There were many reasons for teams to play well on the final weekend of the regular season.
For some teams, it was a chance to get in the postseason or gain favorable seeding. For others, it was a final tune-up before the playoffs begin. And for others, it was showing things aren’t what they used to be.
Adam Boedeker and I take a look back at the end of the regular season and what the future holds for some of the area’s teams.
Ben Baby: Remember last season, when Ryan was a team full of juniors and it seemed like every game came down to the fourth quarter?
I really miss that. Ryan’s only played two exciting games and Friday’s game against Flower Mound was not one of them. The Raiders rolled in a 54-14 rout. It’s a good win for a Ryan team that struggled offensively the last couple of games. Throughout the season, Ryan head coach Joey Florence repeatedly told his team in practices that he wanted defensive touchdowns.
He got his wish against Flower Mound. Ryan scored two defensive touchdowns, including a 98-yard interception return for Ryan senior linebacker Cole Carpenter. Ryan faces Colleyville Heritage in the first round of the playoffs, and the way the brackets look, Ryan could go a few rounds in the postseason.
Adam Boedeker: The result of this game wasn’t surprising as the division between the top three and bottom three teams District 5-5A was further proven. If anything, however, it showed that Ryan’s offense can move the football against a lot of teams, as long as that team isn’t Coppell or Hebron.
Ryan’s playoff road is favorable, and the Raiders could be in line for a nice little run starting with this week’s matchup with a very average Colleyville Heritage team. The Panthers’ passing game will give Ryan’s secondary a test, as Ryan’s defensive strength lies up front, but it should still be a passable test.
Baby: This game said a lot about Denton and the transformation that’s occurred this season. Denton was out of the playoff picture, and yet the Broncos put up a fight against a Nelson squad that will go up to Class 6A (the old 5A) next realignment.
Cy Ward didn’t split quarterback duties, and he completed 23 of 37 passes for 217 yards a touchdown and no interceptions. Denton added two touchdowns late to make the score look much closer than the game probably was. But it’s still a good showing by Denton. Broncos head coach Kevin Atkinson summed it up best.
“It was a chance to fold big time. I’m just proud because when you stand here and you think about one year ago to where we are now — it’s just a one-game difference at 4-6, but it feels like a football team I’m really proud of, the work they put in.”
Boedeker: Denton lost again in a tight game to a decent, playoff team. For the Broncos, these last two games against Nelson and a less close game against Wichita Falls Rider were great for momentum heading into next season. But forget about next season – it’s huge going into the offseason with the increased awareness of the Broncos’ program around campus and the increased interest in football over on Fulton Street.
It’s been a long time since they’ve had football to be excited about at DHS, but being in the new 5A, away from Guyer and Ryan, will do the Broncos good and Kevin Atkinson’s offense is putting the Broncos in position to win games they previously had no business even playing. That’s a huge step.
Baby: One of the reasons I love boxing is because if one fighter is much better than the other, the fight usually doesn’t last long. Then again, those fights usually don’t get made.
Guyer scored 63 unanswered and we saw plenty of the backups last Thursday night. It didn’t look like Brewer suited up that many players, and Guyer had more points than Brewer had people in the stands. Hopefully we’ll see a competitive Guyer game in a couple of weeks.
Boedeker: Speaking of games that had no business being played, this was one of them. I had a Guyer assistant coach tell me after the game that the Wildcats would’ve been better off forfeiting this game than playing it. And he kind of has a point. The Wildcats scored 70 points for the first time in program history with their 70-7 win over the last-place Bears.
And Guyer gets to go into the postseason on the heels of that? Yup, that’s the case. That’s what comes with playing inferior opponents, as Aledo has learned pretty much every week in its joke of a district.
Now, Guyer gets a familiar foe in Saginaw, a team the Wildcats will be playing for the eighth time in their eighth year of existence. Guyer is 6-1 all-time, losing in 2006 when it went 0-10, and should make it 7-1 fairly easily on Friday night.
Baby: This looked like the most fun game to watch last week. Sanger quarterback Wyatt Broxson had a combined 393 yards of total offense, but the Indians were outdone by Decatur quarterback Grayson Muehlstein.
Muehlstein had himself a ridiculous night. The TCU-bound quarterback completed 21 of 31 passes for 349 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. Oh, he also ran for 103 yards. If you were at this game, you were pretty lucky. There was only one punt in the entire contest.
Boedeker: Wyatt Broxson had his best game since taking over for injured starter Brandon Mann at quarterback for the Indians, but Decatur was able to edge Sanger in a 56-53 shootout. Broxson continued to get more and more comfortable under center, throwing for 238 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 155 yards and two scores. He’ll go into this week’s playoff matchup against Frisco Lone Star with a lot of confidence, especially considering Sanger has already topped Lone Star this season.
Baby: After you see the final score, keep in mind both teams came into this game with no losses this season. And then see what Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said.
“You couldn’t draw it up any better to have two 9-0 teams play for the district title in Week 10. We had TV here, had a solid crowd here, everything. We had people calling from all over the Metroplex wanting to know if it was sold out yet so they could get tickets.”
And then consider Argyle was 50 points better than the second-best team in its district. That’s insane. Ian Sadler and Nick Ralston each had four touchdowns in the win. Argyle might want to cut down on those penalty yards. The Eagles committed 11 penalties for 100 yards. Those kind of things might make a state championship run a bit difficult.
Boedeker: This game was billed as a huge matchup with playoff seedings on the line between two top-10 teams in the state. That second part was laughable if you saw the game, because it looked like something quite different. In fact, I’ll be honest – there wasn’t a whole lot of difference between Argyle-Celina and Guyer-Brewer, the two games I covered this week. Argyle owned the Bobcats in every facet of the game and made it hard to believe Celina was 9-0 entering the game. Argyle is going to be really tough to beat, as really only one team will stand between Argyle and a trip to the state championship, but it’s a good one. Argyle vs. Gilmer, here we go again.