All four remaining area playoffs teams kept their football seasons alive for another weekend with big wins last weekend. Adam Boedeker and I take a look back at last week’s action and preview this weekend’s games on this week’s installment of Game Changers. Game Changers is a joint production between the Record-Chronicle and the Mayborn School of Journalism.
The area’s four remaining playoff teams remained unscathed and a couple of those teams defeated old rivals to keep their state championship hopes alive. It was a great week of football, and it sets up a great way to unwind after Thanksgiving this Thursday.
If you missed any of last weekend’s action, fear not. Stay warm and grab some hot chocolate as Adam Boedeker and I look back at the most recent slate of playoff games.
Ryan senior defensive tackle J.T. Williams added to his list of suitors on Sunday night when Houston Baptist head coach Vic Shealy called Williams and offered him a scholarship.
It’s Williams’ fourth scholarship offer. He’s been offered by Missouri, North Texas, and Houston, and he seems to be leaning toward Missouri (where his brother, Jordan Williams, is an offensive lineman) but he’s still undecided.
Now the difference between those three schools and HBU is that the Huskies are in the Football Championship Conference (formerly known as Division I-AA), not the Football Bowl Subdivision.
This year is HBU’s first year playing football, and the Huskies will join the Southland Conference in 2014.
Do I expect Williams to go there? No, not really. But it’s always worth mentioning an offer, especially for a guy like Williams. He’s got 47 tackles, five tackles for loss and two sacks.
(UPDATE: 8:38 p.m.) : Williams said fellow senior defensive lineman Sekou Clark was also offered by HBU, which isn’t a bad decision by the Huskies. This is the first offer the defensive end received this season.
Louisiana-Monroe, Tulane and Washington State offered Clark prior to this season. I know a lot of recruiting folk were high on Clark because of his what they call “measurables” (6-4, 240 pounds). It’ll be interesting to see if anybody else offers Clark before national signing day next February.
A while back when we were working on the story about his 200 wins, I asked him if he had a Twitter account. He just laughed and said he wasn’t on the social media website.
Oh, was he wrong.
I pulled out my phone, pulled up “his” Twitter account, and he laughed. It wasn’t his Twitter account. He wasn’t the one who posted this tweet the other day.
Great finish Raiders! 33-34 against Waco Midway. Let's prepare for the 3rd round. #RaiderNation
— Coach Flo (@joey_florence) November 23, 2013
If you’re following “Coach Flo” on Twitter, you’re following a fake account, albeit a fake account with good intentions. He guessed that one of his players is behind it, because one of the tweets that references Wednesday as “the day before the day before [the game]” is a saying he tells the team each week.
The person behind the account has actually done a really good job of posting pretty encouraging tweets. If anything, it’s a bunch of tweets of things Florence would actually say. However, if this ended up turning into a parody account, that’d be pretty funny. I’d follow that account in an instant.
But, so you know, it’s not him. So if you’ve been mentioning him on Twitter, he hasn’t seen it.
— SportsDayHS (@SportsDayHS) October 12, 2013
ARLINGTON – Earlier this week, Ryan head coach Joey Florence said the one thing coaches say when they know chances of winning are fairly slim.
“We’re going to have to play nearly perfect to beat these guys,” Florence said.
Well, things have been far from perfect for the Raiders in today’s Class 5A Division II Region I area game. Waco Midway leads Ryan 23-10 here at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.
Ryan’s offense looks much better than it did last week, but it’s still having problems scoring in the red zone.
Senior quarterback Mitchell Bridges threw an interception into the end zone, and another Ryan drive stalled inside the Midway 10-yard line.
Ryan’s lone touchdown of the game came on the opening kickoff. Ronnie Coleman received the ball in the end zone. He ran and gave the ball to Xavier Gray, who had his back to the Midway defenders. Gray handed the ball off to Trent Willis, who ran it in for a 91-yard touchdown.
Midway quarterback Ben Hicks has been superb in the first half. He’s completed 15 of 19 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown. He threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Devontre Stricklin with 5:30 left in the half.
Bridges is 7-of-11 passing for 69 yards, an interception and a lost fumble. Bridges was bailed out after his interception when Midway attempted a halfback pass and it was picked off in the Ryan end zone by Cameron Williams.
Still, Ryan’s offense hasn’t looked bad. If Ryan’s secondary can figure out a way to stop Hicks, the Raiders might have a chance of advancing to the next round.
But, the way it looks now, if Florence doesn’t see perfection from his team in the second half, this might be Ryan’s final game of the season.
Saturday’s Class 5A Division II area game between Ryan and Waco Midway has all the intangibles for a great matchup.
Great History? Check. Great venue? Yep. Oh, and it’s the playoffs? You better believe it.
We should be in for a pretty good contest tomorrow morning in what’s shaping up to be a pretty nice rivalry. Here’s what you need to know about Ryan-Midway III.
If Ryan can find a way past Waco Midway in tomorrow’s Class 5A Division II area playoff game, the Raiders could be rewarded with a game at Denton’s biggest stadium.
With a Ryan victory tomorrow, the Raiders will face either San Angelo Central or Keller Fossil Ridge.
The potential sites for those games, according to Denton ISD athletic director Ken Purcell, are:
Ryan at San Angelo Central, Saturday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m.
Ryan vs. Keller Fossil Ridge at Apogee Stadium, Saturday, Nov. 30, 1 p.m.
The original plan earlier in the week was for Ryan to squeeze its way into AT&T Stadium next Friday in one of the three available slots. But Ryan wasn’t able to find its way into the tripleheader at Jerry World.
There were also discussions of playing SA Central in Abilene, but since Abilene is only 90 miles northeast of San Angelo, it made sense to go ahead and flip for home-and-home. Ryan lost the flip.
Now, both of those circumstances are thrown out the window if the Raiders can’t win tomorrow against Midway. I’m sure Ryan will be happy to be playing anywhere next weekend. But Thanksgiving weekend matchup at Apogee does sound pretty nice.
A strong case could be made for Brad Lundblade’s supremacy over all other offensive lineman in our area. The senior right guard at Liberty Christian is highly regarded by Warriors head coach Greg Price, and he’s long been fawned over by Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Lundblade, listed at 6-3 and 287 pounds by Rivals.com, has received 11 FBS offers so far and said he’s been talking to a few Big 12 Conference schools like Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and TCU.
With a couple months before national signing day, it seems he has trimmed his list down to three schools.
The first round of the high school football playoffs turned out as expected, with the exception of a couple of contests.
Argyle and Guyer look like legitimate contenders to reach the state championship game, while Ryan’s defense did just enough to help the Raiders advance to a big showdown against Waco Midway this week. Sanger and Pilot Point both dropped close contests, while Krum had the unfortunate task of playing Argyle in the first round.
You know the drill. Adam Boedeker and I look back at the initial slate of playoff games and look at what’s ahead in the second round.