The closer the calendar shifts to November, the clearer district races are starting to look. Across the area, things are starting to shape up how we thought they would when the season started.
For another week, Guyer and Argyle played up to their lofty state rankings, while Ryan lost its first game of the season and Sanger’s winning streak was halted in a big District 9-3A contest. It’s Monday, so that means Adam Boedeker and I break down last weekend’s action.
Hebron 31, Ryan 17
Ben Baby: This game was decided with two big plays in the fourth quarter that turned a tight contest into a nice Hebron victory. Ryan did a good job of recovering from a late fumble by Xavier Gray at the goal line right before halftime, which would have tied the game 10-10 at the half, with Ryan getting the ball to start the second half.
But it ultimately wasn’t the deciding factor in the contest. Ryan struggled to run the ball again, which has started to become a factor in Ryan’s first two District 5-5A games. This was a big game for both schools (as Adam will tell you in a few paragraphs), but this could be a good thing for a team that hasn’t lost a game this season. A little adversity never hurt anybody.
The loss to Hebron also means the Raiders will most likely need to beat Lewisville and Flower Mound to reach the postseason. But it’s way too early to be looking at playoff scenarios and postseason brackets.
Adam Boedeker: Well, Ryan took its first loss of the season in a game that pretty much played to paper. Ryan was seen as the underdog, and it ended up coming to fruition as Hebron took a tight game and ran away with it in the fourth quarter.
Ryan had no answer for wide receiver Jamal Adams, who was unstoppable on offense and a brute force on defense, causing havoc for Ryan all the way around. Ryan quarterback Mitchell Bridges had one of his better statistical games of the year, throwing for 264 yards and two touchdowns to Trent Willis.
This game was essentially the game to determine the first and second seed in the Class 5A Division II playoffs, with Hebron and Ryan almost sure locks to get in as the small-school representatives. Unless Hebron has an unexpected slip-up, the Raiders will be the runner-up as the district’s small-school group.
Denton 51, Fort Worth Brewer 16
Baby: Denton matched its win total from last season with a lopsided sin against Brewer. Brewer hasn’t won a game in District 5-4A play, a stat the Broncos maintained after a thorough performance on the road.
Denton trailed 10-8 after the first quarter before outscoring Brewer 43-6 in the final three quarters. The Broncos have done a good job of taking care of business against teams it should be beating, which is a good sign for Denton.
Denton’s Key’andre Hearvey hauled in four catches for 103 yards to help lead the Broncos to their first district win.
Boedeker: Well, it was bound to happen at some point, and before the season began we might have thought Denton’s first win in District 5-4A would’ve come against Wichita Falls. Instead, the Coyotes are chasing a playoff spot, but Fort Worth Brewer is not and Denton took advantage.
Brewer scheduled Denton for its homecoming, but things didn’t go well for the Bears as the Broncos rolled to an easy win after spotting Brewer a 10-0 lead early in the game. The Broncos have been using two quarterbacks throughout the season, but in Friday’s win it looked like Christian Rodriguez might have taken the upper hand with a nice game after he threw for 157 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another score.
Guyer 66, Lake Dallas 3
Baby: After each week, I’m just floored looking at how good Guyer’s rushing defense is. The Wildcats only gave up 32 rushing yards off 29 carries, a theme that’s been consistent for them this season. Guyer picked up 321 rushing yards in the victory.
Both of those stats show how well Guyer can control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, something that happens often for one of the state’s biggest Class 4A schools. It was another ho-hum week for the Wildcats.
Lake Dallas, on the flipside, finds itself in the same position it was in last season. The Falcons will need to come up with big wins in the final weeks of the season to reach the postseason. Lake Dallas has a tendency of playing its best football as the calendar approaches December, a credit to what head coach Michael Young is doing there. The Falcons were in need of wins to reach the playoffs last season, and they did it. Don’t be shocked if they do it again.
Boedeker: It seemed pretty easy to believe this game could get ugly, especially considering the Falcons’ long list of injured starters heading into the night and the fact that Lake Dallas was so young and inexperienced up front. Both of those factors were abundantly clear from the beginning as the Wildcats routed their closest rival, 66-3.
The Wildcats’ rushing attack was out in full force, as Jerrod Heard, D.J. Breedlove and Anthony Taylor each scored two touchdowns as all were involved in the offense from the get-go after head coach John Walsh the Wildcats would take on their more traditional offensive identity from this point forward.
It’s easy to do that when you have a game-changing defense like Guyer does, and make no mistake, this is the best defense Guyer has had in its relatively brief history. The Wildcats held Lake Dallas to 94 total yards and continued their unbelievable streak of holding opponents to basically nothing on the ground this season.
Both teams have big games this weekend. Lake Dallas plays Wichita Falls in what essentially amounts to a playoff play-in game, while Guyer travels to Rider for the de facto District 5-4A title game.
Gainesville 35, Sanger 21
Baby: Judging by the way things have started to shake out in District 9-3A, Friday’s game between Gainesville and Sanger was essentially for the district title. In the battle of running backs, Gainesville’s Adam Berryman prevailed and carried the Leopards with 207 rushing yards and one touchdown. Sanger’s running game was equally as potent. Tre’von Jackson rushed for 144 yards and Derek Shelby tallied 103 rushing yards. However, Sanger quarterbacks Brandon Mann and Wyatt Broxson combined for three interceptions in the loss.
Boedeker: Sanger has nothing to hang its head about with Friday’s 35-21 loss to undefeated Gainesville on Friday. The Indians, if you remember, had a 14-game losing streak that spanned from the end of the 2011 season to the first two games of this year, but since then, they’ve been very good. Sanger was in the thick of a 14-14 game in the third quarter before the Leopards took over. Sanger still looks like a playoff team though.
Argyle 65, Carrollton Ranchview 9
Baby: Well, this wasn’t surprising to anybody. Argyle cruised in its district opener with a ridiculously easy win over Ranchview. Argyle won its 20th straight district game, an indication of how strong the program led by Todd Rodgers has been over the last five years. Seven different receivers had at least one catch in the win. It was the third straight game Argyle’s scored over 50 points.
Boedeker: Argyle flat-out dominated Ranchview on Thursday night and looked worthy of being the state’s No. 2 Class 3A team, holding Ranchview to one first-half first down while jumping out to a 48-0 lead by the time the teams went to the locker rooms for halftime. Cole Hedlund was the story of this game, hitting three field goals, including a 52-yarder, to move even closer to catching the state’s all-time record holder for career field goals.