What you need to know: Coppell

Ryan will try to be the first team to knock off Gavin McDaniel and the Coppell Cowboys when the two teams square off on Friday night.

Friday night’s District 5-5A game between Coppell and Ryan will be the Raiders’ toughest challenge this season.

Coppell comes into the game as one of the Dallas-Fort Worth area’s top teams. The Cowboys only loss this season has come against Allen, the No.1 team in 5A and the defending Class 5A Division I champions.

We’ve got two games left in the regular season, and this one will be one of the most interesting matchups for Ryan. Here’s what you need to know about Coppell.

Ryan (6-1, 2-1) at Coppell (6-1, 3-0), Buddy Echols Field, 7:30 p.m.


Series record: Coppell leads 3-2

What happened last year: It’s not really fair to look at what happened last year, because Ryan was using fourth-string quarterback Kevin Ray.

Ryan struggled offensively and failed to score a touchdown in a 21-3 loss to a very good Coppell team that was ranked in the state poll for most of the season. Coppell ended up losing to DeSoto in the Class 5A Division I area round.

Mitchell Bridges, Xavier Gray and Preston Compton were all out of last year’s contest. Gray and Compton were both back-up quarterbacks behind Bridges (Gray was also a starting wide receiver).

Still, Ryan hung around for much of the contest. It was only 14-3 going into the contest, but Ryan couldn’t find a way into the end zone.

What to expect this year: What? Struggling to find a way into the end zone? That’s been a problem this year as well, and Ryan is fully aware of that.

Ryan has failed to execute near the goal line throughout the season, whether it’s been a miscue on a snap, a bad penalty or a fumble (all of those have happened at least once).

On the flipside, Coppell’s offense has been prolific at times this season. Last week, the Cowboys scored 41 unanswered points in a 41-3 victory against Flower Mound Marcus.

Coppell only punted one time and didn’t turn the ball over. From those numbers, it looks as if Coppell really did a good job of controlling the clock and capitalizing on some long drives.

The Cowboys rushed for 234 yards in the win. Defensively, Coppell’s defensive line features Solomon Thomas, the third-ranked defensive end in the Class of 2014 by Rivals.com.

If the Raiders lose on Friday night, it’s not the end of the world. It’s far from it.

This game has no bearing on anything. Like I said earlier, that game that really mattered was the Ryan-Hebron game.

Coppell will go into the 5A Division I bracket, while Hebron and Ryan will go in the Division II bracket. That’s based on the number of kids enrolled on one day in 2011, in case you’re wondering.

Ryan needs to worry about beating Flower Mound and hoping Marcus can beat Hebron to get the district’s top Division II seed.

Ryan player to watch: LB Cole Carpenter

Lewisville player to watch: DE Solomon Thomas


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