So, how does it feel to have football in your lives again? Feels pretty good, huh? Yeah, that’s what I figured.
Last week was the week many of you were waiting for (OK, I was waiting on it, too). The first week of the football season included some big matchups in the state and a preview of what to expect in the weeks to come.
Fellow Record-Chronicle high school scribe Adam Boedeker and I break down last week’s big games in the first installment of the weekend recap.
Adam Boedeker: This was the game the entire state was wanting to see, and the teams didn’t disappoint. In fact, the only disappointed folks were me because I kept watching my deadline creep closer and closer as the game went on and on. I guess that’s what happens when the team two teams combine for 96 points and over 1,000 yards of offense.
The takeaway? Guyer is going to be just fine. The defense struggled, but Allen is going to make every defense it faces struggle with Kyler Murray and most importantly, that mammoth offensive line clearing the way for the Eagles’ skill players. The Guyer offense also looked unstoppable, except for when it was shooting itself in the foot with two first-quarter fumbles on Allen’s 21- and 11-yard lines, respectively.
If not for those and an Allen touchdown on fourth-and-20 that shouldn’t have been granted, the game could’ve been much different. Oh, and Shawn Robinson is the truth, y’all.
Ben Baby: Guyer and Allen’s contest was perhaps the most high profile contest played in Denton since Ennis and Ryan packed Fouts Field for their nondistrict matchup in 2002. Back then, Ennis quarterback Graham Harrell got the best of Ryan, who was led by quarterback James Battle.
Guyer and Allen’s game featured two of the top quarterbacks in their respective classes. Allen senior quarterback Kyler Murray led the Eagles to a 55-41 victory and showed why some people think they’ll win their third straight state championship at the state’s highest level. Guyer actually made a game of it after spotting Allen 20 points to start the game.
Guyer couldn’t have picked a tougher opponent to open the season against. The season opener also doubled as the Guyer debut for sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson.
DRC alumnus and ESPNDallas.com writer Tim MacMahon had this to say about the game:
Kyler Murray is as advertised but might mot have brightest future among QBs at Apogee Stadium tonight. Guyer soph Shawn Robinson is awesome.
— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) August 30, 2014
AB: It was assumed this season would be a bit of an adventure for Ryan, especially early in the season thanks to a large number of key contributors from last year’s regional finalist squad. But what the Raiders showed on Friday night in their season opener had to give Ryan fans some hope, as they hung with a talented Rockwall squad before losing out due mostly to a handful of big plays from the speedy Yellowjackets.
One of the Raiders’ few key returners, running back Maurice Gordon, picked up where left off last season, pacing the Ryan offense with 143 rushing yards and the team’s lone touchdown. The game also saw the debut of freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders, who will undoubtedly have some growing pains as a rare freshman quarterback in the state’s largest classification, but it sounds like the Raiders have a good one under center to look forward to watching for a while.
BB: By now, you’ve heard all about the circumstances surrounding Ryan’s season opener against Rockwall. New head coach. Bunch of new starters. New starting quarterback that’s been in high school for about a week.
Despite all of those things, Ryan came close to knocking off a talented Rockwall team in the season opener. Rockwall led Ryan 14-13 in the fourth quarter before the Yellowjackets scored another touchdown with just over four minutes left in the game. Given all the change surrounding the Raiders and who they were playing against, Ryan had about as good a showing a team can have in a loss. After all, the most important thing for Ryan is figuring things out in the three nondistrict games before District 6-5A play.
Ryan freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders went 8-of-14 for 49 yards, no touchdowns, no interception and a lost fumble. Expect Sanders to be eased into things as the season progresses.
AB: Xavier Scott showed a lot of promise last season for the Broncos as a sophomore running with good size and speed. On Friday night, he lived up to that promise in the 2014 debut as the Broncos improved to 1-0 behind 160 yards on the ground and three rushing touchdowns from Scott.
And don’t get it twisted, Scott isn’t the only weapon in head coach Kevin Atkinson’s arsenal. Even though he threw an interception that was returned 100 yards for a score, quarterback Christian Rodriguez had a nice game for the Broncos and found his most dangerous receiver on seven different occasions as Key’andre Hearvey rolled up 170 yards through the air with a 70-yard touchdown grab. A win to start the season should be big for Denton’s confidence, and the Broncos will look to build on that when they face Granbury this week.
BB: The Broncos were expected to win their season opener against Wilmer-Hutchins, and Denton did exactly that.
While the final score shows a 14-point disparity between the two teams, the box score tells a different story. Wilmer-Hutchins scored one offensive touchdown and got its other score on a 100-yard interception returned for a touchdown by Deravion Grate.
Aside from three turnovers, it was a good showing from the Broncos in a year full of expectations for the oldest school in town. Denton has a chance to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2010. Kevin Atkinson has been at the helm of the program for the last two years and certainly created some excitement on Fulton Street. Atkinson has the assets needed to reach the postseason. If Denton can put it all together, the Broncos could be in for an unforgettable season.
AB: If a team scores two special teams touchdowns, a defensive touchdown and a safety in one football game, you can pretty much bet your life savings they’re going to win that game. Unfortunately for Lake Dallas, that’s exactly what Frisco Wakeland did on Friday night. Lake Dallas quarterback Dagan Haehn put up some sick stats, but also made some big mistakes, tossing three picks, including one that returned for a score.
BB: Frisco Wakeland racked up 54 points against Lake Dallas’ defense, a number I’m sure that’s too high for head coach Michael Young. The Falcons also know they’ll need better showings out of junior quarterback Daegan Haehn, who had three interceptions in the loss to Wakeland. It also doesn’t help when you give up 323 rushing yards, which is what Wakeland accumulated in the season opener for both schools. But don’t forget the Falcons are stocked with talented juniors that saw a lot of playing time during their sophomore year.
AB: In what was an underwhelming debut for the 2014 Argyle offense, the Eagles’ defense came to play on Friday night against a more veteran Abilene Wylie squad to get the Eagles off to a 1-0 start to their season. Argyle returned two fumbles for touchdowns and forced five total turnovers to help Argyle overcome a night in which they had just 183 yards of offense.
BB: Argyle took advantage of five turnovers in its six-point win against Abilene Wylie, and it was the first time in years that the Eagles didn’t have players like Sam Sizelove and Ian Sadler at their disposal. Argyle was outgained by Wylie 428-183, a whopping disparity the Eagles will have to correct as the season progresses. But it’s only Week One, and Argyle remains unscathed.