While Argyle and Lake Dallas lived to see another week and a state semifinal football game, this past weekend marked the end of the road for three other DRC-area teams, as Guyer, Ryan and Krum all lost in the regional final round.
Buckle up, as Steve and I look back on the week that was and look ahead to next week’s games while putting a bow on the season of the departed teams.
Ryan vs Allen
AB: When I was on Dave Campbell’s Texas Football podcast on Friday, I was asked what Ryan would have to do to win this game and what kind of chance I thought the Raiders had at pulling the gigantic upset. I proceeded to tell them my line about how I told myself after the Ryan-Guyer game that I was finished picking against Ryan. Then, came this game. Sorry, but I just don’t see anyone beating Allen this year. The fact Ryan made the game somewhat interesting is a testament to the year the Raiders had, and to do that without super-special two-way star Tyreke Davis was really impressive. Another thing from that podcast: It was brought up that we might as well start calling Ryan the 2016 Class 5A Division I state champion, because, y’all, it’s gonna happen. Great season for the Raiders, and I think it’s safe to say their 13-0 start was totally unexpected, and I’ll call Steve a liar if he says otherwise.
SG: I wrote in my game story that Ryan had practically every card in the deck stacked against it heading into this game, but in no way was that to suggest the Raiders didn’t belong there. Many experts refused to give Ryan its due credit this season, and maybe that’s because as reporters we get comfortable seeing certain teams in the mix every year. The thing is, Ryan is one of those teams. Yes, the Raiders were coming off a 5-5 season, but going 13-1 this year is about the standard since 2000. There was every reason to believe Ryan could beat Allen, at least in my opinion. That didn’t happen, but that’s OK. This program is back in the mix, and with a drop to Class 5A next year, will go from being the team no one wanted to pick each week this season to being the odds on favorite. This season only proved that point.
Guyer vs Mansfield
AB: This game got out of hand, but not before Guyer blew a chance to possibly get the ball rolling the other way when they shot themselves in the foot repeatedly in the first quarter. Truthfully, Guyer had a great chance to have a three-score lead in the first quarter, as its defense was bottling up Mansfield’s offense and getting turnovers of its own. Only problem was, Guyer had three first-quarter fumbles and five turnovers in the game, and oh, another thing, Mansfield was really, really good. Like John Walsh said after the game, those fumbles made the game out of hand, but I’m not exactly positive Guyer would’ve won that game even without the fumbles. It definitely would’ve been a lot closer though. A lot happened to Guyer this year — injuries, identity shift, and other stuff — and for the Wildcats to find themselves in Round 4 with a chance at the state semis speaks volumes about what they were able to do this season.
SG: I was a little surprised by this outcome. This round of playoffs is always tough to predict because every team that has made it this far is extremely talented. Mansfield is a perfect example, but a Guyer win was not out of the question. Had Guyer lost by one or two touchdowns, I wouldn’t have batted an eye, but to lose 44-7? I remember reading my buddy Adam on Twitter that Guyer’s opening touchdown drive looked incredibly easy. But they didn’t score again and were held to a paltry 190 yards. Guyer hasn’t lost by that wide a margin, or been beaten that soundly, since it was a fledgling program 9-10 years ago. It’s far from a death sentence, and the Wildcats have plenty to be proud of in a season where – like Ryan – many experts weren’t giving them enough credit.
Lake Dallas vs Everman
AB: Looked like the Falcons historic run was coming to an end on Saturday, then Dagan Haehn and Keegan Brewer just took over and willed their way to a win over Everman and the Bulldogs’ vaunted rushing attack. After playing in the fourth round for the first time ever, the Falcons are now in their first state semifinal game, and boy, it’s a doozy. Frisco Lone Star appears to be the real deal and has a star quarterback of its own in Jason Shelley. The Falcons will score plenty of points, but they need their defense to get some stops and provide some resistance if they want to head to Houston next Saturday.
SG: If you haven’t seen the GIF I put out on my Twitter on Saturday, you should take a look at it. It represents exactly how I felt watching Falcons’ quarterback Dagan Haehn and do-it-all receiver Keegan Brewer in that morning’s Class 5A region final. Both ravaged an Everman defense that, to its credit, is not a walk-over unit. Haehn threw for 463 yards, rushed for 85, ran for one score and tossed three more touchdowns. Brewer caught 13 passes for 249 yards and two scores.
Argyle vs Texarkana Liberty-Eylau
AB: Ke’Mon Freeman looked like he might will the Leopards to a win all by himself for a while, but Argyle just Argyled and won another big game in December. What’s new, right? Now, the Eagles are a win over a team they’ve already beaten this year from going to their fourth title game in five years. That’s really impressive. The Eagles just seem to have it all clicking right now — a balanced offensive attack with superstars all over the field and a solid, nasty defense that gets the job done. Hate to jinx folks, but I think Argyle is headed to Houston next week, and it won’t be to watch.
SG: Argyle did what Argyle does late Friday, which is win. I’ll be honest that I was a little concerned while watching it live that Liberty-Eylau quarterback Ke’Mon Freeman was going to take over this game. Plus, Argyle was uncharacteristically turning the ball over in the first half – giving the Leopards’ dual-threat star even more opportunities to gash a tired defense. But Argyle settled down, scored 20-straight points and is one win away from its fourth trip in five years to a state title game.
Krum vs Celina
AB: The fact Krum played in this game said a lot about what the Bobcats were able to accomplish this year. The result was far from surprising. Celina is steamrolling everyone this year and appears hell-bent on winning another state championship after a fairly long layoff by Celina’s standards. Big ups to Gary Robinson and his staff, because absolutely no one saw Krum’s playoff run lasting into December.
SG: The end of the road for Krum was a rocky one as Celina came through and showed why it is likely on its way to its ninth state title. Despite that loss, the Bobcats set a new bar for its program with three playoff wins. Krum has never missed the playoffs, but until last year, it never won in that situation. They took a giant step forward this season, and should be considered a serious contender moving forward.