Ryan head coach Dave Henigan watches as Quarterback Spencer Sanders throws a pass during practice at Ryan High School Monday morning August 10, 2015, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/DRC Ryan head coach Dave Henigan watches as Quarterback Spencer Sanders throws a pass during practice at Ryan High School Monday morning August 10, 2015, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/DRC
After a struggle in 2014, Ryan showed out and put on for its city by shocking a Rockwall team that started the 2014 season 12-0 before bowing out in the third round of the playoff. Granted, it was a different Rockwall team, but this is a different Ryan team. In a weekly staple, Steve and I will look at some of the previous week’s top games and it all starts with Ryan’s bounce-back victory to get the season started on the right foot.
Ryan at Rockwall
AB: This game was a tough one to pick because you had to figure Ryan was going to be better with Spencer Sanders back healthy under center and with eight games of varsity experience under his belt, not to mention an older, stronger, better Tyreke Davis and what looked to be a pretty stout defense. Rockwall, meanwhile, lost a ton of production from last year’s stellar team in running back Chris Warren and wide receiver Xavier Castille. Sanders put up some really nice numbers, rushing for nearly 200 yards and passing for 129 yards and a score, and the Ryan defense shut down a Rockwall offense trying to find its way. It’s always hard to judge too much from season openers — good or bad — but from a confidence standpoint, if nothing else, Friday’s win for Ryan was a biggie.
SG: An upset win for some football know-it-all writers, but not me. Check out my blog from last week and I predicted a 24-21 win. That’s a lot tighter than what happened – the Raiders won 31-14 – but it’s a win nonetheless. And what a great win it was for a program that had its 14-year playoff streak snapped last fall. Spencer Sanders was grinning from ear to ear on the field after the game, on a night where he rushed for 178 yards, passed for 129 and accounted for four touchdowns (three rushing) against a Rockwall team that went 12-1 last year. His 81-yard TD run in the fourth quarter was a thing of beauty, and proved this is a guy teams need to look out for. Defensively, Ryan was just as dominant – the unit allowed one TD early in the third and didn’t allow another until the game was out of reach.
Guyer at Allen
AB: Even when Guyer took a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter over Allen, there was never a real strong feeling things were going to end well for the Wildcats. Guyer was out of rhythm offensively, and you got the feeling the defense would eventually get worn down from being on the field so much. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happened and when the Wildcats botched a punt and gave Allen the ball at their 9-yard line to go up 21-10, that was pretty much all she wrote. At that point, the momentum and excitement surrounding the re-opening of Allen’s $60 million stadium proved to be way too much to overcome. Allen’s defense was by far the best Guyer will see this year, so fear not, Guyer nation, things will get better, and it’ll start this weekend against Ennis.
SG: So what? Yes, it would have been nice to see the Wildcats come away with a win, but losing to the greatness that is Allen is nothing to get too concerned about – especially for a season opener. Speaking of season openers, need I remind everyone that Guyer hasn’t won a season opener since 2011? It’s true, and year after year the Wildcats end up being one of the top teams in the state. If there is anything that surprised me, it was the score. I had Guyer winning by a touchdown and if memory serves my compadre, Mr. Boedeker, had them by four. No one expected a 48-16 thrashing. Guyer took the lead once, and after that, it was all Eagles. Next, it’s on to another defending state champ, Ennis. Guyer did beat them last year, and I expect nothing short of a solid rebound game for the Wildcats.
Wilmer-Hutchins at Denton
AB: Give Denton credit for whupping up on a team they were supposed to whup up on. That hasn’t always happened, but in this new age of Bronco football, it does. The Broncos had a couple of questions going into the game, most notably how quarterback Colt Atkinson would perform in his first game as the starter. He didn’t disappoint, throwing for 271 yards and three scores while running back Xavier Scott cruised to 165 yards and four scores in a very Scott-like effort. Denton won’t be tested in non-district play. We’ll have to wait until what is a pretty good district slate to see what they’re really made of, but they appear to be on the verge of another successful season over on Fulton Street.
SG: There’s a ton of hype surrounding Denton this year after the team started off 6-0 in 2014 en route to a winning season and long-awaited playoff victory. With that being said, and I’m not trying to take anything away from Denton, but this score is not surprising at all given who they played. I’ve seen Wilmer-Hutchins play basketball, and they are one of the toughest outs in the postseason. In football … well … again, Denton was supposed to win this game. Xavier Scott did what Xavier Scott does in rushing for 165 yards and four touchdowns, and new Broncos quarterback Colt Atkinson tossed three touchdowns while passing for 271 yards. Overall, Wilmer-Hutchins was outgained 507-171 and trailed 39-6 by halftime. The competition will surely get tougher for Denton as the season rolls along, but this was a nice beat down to start the 2015 season.