For the past two years, Ryan-Hebron has been a district matchup. Hebron got the best of the Raiders the last two years, but both suffered the same playoff fate.
The University Interscholastic League’s biennial realignment took the teams out of the district, but that didn’t stop Hebron head coach Brian Brazil and Denton ISD athletic director Joey Florence from scheduling the fixture during nondistrict play.
Here’s what you need to know (and then some) about the Hebron Hawks.
Ryan (0-1) at Hebron (0-1), 7:30 p.m., Hawk Stadium
Series record: Ryan leads 4-2
What happened last year, Part I: Ryan dropped its District 5-5A game against Hebron for the second straight year, but last year’s meeting was much more competitive than the 2012 matchup between the two squads.
Ryan and Hebron were tied at 10 going into the fourth quarter before Hebron broke the game open with 21 straight points in the fourth quarter. Hebron handed Ryan its first loss of the season and did Ryan a huge favor. I’m sure you’re asking how that makes any sense. Well…
What happened last year, Part II: Ryan and Hebron were two of the six teams in District 5-5A last year. Both schools ended up qualifying for the playoffs. Ryan and Hebron had the lowest enrollment numbers of 5-5A’s four playoff teams, so the Raiders and Hawks were in the 5A Division II bracket.
This is where Hebron was essentially punished for beating Ryan.
Hebron’s win ended up being the game that put the Hawks ahead of the Raiders in the final district standings.
Hebron was given the district’s top seed in the 5A Division II bracket, while Ryan was the runner-up. Because of this, Hebron had to play District 8-5A’s top team, Cedar Hill, in the second round of the playoffs.
Cedar Hill beat Hebron 42-21 and beat Ryan 52-29 two weeks later on its way to the 5A Division II state title.
Because of the loss to Hebron, Ryan didn’t have to face Cedar Hill until the Region I finals. On the way to the regional finals, the Raiders enjoyed one of the more exciting playoff runs in school history.
Now, this would have been the case in 2012 as well, the first year of the two-year alignment that lumped Hebron and Ryan into 5-5A. But Hebron’s upset loss against Flower Mound Marcus actually gave Ryan the second-place finish in district play, the top 5A Division II seed and the honors of playing Cedar Hill in the second round. The Longhorns bounced Ryan out of the playoffs with a 48-35 win at Southlake’s Dragon Stadium.
So yeah, that’s why losing to Hebron ended up being the best thing to happen to Ryan last season. But let’s move on.
What to expect this year: Last year Hebron had superstar Jamal Adams at wide receiver and defensive back (Ryan wide receiver Trent Willis scored two touchdowns against Adams, who’s currently at LSU).
Well Adams is gone and so is running back Treyvon Hughes (currently grayshirting at UTEP). But Oregon State pledge Angelo Garbutt has picked up where Hughes left off. Garbutt, who will be a linebacker in college, had a whopping 30 carries for 220 yards and two touchdowns, will probably see a heavy workload on Friday night.
Hebron only attempted two passes and completed neither one in a 52-30 loss to Coppell last week.
Garbutt and the rest of Hebron’s backfield have a strong offensive line to run behind. The Hebron front features left tackle Zach Rogers, who has orally committed to Arkansas.
It’ll be interesting to see how Ryan’s defense holds up against a continual rushing attack. On offense, Ryan head coach Dave Henigan hinted at opening up the playbook a little more for freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders.
Ryan player to watch: LB Tyreke Davis
Hebron player to watch: RB Angelo Garbutt