The area’s four remaining playoff teams remained unscathed and a couple of those teams defeated old rivals to keep their state championship hopes alive. It was a great week of football, and it sets up a great way to unwind after Thanksgiving this Thursday.
If you missed any of last weekend’s action, fear not. Stay warm and grab some hot chocolate as Adam Boedeker and I look back at the most recent slate of playoff games.
Class 5A Division II area round
Ryan 34, Waco Midway 33
Ben Baby: You couldn’t have asked for a better way to start Saturday’s quadrupleheader at AT&T Stadium. Ryan overcame a 13-point halftime deficit to pull off the 34-33 victory against Midway.
Ryan’s defense forced four turnovers, including three second-half interceptions by Midway QB Ben Hicks. Tyrone Williams rushed for 159 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
Now, I haven’t been long enough to give perspective on Ryan’s odds of winning games throughout the years. But I can tell you this — it’s been a long time since Ryan won a game like it did on Saturday against Midway.
People had this game as a toss-up, but I know many people had Midway winning. If Ryan defeats Keller Fossil Ridge and reaches the Region I final, it might be one of the most impressive things Joey Florence has ever done at Ryan.
Adam Boedeker: Agreeing with what Ben said on Twitter on Saturday, if you were confident in Ryan winning this game, and you aren’t a Ryan player, student or parent, then I probably won’t believe you. Ryan had a shaky showing in its win over a mediocre Colleyville Heritage team and was up against a streaking Midway squad with a potent offense. For a while on Saturday, it was playing like we’d thought. Then the Raiders’ offense flipped a switch.
Ryan’s offense capitalized on big plays from its defense and outscored Midway 24-10 in the second half to pull off a stunning one-point win to advance to the regional semis. Now, against Keller Fossil Ridge, Ryan won’t be shocking anyone, especially if the Raiders’ defense plays up to par, Tyrone Williams does Tyrone Williams-like things and Mitchell Bridges can build on his efficient performance.
Class 4A Division I area round
Guyer 42, Waco 13
Baby: Friday night was a miserable night to play football. It was cold, rainy, and you needed a good running attack to come out with a win. Guyer running back D.J. Breedlove led the Wildcats with a 150 rushing yards, one rushing touchdown and two punt return touchdowns in Guyer’s 42-13 win against Waco.
It’s another week for the Wildcats. At this point, Guyer head coach John Walsh is probably just hoping nobody gets hurt as his team wipes out team after team en route to the Class 4A state semifinals (yes, that means I’m overlooking Amarillo – sorry Sandies).
But once again, Guyer struggled early on, and I wonder if that has anything to do with getting up for some of these games the Wildcats know they should win. But like Adam said last week, good teams win games when they’re not at their best. It’s how you win state championships.
Boedeker: Denton ISD 2, Waco schools 0. This game was supposed to be Guyer’s stiffest challenge in Region I, and for a half, it was exactly that. But there always that feeling that Guyer would eventually pull away, and it didn’t take long coming out of halftime.
The Wildcats overcame two fumbles and got two special teams touchdowns after scoring twice on defense in their previous playoff win over Saginaw. D.J. Breedlove was the biggest weapon for Guyer on Friday night in some very undesirable weather. The senior running back rushed for 150 yards and a score and had the shortest (28 yards) and longest (97 yards) punt return touchdowns in Guyer history.
Next up is a rematch from last season against Amarillo and its Wing-T offense. Last year, the Sandies controlled possession and matched up with Guyer really well, but Guyer pulled out a 38-30 win with Amarillo scoring in the final 90 seconds before failing to recover an onside kick.
Class 3A Division II area round
Argyle 55, Melissa 27
Baby: Argyle’s 55-27 win over Melissa was the final warm-up game for the Eagles. This game was 55-7 after the third quarter, and after Connor Wilson got injured against the Cardinals in last season’s game, I’d say no starters played in the fourth quarter.
Argyle looked sharp against the Cardinals and Nick Ralston set the school record with 365 rushing yards in the victory. Argyle, like Guyer, also played on Friday night, so I’m sure that’s why the ball was only thrown six times.
Heck, Argyle had -5 passing yards and 577 rushing yards in the win which is pretty ridiculous. Melissa only completed five passes and it rushed the ball 40 times, which is pretty high.
Now we get the game everybody in the state of Texas wanted to see – Argyle vs. Gilmer.
Boedeker: Some folks in Argyle tried to sandbag me on this game, saying Melissa would give them a really good test, but I knew better. This game was never a contest. And just as we’ve all hoped for and planned on for a while, Argyle and Gilmer will meet in the regional semifinal for what is sure to be another classic.
Nick Ralston rushed for nearly 400 yards in the game — a remarkable rushing total for a playoff game against a respectable opponent. Ian Sadler didn’t catch a pass, but he did carry the ball 12 times for 125 yards and a score.
There’s two games I wanted to see this year — Guyer vs. Aledo and Argyle vs. Gilmer — but the UIL bracket gods were only able to grant us one.
TAPPS Division 5A state quarterfinals
Liberty Christian 48, Austin St. Michael’s 36
Baby: This was a huge game for the Warriors. After losing to St. Michael’s twice in the past three seasons, Liberty Christian found a way past the Crusaders. The weather was also miserable, and that probably helped the Warriors more than anything. They were concerned with St. Michael’s quarterback Reed Carlton, and he only completed 8 of 21 passes for 145 yards and ran for only 28 yards. JonAaron Howell ran for 241 yards, and quarterback Colby Moore scrambled for 134 yards.
The win could have been what the Warriors needed, as they now face Fort Worth Nolan, another team these seniors have never beaten.
Boedeker: The Warriors finally were able to beat St. Michael’s in the postseason, getting past them for the first time in three tries over the past four years and now move on to the TAPPS 5A Division I state semifinals, thanks to a big night from dynamic running back JonAaron Howell, who had 241 yards and two scores on 29 carries.
The Warriors get a familiar opponent in that game, and one that’s been even harder on them than St. Michael’s — Fort Worth Nolan.
Prior to their district game this season — a 41-31 Nolan win just three weeks ago — the Warriors hadn’t scored on Nolan since 2010.