After two rounds of the playoffs, Argyle and Guyer remain as the lone area teams left in the state football playoffs. Ryan and Lake Dallas were knocked out of the postseason after two thrilling games. Adam Boedeker and I break down what happened this weekend.
Cedar Hill 48, Ryan 35
BB: Those Ryan Raiders have had a knack all year of proving me and just about everybody else wrong.
And they were about 13 points away from shocking just about everybody and defeating a strong Cedar Hill squad with one of the most talented offenses in the area.
I had originally thought this game wouldn’t be close, that Cedar Hill would overpower Ryan early on and run away with the win. That didn’t happen.
Instead, Ryan (6-5) countered the Longhorns after every touchdown and when the Raiders trailed by 21 at halftime, they didn’t collapse. Ryan outscored Cedar Hill in the second half, but Ryan’s first half was just too much to overcome.
An onside kick by Cedar Hill after its first touchdown, and a Ryan fumble on a kickoff late the second quarter gave Cedar Hill the ball at the Ryan 14 and they scored in two plays.
Conventional wisdom says if Cedar Hill doesn’t score those two TDs, Ryan ends up tied with Cedar Hill in the fourth quarter. But Cedar Hill’s offense was just too good.
AB: First off, big-time kudos to Joey Florence and the Ryan Raiders for a season that not many saw coming. This Ryan team just seemed to bond really well together and play with great chemistry and genuine love for one another, something that might not have exactly been the case last year.
After seeing Cedar Hill trounce Guyer and an inexperienced defense still trying to find its way early in the season, I knew the firepower the Longhorns had offensively, but having seen them four times in three years, I also know they can fail to show up at times in big games, which I figured would have to happen for Ryan to have a shot. Turns out, Ryan had a shot just playing them straight up, and though I never saw him play I think Mitchell Bridges could be one of my favorite players in our area. Dude seems like an awfully gritty guy that can also hold his own at the quarterback position.
Guyer 42, Aledo 30
BB: This was supposed to be a close game right? And don’t let that final score fool you. This game was over well before the fourth quarter.
Guyer’s greatness may have been understated or Aledo’s talent may have been overstated or it could be a combination of the two.
Guyer (10-2) seems to be peaking at the perfect time, and they’ll need it if they can get through Amarillo and end up facing Tyler John Tyler down the road.
AB: Take it from me, as Ben said, this game was not a 12-point game. In fact, I’d be willing to say the game was more of a 28- or 35-point game. It was an all-around whuppin’ from the boys over on Teasley and it ended a ridiculous 19-game playoff win streak that might never be matched again now that Lake Travis has moved up to Class 5A. No one saw the game going like it did but Guyer just owned the line of scrimmage against what was supposed to be the strength of Aledo’s team — its defensive front seven.
We all thought Guyer would have to throw the ball pretty evenly to its vaunted rushing attack to keep Aledo’s defense off balance, but instead Jerrod Heard just put the ball in the air 10 times, completing eight of them. Otherwise, it was a ground-and-pound type game in which Guyer averaged around 9 yards per carry. The Wildcats have a walk to the state semifinal now before things get really interesting in the state semifinals against Tyler John Tyler.
Argyle 42, Melissa 14
BB: So much for Argyle retooling after losing a bunch of seniors. Argyle (11-1) looked highly impressive against Melissa on Friday afternoon and earned head coach Todd Rodgers his 100th win as the team’s head coach.
It was my first time seeing the Eagles play this season, and it was exactly what I expected. For the second straight year, Argyle has all the pieces it needs to go back to the state championship. And with a team full of juniors, they should make an even greater run next season.
AB: I haven’t seen Argyle since nondistrict play, but I’ve seen them three times this year and am convinced the Eagles are on their way to another appearance in the Class 3A Division II state title game. One of the games I did see them in this year was their season-opening loss to undefeated Abilene Wylie, when they looked lost and were soundly beaten at home. Now, they aren’t so lost. Turns out, Brandon Boyzuick can play some quarterback and Ian Sadler just might be the best “football player” in the state of Texas, at any classification. And that Argyle defense? Don’t even get me started. Flat-out dominant. Argyle fans, go ahead and make your plans to be at Cowboys Stadium on Fri. Dec. 21 for the 3A-II title game, likely against Navasota.
Waco 23, Lake Dallas 20
BB: This game sounded like it should be a candidate for Game of the Year.
Lake Dallas (7-5) somehow miraculously came up with a game-tying touchdown late with 36 seconds left, only to have Waco return the ensuing kickoff to the Falcons’ 30-yard line and win with a 38-yard field goal.
Lake Dallas had been inconsistent all season, but the Falcons showed enough resolve to push Waco to the brink and almost reach the regional semifinals for the second straight season.
AB: As Ben said, Lake Dallas has been wildly inconsistent this year. My only in-person judgment of the Falcons is from their beatdown at the hands of Guyer, and that’s not fair. I know they’re a much better team than they showed that night. I figured they’d beat Saginaw Boswell in the first round, but I didn’t expect a shutout. That’s what we got. I picked them against Waco in what was essentially a toss-up, and it turned out to be just that. Joshua Jackson’s late-game heroics ended up going for nothing, and it’s too bad. The Falcons, despite their inconsistencies at times, had just as much of a chance as anyone to make a run in Region I.
Other notes from around the state:
– Arlington Bowie will remain eligible to face DeSoto this weekend, per The Dallas Morning News’ Corbett Smith.
– With Coppell’s loss to DeSoto and Ryan’s loss, all four of District 5-5A’s teams are out of the postseason.
– On the other side of the Class 3A Division II bracket, La Marque topped Coldspring-Oakhurst and will set up for a great game between La Marque and Navasota, the top team in Class 3A.