passing — DR: Mitchell Bridges 14-22-1-161, Marc Orozco 1-1-0-15, LV: Adrian Villarreal 4-10-1-51, Matt McDougal 1-6-0-15.
Receiving — DR: Trent Willis 7-96, Preston Compton 4-31, Matthew Wagganer
2-29, Ken Mclaurin 1-15, Xavier Gray 1-5, LV: Trinity Benson 3-52, Cameron Creal 2-14.