There were multiple moments on Friday night where some of the area’s strongest figures looked vulnerable.
For most of Friday night, it looked as if Ryan head coach Joey Florence had to wait another week to notch his 200th head coaching victory. Over in Trophy Club, Guyer and Texas-bound quarterback Jerrod Heard struggled against a vastly improved Nelson squad.
But at the end of the night, Florence and Heard both finished with a win. Other area schools also picked up key wins last Friday night. Adam Boedeker and I take a look back at last weekend’s action.
Ben Baby: Marcus had the formula to pull-off a huge upset, and it was beautiful to watch. Marcus, coming into the game with a 1-5 record, controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, ate up the clock, and before you knew it Ryan was trailing 10-6 with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter.
The Raiders came back and picked up the 13-10 win over Marcus for Ryan head coach Joey Florence’s 200th win. Texas head coach Mack Brown was one of the many to send his regards to the Ryan coach.
This was a game Ryan couldn’t lose if it wants to have the district top playoff berth in the 5A Division II bracket. Next up for Ryan is Hebron, which we’ll talk about later in the week and what will be Ryan’s most important game of the season.
Adam Boedeker: First off, a hearty congratulation to Ryan head coach Joey Florence, even if he did get the best of my alma mater for his 200thcareer victory. Lots of people get the best of my alma mater nowadays. But lots of people don’t rack up 200 career wins, it’s an honor and one that belongs to a guy like Florence with his skins on the wall.
The way Ryan was able to beat Marcus sounds like it was pretty thrilling from reading Ben’s story. Many people were keeping track of the score of this game and they were all, myself included, shocked when the Marauders shut Ryan out for a half and led the game.
Then Nolan Robinson almost single-handedly took the game into his hands, forcing and recovering a late fumble to set up the Raiders for a touchdown pass from Mitchell Bridges to Xavier Gray, and as the saying goes, the rest was history.
Baby: As Guyer waits for the unofficial district championship against Wichita Falls Rider, the Wildcats continue to demolish everybody else that’s in their way.
Jerrod Heard didn’t look great, but you can’t expect him to be perfect all season. As long as it doesn’t happen in the playoffs, he’ll be pardoned.
What’s been most impressive about Guyer is its rush defense. It held Nelson to 74 rushing yards and 166 total yards. If you can stop the run and also be dominant on the ground, it’s a potent recipe that produces a long playoff run.
Boedeker: Jerrod Heard had one of the worst games of his career throwing the ball and was having trouble at times getting through all of his progressions, but you wouldn’t have known it from the score.
The Bobcats are huge, as advertised, and their defense is really sound and solid. And even with all of that going for them, Guyer rolled up nearly 500 yards of offense, including nearly 400 on the ground.
Heard made up for his subpar passing night with 140 yards and two scores on the ground, and D.J. Breedlove turned in a 100-yard night of his own. Heard and Breedlove, teamed up with running back Anthony Taylor make up what has to be the best three-headed rushing monster in Texas.
Oh, and that Guyer defense? Wow. They continue to impress, holding another strong rushing team to basically nothing and extending its streak to six games of not allowing an opposing team to rush for 100 yards.
Baby: Wichita Falls has looked solid through two games this season, while Denton has struggled. Both of those things were evident in the Broncos’ loss on homecoming night. Denton head coach said his team was one of its biggest antagonists, and that was definitely the case.
The Broncos committed eight penalties for 86 yards to make things unnecessarily difficult.
Denton seems to be trying to figure out what to do at quarterback. Christian Rodriguez completed 17 of 24 passes for 162 yards, while Cy Ward went 11 of 15 for 77 yards.
Rodriguez, however, threw two interceptions. It’ll be interesting to see what Atkinson’s future plans are for the quarterback position.
Boedeker: Entering the season, this game was one that you had circled a must-win game for the Broncos as two teams who would be possibly fighting for the fourth playoff spot in District 5-4A.
Of course, who knew then that the Coyotes would enter the game unbeaten in the district after finishing near the bottom of the district for the past few years. After Friday’s game, the Coyotes remained undefeated in district play, and the Broncos remained winless.
Denton was in the game for a half before the Coyotes reeled off 20 unanswered points in the second half to pull away and win by, you guessed it, 20 points.
Baby: The Falcons were held scoreless for the last three quarters of the game, and without Courtenay Holder in the backfield for Lake Dallas, the rushing attack only picked up 62 yards on 29 carries. Without Holder and wide receiver Josh Jackson, it makes things difficult on sophomore quarterback Dagan Haehn.
Barring a big upset, Lake Dallas will be 1-3 in District 5-4A play following next week’s game against Guyer, which will force the Falcons to finish the season with a string of wins, something they did last season to reach the playoffs.
Boedeker: Without Josh Jackson at wide receiver and a pretty big disadvantage in the trenches against the defending 4A Division II semifinalists, the Falcons were playing on borrowed time in Wichita Falls. They trailed 21-14 after the first quarter and then Rider rolled off 24 more unanswered to win 45-14. Things don’t get any easier for Lake Dallas as the Falcons come to Denton next week to play Guyer. Talk about a disadvantage in the trenches…
Baby: The Cardiac Warriors (see below) came away with another frantic win, this one over Dallas Bishop Dunne. Liberty piled up 260 rushing yards on the ground, including 85 yards by running back JonAaron Howell. Liberty was able to overcome two lost fumbles and an interception by quarterback Colby Moore to pick up the late win and a key district victory.
Boedeker: I like to call Liberty Christian the “Cardiac Warriors.” They’ve had win after win after win this year in the final seconds of their games, and on Friday night they got another when Colby Moore found Cody Hughes in the final 30 seconds for the game-winning touchdown to get a key TAPPS 1-I win over Bishop Dunne. Moore added 131 yards on the ground. The Warriors added a safety in the closing seconds to come away with a 30-27 win.
Baby: Pilot Point almost got caught napping on Friday night and avoided a loss to Ponder. Travis Garrett has stepped up throughout the season and been a viable dual-threat quarterback for Pilot Point. He only threw the ball 12 times for 93 yards, but he ran for 137 yards. Ponder committed 11 penalties for 90 yards (I don’t know why I’m obligated to point that out across the board of those things out today). Pilot Point did not punt the ball the entire game, but it lost two fumbles. Garrett is hitting his stride, which is a sign Pilot Point head coach Rob Best will love to see.
Boedeker: This game was surprisingly close from the Ponder perspective as they hung with the Bearcats and went toe-to-toe for four quarters. The teams traded scores throughout the game, including a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Ponder’s Christian Worthington. A lot of times, a special teams touchdown is almost a sure thing for a win, but Travis Garrett would have none of it. The junior quarterback rushed for 137 yards and scored all three of Pilot Point’s touchdowns on the ground.