And then there were two. It was a well-played and at the same time brutal second round of the playoffs for Denton-area teams. We went into the week with five teams, and only Ryan and Argyle survived to play another round.
Sit back and relax as my sidekick Adam Boedeker and I take a look back at what got us to this point.
Ryan vs Richland
SG: Ryan continues to be a statistical nightmare for opponents. Not only did Richland have to contend with the ever-present danger of Spencer Sanders being able to use his legs and rocket arm, but Tyreke Davis got into the action by spurring on a solid run game. Combine that with Sanders and the solid receiving night Tauskie Dove had, and Ryan rolled up over 500 total yards. I spoke to Davis after the game and he couldn’t have been more excited. The Raiders’ featured back from a year ago hasn’t been needed as much on that side of the ball and came into this game with just three rushing scores. He equaled that mark on a night where he piled up 170 rushing yards. Not too shabby. Next up is Lubbock Monterey at the old Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. This will be my first trip to Shotwell since 1997. P.S. The team I was there to cover that year won big. We’ll see what happens when the Raiders come to town.
AB: Ryan’s playoff road is going to get tougher with each passing week, and this game was a step in that direction. OK, I take that back, throw this next week’s game against Lubbock Monterey out of that equation, but after that it’s going to be harder each week. Richland showed some promise early in the game behind a surprisingly effective run game, but I imagine that had a lot to do with Ryan completely taking away Richland’s passing game — its bread and butter all season. I’ve been waiting for Ryan to demonstrate a running game to speak of other than Spencer Sanders, and they did it with an old familiar face in Tyreke Davis, whose 49-yard parting-of-the-Red-Sea scamper put Ryan on the board early in that game. He had a monster game on the ground and will need to have some more games like that down the road.
Guyer vs Cedar Hill
SG: Well, Adam, you called it. You said earlier this week that this matchup had the makings of an instant classic, and for the most part, it was. Guyer surprised many by jumping out to a huge lead … but as good as Guyer is, so is Cedar Hill. You had to know this would come down to the wire, and it did as Cedar Hill pulled off yet another second-half rally to bounce the Wildcats from the playoffs. It’s a shame Guyer’s season ends following a game in which it rushed for 239 yards and jumped out to a 21-7 lead at halftime. But the Wildcats were held to 30 yards over the final 24 minutes. That’s not going to win you very many games. The good news is coach John Walsh knows what he’s doing and he’ll have Guyer back and ready to go for next season. If nothing else, this loss will definitely light a fire.
AB: After the first quarter of this game, I thought Guyer was going to completely blow the doors off Cedar Hill in pretty stunning fashion, and I wasn’t the only one who thought that judging by reaction from Twitter’s #txhsfbmediamafia. At halftime, I still thought Guyer was going to win fairly easily despite neither team scoring in the second quarter. Then, the Wildcats were held to 30 yards of total offense — 30 yards! — in the second half. Credit the Longhorns’ defense for that, but there are some plays from that game that Guyer will be second-guessing itself on for a while, including a holding call that negated a Noah Cain touchdown run in the final minute of the first half that would’ve sent Guyer to halftime with a 28-7 lead. I can’t say enough about Guyer’s defense, which had played great all year with the exception of two games against arguably the two best teams in the state, Allen and DeSoto. Against a high-octane Cedar Hill offense, Guyer allowed two touchdowns and a field goal after the first minute of the game. That was good enough to win, it just didn’t work out for them.
Argyle vs Lubbock Estacado
SG: Everybody now … duh duh duh, another one bites the dust. Duh duh duh, another one bites the dust. And another one comes, and another one comes … OK, I’ll stop. But seriously, folks. Argyle had its way with Lubbock Estacado, 63-7. Scores like that shouldn’t really happen in the postseason, but occasionally they do when you run into a buzz saw such as the Eagles. It was a balanced attack, too, with 255 yards through the air and 217 on the ground. And from what I can tell, the Eagles were only penalized twice for 32 yards. Next up is longtime foe Abilene Wylie on Friday in Mineral Wells. This will likely be a tighter game as both teams know one another all too well.
AB: The Argyle playoff machine appears to be rolling full steam ahead now after a somewhat surprising first-round win given the fact it was relatively close for a while against a one-win team. This one was much different. It was 49-0 at half before the Eagles eventually won 63-7. Next up? A much-anticipated clash with traditional rival Abilene Wylie — one that was supposed to take place in nondistrict but was canceled due to inclement weather. Wylie typically plays Argyle very close and tough, but Argyle finds a way to pull it out in the end. We’ll see if the Eagles can do it again.
Krum vs Sweetwater
SG: Ouch. I think it’s safe to say Sweetwater had revenge on its mind heading into Friday’s area-round game against the Bobcats. All of us in the office were expecting Krum to make a long run this year given all the talented senior leadership, and it’s honestly a shame the season had to end in this way. Sweetwater, after losing big to Krum last year, rebounded with a 40-14 win in the rematch. Krum fell behind 34-0 and that was by halftime. With all that being said, Krum coach Gary Robinson is a favorite of ours and we’re sure he will get his team back in the hunt next year. Krum is not that old of a program, and what most people may not realize is that the Bobcats have made the postseason every year they’ve been in existence. They won their first playoff game two years ago and nearly made it to the state tournament last year. Krum will be back, folks. And we can’t wait.
AB: This might be the most shocking result of the weekend for me. Krum came into this game looking every bit the part of a team that could make a really serious run into December behind its stellar rushing attack and suffocating defense along with tons of beef in the trenches. Instead, Sweetwater got sweet revenge with a 40-14 win over Krum after Krum’s 31-0 playoff victory over the Mustangs last year. Krum trailed 34-0 at halftime, as Sweetwater proved to be a really legitimate state contender in 4A Division II.
Aubrey vs Jasper
SG: Another team I expected would find a way to advance to the next round. Unfortunately for the Chaps, you don’t win many games when you turn the ball over and give up too many big plays. Jasper scored 21 points in the second quarter and intercepted Aubrey three times en route to what only amounted to a 14-point win. Take away one or two defensive mistakes, or a turnover, and things may have been different for Aubrey. It’s a frustrating way to end a season, but Aubrey coach Keith Ivy has a lot to be proud of. I’ve said it before, but this program was in rough shape just two seasons ago. Now they’ve made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and were in contention for a district crown.
AB: Aubrey coach Keith Ivy had told me to beware of Jasper running back Decorrian Holmes, and the Chaparrals were able to keep him relatively quiet for much of Friday’s game against Jasper — a game the Chaps led 7-0 after the first quarter. Aubrey eventually trailed 21-7 at halftime before tying the game at 21-21 in the third quarter behind another rushing effort from sophomore Gatlin Grisso. Then, Holmes exploded, returning a kickoff 80 yards and then rushing for a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the nail in Aubrey’s proverbial coffin.