Weekend Recap: The start of a new season

Top-ranked Allen corralled Guyer at the Tom Landry Classic in the season opener for both schools. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

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.

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Guyer moves down, Argyle goes up in this week’s AP poll

Allen took down Guyer sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson and the Wildcats in the Week One matchup at the Tom Landry Classic. Guyer is ninth in this week's Associated Press Class 6A poll, two spots down from last week. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

Guyer may have opened the season with a 14-point loss against one of the nation’s best teams, but the Wildcats’ performance was apparently good enough to keep them ranked as one of the top 10 teams in Class 6A.

Guyer drops two spots to No. 9 in this week’s Associated Press 6A state poll. Allen, the team the Wildcats lost to, remains solidly in first place after receiving 19 of 25 first-place votes.

The area’s biggest winner was Argyle. The Eagles jumped up two spots to earn a fourth-place ranking in the Class 4A poll following last week’s 34-28 win against Abilene Wylie in the season opener.

Somebody also voted Argyle as the best team in Class 4A. Abilene Wylie was one of four teams to receive a single vote in this week’s poll

Here is The Associated Press high school poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records, points based on 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, and the team’s ranking in last week’s poll:

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Three Takes: Ryan-Rockwall

Ryan running back Maurice Gordon and the rest of the Raiders lost to Rockwall in the season opener on Friday night. (For the Denton Record-Chronicle/Maegan Puets)

Nobody really knew what to expect when Ryan stepped onto the turf at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex for the season opener.

This year’s version of the Raiders looked completely different from the squad Ryan fielded the previous two seasons.

A new head coach, a freshman quarterback and an influx of underclassmen were all making their Ryan varsity debuts, adding to the normal excitement the first game of the season. Ryan lost to Rockwall 21-13 in Friday night’s season opener, but the game offered a glimpse into what to expect this season.

We’ll add a new staple on the blog this season with a Saturday morning with a few quick takes from the previous night with Three Takes. Take a seat, grab some coffee and let’s look back at last night’s game.

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Halftime thoughts: Rockwall 14, Ryan 10

The first half of the football season is over and Ryan is the team trailing after two quarters here at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

Rockwall leads Ryan 14-10 in the season opener for both schools. Rockwall scored 14 straight points in the first half before the Raiders salvaged three points at the end of the half on a 38-yard field goal by J.D. Delarosa.

Ryan’s depended on the legs of senior running back Maurice Gordon. Gordon has already carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. He has 115 yards of Ryan’s 138 total offensive yards.

Gordon put Ryan ahead early on a 3-yard touchdown run, and Rockwall quickly countered.

Rockwall quarterback Will Reed hit Jay Galloway for a 42-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the first quarter, tying the game at seven.

Then in the second quarter, Reed launched a long pass down the left side of the field to senior wide receiver Xavier Castille. Castille was well behind the Ryan secondary and he strolled into the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown reception.

So that’s where we stand.

Ryan hasn’t made freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders throw the ball too much so far. He’s completed four of six passes for 30 yards. He lost a fumble trying to pick a few extra yards, but he was bailed out when Rockwall missed a field goal.

That play and an errant incomplete pass that could have resulted in a touchdown are some things you expect out of a kid making his first high school start.

But it’s far too early for Ryan to start fretting. The Raiders will receive the ball to start the second half.

Follow me on Twitter at @Ben_Baby for updates, and I’ll have the play-by-play right here.

 

The hours leading up to the debut of the Henigan Era

Dave Henigan will make his Ryan head coaching debut tonight against Rockwall. Henigan, who was previously at Corsicana and Grapevine, replaces Joey Florence, who was Ryan's head coach for the last 14 seasons. (Denton Record-Chronicle/Al Key)

Dave Henigan’s never been one for superstition, but there’s one thing he does the morning of a football game.

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What you need to know: Rockwall

 

Rockwall senior wide receiver Xavier Castille leads the Yellowjackets against Ryan on Friday in the season opener for both schools. (Mark M. Hancock/Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning news)

After days of practices, two weeks of scrimmages and months of waiting, the regular season is almost here.

Since it’s the night before a Ryan football game, it’s only fitting that we continue last year’s tradition with the WYNTK blog about the Raiders’ opponent.

Here’s what you need to know about Rockwall.

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What you need to know: Allen

 

Allen head coach Tom Westerberg, left, high-fives quarterback Kyler Murray after a second-half touchdown against Pearland in the Class 5A Division I state championship game at AT&T Stadium in December. Allen won its second straight 5A Division I state title. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Since Guyer’s quick rise to Texas high school football elite, the Wildcats and head coach John Walsh have never shied away from playing top competition in nondistrict play. But this one takes the cake.

The Wildcats open the 2014 season in a rare battle of defending state champions. To make it more rare, it’s a battle of two-time defending state champs, as Guyer will play Allen in the Tom Landry Classic at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium.

In case you have a short memory, Allen is the two-time defending Class 5A Division I state champion. Guyer is the two-time defending Class 4A Division I state champion. Now, both are Class 6A teams. Allen has more boys in its school than Guyer has students, as the Eagles have the biggest pool in the state to choose from and despite losing 10 defensive starters, it’s hard to ever called an Allen team a rebuilding one.

No. 7 Guyer vs. No. 1 Allen, Apogee Stadium, 7:30 p.m. (Rankings are from preseason Class 6A Associated Press poll)

 

Series record: This is the first meeting between the teams.

What happened last year: Allen went undefeated, never really being tested by anyone outside of DeSoto. As a junior, standout quarterback Kyler Murray threw for 3,669 yards and 46 touchdowns to go with just nine interceptions. He rushed for 1,274 yards and 19 touchdowns while leading Allen to a second straight title. The Eagles also had a loaded defense, and they still might, but it’s yet to be determined with the 10 new starters.

Guyer dropped its season opener to eventual 5A Division II state champion Cedar Hill before reeling off 15 straight wins. They finished with an official record of 14-2 after a forfeit to Colleyville Heritage in nondistrict play for using an ineligible player. The Wildcats steamrolled opponents up until the state semifinal, when they needed a thrilling comeback from 10-0 down in the fourth quarter to get past Highland Park before thumping a previously unscathed San Antonio Brennan team for their second straight title.

What to expect: It’s hard to pick against Allen until someone beats them. But that’s the thing, eventually someone will beat the Eagles again. And this seems like a pretty prime position for Guyer. The Wildcats aren’t officially playing a home game, but they might as well be. They return eight defensive starters, several skill players on offense and get to see the debut of sophomore phenom Shawn Robinson, who is replacing Texas freshman Jerrod Heard under center. There is no talk about “playing with Allen” around Guyer or using the game as a measuring stick, so yes, that Guyer swagger is still alive and well, to no one’s surprise. Expect a high-scoring affair between two very strong offenses, and in the most cliche statement ever, look for a big play on special teams and the turnover ratio to decide this thing.

Allen player to watch: QB Kyler Murray (shocker, I know)

Guyer player to watch: DT Carl Thompson

Argyle RB Nick Ralston one step closer to joining Arizona State

Argyle senior running back Nick Ralston showed on Wednesday night that he wasn’t playing around when he said he wanted to play football at Arizona State.

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DRC releases its football preview section on Thursday

The Record-Chronicle releases its annual football preview section tomorrow. Clockwise, from front: Ryan running back Maurice Gordon, Denton defensive end Dailon Holmes, Guyer defensive tackle Carl Thompson, North Texas offensive lineman Cyril Lemon. (Denton Record-Chronicle/David Minton)

In less than 24 hours, the essential guide to Denton area football will be on your lawn, in a newsstand or tucked away at your favorite gas station.

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Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on freshman QB Spencer Sanders (VIDEO)

Last week, Ryan head coach Dave Henigan announced that freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders will be the team’s starting quarterback in this Friday’s season-opener against Rockwall.

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