Saturday morning thoughts: Ryan-Cedar Hill

Brandon Harris, left, and Laquivonte Gonzalez look to lead the Cedar Hill Longhorns past the Ryan Raiders on Saturday afternoon. (Steve Hamm/Special Contributor)

We’re a few hours away from kick-off, so that must mean it’s time to dissect today’s Class 5A Division II area match-up between Ryan and Cedar Hill at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium at 2 p.m.

Let’s go ahead and preface this abridged preview with something Ryan ehad coach Florence said earlier in the week. When he asked how daunting a task it will be to face Cedar Hill (7-4), Florence responded by saying,

“We’re going to have to play a perfect ballgame. There’s no doubt.”

If you’re a fan and you hear your coach say that you need a perfect game to beat somebody, that’s asking a lot of your team.

But if you look at how both teams lineup against one another, then it’s not hard to see where the problem is.

Cedar Hill’s offense is a medley of Division I-athletes. The Longhorns have QB Damion Hobbs (Arkansas State), RB Laquivonte Gonzalez (Texas A&M), WR Quincy Adeboyejo (Texas A&M) and WR Brandon Harris (Iowa State) all already orally committed to play next year.

Ryan’s secondary has struggled at times throughout the season. The most prolific performance against the Raiders came when McKinney’s Jonathan Shannon had seven catches for 193 yards (McKinney gained 503 yards, a season-high for yards allowed by Ryan, but the Lions committed six turnovers).

In games where Ryan has allowed more than 190 passing yards, Ryan is 1-3 on the season. That game Ryan won came against Flower Mound, when QB Mitchell Bridges, playing on an injured right knee, was thrown into the secondary as an extra safety on the last drive of the game to protect the victory.

Against Guyer’s defense in the first game of the season, Cedar Hill walloped Guyer with 608 yards of total offense (331 rushing, 277 passing). Granted, it was against a Class 4A team, but Guyer’s defense isn’t too shabby.

And so, in a few hours, if Ryan can achieve perfection, the Raiders will move on and reach the regional semifinals for the second straight season.