The reaction around the state didn’t vary as updates from Ryan’s Thursday nondistrict game against Wichita Falls Rider spread across Twitter and the Internet last night.
Rider came into the game tied for eighth in the Class 4A poll in the Associated Press. Ryan, on the flip side, didn’t receive any votes for the Class 5A poll.
I’d almost bet that’s going to change when the polls come out next Monday. Ryan strolled to an easy 42-10 win against Rider that saw Ryan go in cruise control and coast to back-to-back victories to start the season. The outcome was all but decided before the sun went down in Wichita Falls.
Like I said on Twitter last night, if you picked a blowout for Ryan, you were in the minority. This tweet summed up what a lot of people around Texas were probably thinking.
Where did this Denton Ryan team come from? #txhsfb
— Texas HS Football (@texashsfootball) September 6, 2013
Our friend Matt Stepp over at The Old Coach also echoed similar sentiments.
Statement of the night?? Denton Ryan curb stomping a good Wichita Falls Rider squad #txhsfb
— Matt Stepp (@Matt_SteppTOC) September 6, 2013
It was a solid beatdown by Ryan (2-0) across the board. Tyrone Williams finished with 14 carries for 99 yards, running behind some strong holes opened up by the offensive line. Williams has done a really good job of being patient and waiting for holes to open up, something he didn’t do a whole lot of last season.
The defense was exceptional and stymied a Rider (1-1) offense that exploded the week before against Abilene Cooper. The defensive line got a lot of good pressure, especially when Ryan defensive end Nolan Robinson forced an errant pass by Rider quarterback Chase London that was intercepted by Robert Conner.
But the stars of the night were Trent Willis and Mitchell Bridges. Willis had five catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns and didn’t play in the second half. Bridges completed 10 of 15 passes for 187 yards. He also rushed for a touchdown as well.
Bridges and Willis were perfectly synced with each other last night.
“We definitely connected a little more I think,” Bridges said. “We knew what each other was thinking.”
Last week against Corsicana, Bridges hung some deep passes in the air and one of those was intercepted last week. But last night against Rider, he had plenty of time to throw the ball and was really threading the ball through tight spaces. The second TD pass to Willis was a beautifully lofted ball over the top of the defense and Willis caught it in stride. Bridges has certainly grown as a quarterback over the summer.
If you’re a Ryan fan, enjoy the next couple of weeks. I don’t see Ryan losing to Wylie East or McKinney, so the Raiders should be 4-0 before opening District 5-5A play against Flower Mound Marcus.
Last year, Ryan struggled against Rider and lost a close game. This year, Ryan did what good teams do and had an impressive performance on Thursday night.
If people were sleeping on Ryan’s squad in 2013, they’re fully awake after last night’s win.