Weekend review: Ryan-Hebron

 

We’re almost at the end of October, and Ryan has yet to play a boring game this season.

Friday night was another one of those exciting, down-to-the wire affairs for the Raiders, who lost 14-9 to Hebron in the second District 5-5A contest for both schools.

With the game in the books, here’s some semi-organized thoughts from Friday night.

Overall, not too shabby

Ryan didn’t play a terrible game. In fact, they played pretty well.

But when you commit four turnovers in a game, it makes winning that much harder. McKinney committed six turnovers and still only lost to Ryan by a touchdown earlier this season.

The Raiders had no problem moving the ball down the field, but those turnovers really hurt Ryan, including a deflected pass returned by Hebron’s Gavin Burford for the game’s deciding touchdown.

There was also a botched double reverse by Ryan, a halfback pass that was picked off in the end zone, and junior quarterback Mitchell Bridges’ second interception of the game came on 4th-and-7 on Ryan’s final offensive play of the game, a mistake not nearly as costly as it looks.

Penalties also proved to be costly for the Raiders. The last thing Ryan needs is any setbacks for its offense.

Hebron only picked up 180 yards of total offense — and the Hawks still won.

Defense keeps getting better

Hebron was without its biggest weapon, senior running back Dezmond Wortham. And Hebron’s passing game was non-existent, depending solely on the rushing attack of Braelen Evans, who picked up 104 yards on 19 carries.

But that was it.

Ryan’s defense has improved each game this season, and last night the defensive line came out and played incredibly well.

The Raiders piled up at least four sacks, doubling the amount of sacks they had all season. J.T. Williams, Desmond Oliver, Alex Funches and Nolan Robinson all came up with big plays on the front line.

The secondary was a little suspect early in the season, but things have tightened up significantly.

For the second straight week, Ryan’s defense only allowed one touchdown. And this week, it scored Ryan’s only touchdown of the game.

The playoff scenario

Yes, we’re only two games into the district schedule, but when you only play five games, every game is huge. And as you’d expect in a six-team district, things are a mess early on.

Here’s what I’m thinking.

Coppell is 2-0 and the Cowboys are the presumed favorite to go on and win District 5-5A. Then there’s Lewisville at 0-2 and the presumed favorite to finish last in the district.

That leaves four teams (Marcus, Hebron, Ryan, Flower Mound) fighting for three playoff spots.

All four of those teams are tied at 1-1 in district play. If Ryan can win its games against Flower Mound and Lewisville, it should almost be guaranteed a playoff spot.