Weekend recap: It’s not how you start…

Denton Ryan senior wide receiver Jimmy Love (13) tries to evade tackles from Wylie East senior defensive back Corey Gentle (4) and junior linebacker Justin Smith (12), Thursday, September 8, 2016, in Wylie, Texas.  Jeff Woo/DRC

Denton Ryan senior wide receiver Jimmy Love (13) tries to evade tackles from Wylie East senior defensive back Corey Gentle (4) and junior linebacker Justin Smith (12), Thursday, September 8, 2016, in Wylie, Texas. Jeff Woo/DRC

In a week that didn’t feature a whole lot in the way of big matchups in the area, there were a few that stood out in the gaggle of duds. Ryan remained unbeaten with a win over yet another quality opponent. Argyle avenged a crushing loss from last season, and Sanger got the best of Krum in a matchup of top-notch area Class 4A squads. Steve Gamel and I take a look back on the weekend in our weekly recap…

Ryan at Wylie East

AB: So the general theme surrounding Ryan so far this season has been the Raiders’ slow offensive starts. While that’s been true, the Raiders’ offense still has some players, most notably under center. When you have that, you’re usually going to end up being OK, and Spencer Sanders saw to it again on Thursday with a phenomenal second half to help Ryan run away with a convincing win over a good Wylie East team. The Raiders arguably have the toughest nondistrict schedule in the state in Class 5A, and they’ve got a 3-0 record with another big clash coming against Frisco Lone Star. Yeah, the offense has had its share of problems, but with a defense like that and the playmakers on offense, Ryan is going to be very tough to beat.

SG: Another great win for Ryan. While sitting in the press box prior to Thursday’s game, I overheard a few Mesquite Poteet coaches talking. Ryan had rallied the previous week in the second half to pick up the win, and those coaches kept saying their kids gave Ryan everything they could. That was a true statement, and it’s true for each of Ryan’s first three opponents. All of them are good teams, but they don’t have what Ryan has. People keep asking me what’s wrong with Ryan? Honestly, the Raiders are playing good teams, so it’s going to be a tough road. But their punishing defense wears teams down, and despite its slow starts, the offense has too many weapons to be held down for four quarters.

Guyer at Dallas Kimball

AB: There really wasn’t much to say about this game. Kimball was vastly overmatched, and while I commend the Knights’ coaches for wanting a matchup with Guyer, you have to wonder if it was even too much of a step up in weight class. Truthfully, it’s hard to imagine what good Kimball gets out of a 63-7 thrashing, and the same goes for Guyer. One thing Guyer did get was some confidence heading into its bye week and the subsequent District 6-6A opener against Plano. Luke Stillwell opened up the passing game that had accounted for 39 yards in two games by throwing for more than 200 yards and four touchdowns in one half of action. The Wildcats had shown they could throw the ball in a scrimmage against Euless Trinity, and they reaffirmed it Friday, albeit in a gross mismatch.

SG: Without having read my buddy Adam’s assessment of the Wildcats’ latest win, I’m sure I am echoing his thoughts when I say kudos should go out to Dallas Kimball for stepping up to ask Guyer for this Week 3 game. Most people may not know that. It was a tall order and a game Kimball was destined to lose, but it shows what type of program Kimball wants to be. As for the game, there’s really not much to say because the Wildcats dominated in every way possible. I hear Adam had his story written by halftime – must be nice.

The Colony at Denton

AB: The Broncos continue to find ways to win tight games behind a solid running game and a defense that won’t crack. The latest victim was The Colony, who couldn’t get a late big play to topple the Broncos. Denton will face another test this weekend against an upstart, unbeaten Keller Timber Creek that might be finding its identity after a few lean years upon the school opening. The Broncos should be favored, but going on the road on a short week won’t be easy for the Broncos.

SG: Denton found itself in another tight game going into the second half, but flexed its muscle in route to another solid win. The Broncos came into this week at No. 8 in The Associated Press’ Class 5A poll, and you have to believe they will stay ranked for the rest of this season. Caleb Osuofa is turning out to be a solid running back, and Colt Atkinson is doing some good things under center. Up next is a matchup against Class 6A Keller Timber Creek. I’ve never really thought too highly of Timber Creek as an opponent, but it’s a chance to build momentum heading into the District 5-5A opener against Ryan.

Braswell at Frisco Reedy

AB: To be perfectly honest, I was starting to wonder what I was going to write each week for Braswell’s games in these recaps after the Bengals were outscored 112-0 in their first two games. But they put on a good showing on Thursday night at the Ford Center at the Star — Frisco’s new monstrosity of a stadium. Cody Moore has still yet to find his high-flying passing attack he led at Mesquite Horn and Rockwall prior to starting the Braswell program, but he did find a 100-yard back in Ki’Andre Jackson. It’s going to be a lean year for Braswell, who saw its best chance at a win escape it, but with each passing week the Bengals seem to be improving.

SG: At 0-3, surely the Bengals’ coaching staff is looking at third-string quarterback Palmer Campbell as a realistic starter for this week’s game against Kaufman. Palmer stepped in against Reedy this past week as the starter due to injuries, and completed 16 of 25 passes for 88 yards. According to our Jimmy Isbell, coach Cody Moore lamented over not giving Palmer more chances to rack up yardage in a game the Bengals only lost, 28-12. There are no moral victories, but that’s a step forward for a team that had been outscored 112-0 coming in. Oh, and another thing – good job to Ki’Andre Jackson, who rushed for 160 yards and scored both touchdowns.

Celina at Argyle

AB: This one had to feel good for Argyle. True, Celina is obviously not the same team that walloped Argyle a year ago and went on to play in the Class 4A Division II state championship game — a game the Bobcats lost after starting quarterback Conner Pingleton broke his arm early in the game. Pingleton is still there, but something isn’t the same because the Bobcats aren’t nearly the team they were a year ago. However, with Argyle’s dynamic senior quarterback Dane Ledford out with a wrist injury, the Eagles are far from full strength either. And the Eagles put it on Celina in a big way to avenge last year’s loss and remain unbeaten on the year heading into a big road game at Abilene Wylie.

SG: Hayden Clearman, everybody. I don’t want to take away from a defense that did a tremendous job completely shutting down Celina’s offense, but the sophomore under center looked tremendous. And I can say that because I was there. Clearman threw just four incomplete passes while rolling up 226 yards and three touchdowns. That type of performance is just what the doctor ordered for an Argyle offense that soon enough will have Tulane commit Dane Ledford (wrist) back at quarterback. Until then, Clearman is no slouch.

Krum at Sanger

AB: This game lived up to the billing as one of the better matchups of the weekend as Sanger ended up pulling out a 14-6 win in what was expected to be a defensive clash. Krum will be just fine after a loss to a big 4A school, and Sanger rebounded nicely from a close loss to a big Class 5A school in Denton last week. Sanger’s offense is proving to be really versatile with CJ Jackson throwing for 300 yards one week and Dameon Moser throwing up 100-plus on the ground in a grind-it-out game the following week. With the Indians’ defense as good as ever, this team has a chance to be special later in the year.

SG: Neither Adam nor I got to see this game, which we pegged as a potential classic coming in. At 2-0, Krum looked red hot. Even Sanger’s wide-open passing attack appeared to be on-point. What ended up happening was a tight game that saw Sanger capitalize on a solid showing from Dameon Moser in a 14-6 win. Opponents really need to take Sanger a bit more seriously. As for Krum, one loss doesn’t break this season. They’ll be fine.

 

 

Ryan-ex Choplick earns Rangers monthly award

Former Ryan and Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick throws against TCU on Sunday May 11, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas.  (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis)  MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

Former Ryan and Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick throws against TCU on Sunday May 11, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis) MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

Adam Choplick capped off his first full minor-league season in style on Thursday when he was awarded the Rangers’ Minor League Player of the Month honor for August/September for the Low-A affiliate (since the minor-league season creeps into September much like the big-league year creeps into October).

Choplick, who pitched all season for Low-A Hickory in the South Atlantic League, had 35 relief appearances this season for the Rangers’ affiliate and the 6-9 lefty compiled a season ERA of 3.32 with a 2-2 record. He struck out 74 batters in 59 2/3 innings of work and opposing hitters hit .239 against him.

In August and September, Choplick had nine outings and saw his ERA dip by more than a full run to his season-ending 3.32. In those nine games, Choplick allowed just two earned runs (both in one game) in 18 2/3 innings with 23 strikeouts and allowed just 11 hits. He also earned a save on Aug. 18.

What you need to know: Dallas Kimball

Kimball running back Devodrick Johnson (5) races up the field during first half of Kimball's matchup against Carter on Sep. 2, 2016, at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas, Texas. (Andrew Buckley/Special Contributor)

Kimball running back Devodrick Johnson (5) races up the field during first half of Kimball’s matchup against Carter on Sep. 2, 2016, at Kincaide Stadium in Dallas, Texas. (Andrew Buckley/Special Contributor)

Last week came with a lot of hype and excitement for Guyer, and it ended in a big thud of the Wildcats’ pride as they were beaten soundly by not only a very good DeSoto team but their former quarterback, Shawn Robinson.

Now, Guyer is 1-1 after a two-week gauntlet of nondistrict play and the Wildcats will wrap up their tuneup schedule Friday in a game that, quite frankly, is pretty dumbfounding to even think about how it came about in the first place.

Kimball’s coach called Guyer coach John Walsh around February’s realignment and asked him to play, and it’s not very often when teams call Guyer asking for games, so Walsh took it. Turns out, this game could very well be the biggest mismatch Guyer has had over a team since the Wildcats broke through and got good in 2008.

Anyway, on to the game and what to expect in Friday’s game against the 0-2 Knights.

The Game: Guyer (1-1) vs. Dallas Kimball (0-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Dallas’ Sprague Athletic Complex

Series Record: This is the first-ever meeting between the programs.

What happened last week: Guyer got its game plan rolling early and took a 3-0 lead over DeSoto six minutes into the game after the Eagles had run just three offensive plays and turned the ball over. Then things got bad for Guyer in a hurry, thanks in large part to two bad snaps on punts that resulted in 16 easy points. The Wildcats moved the ball well in the second half, but at that point, against that offense, it didn’t really matter.

Kimball had trouble getting any kind of offense together as they lost to crosstown foe Carter by a score of 9-7. That’s the same Carter squad that Class 4A Argyle beat 49-21 last year, just to put it in some perspective.

What to expect: Not much if you want to see a good football game. If you want to see Guyer work out some kinks and get ready for district play, you’re going to love it though. The Wildcats will open up the passing attack after junior quarterback Luke Stillwell completed just seven passes in Guyer’s first two games this year. That will change, as John Walsh will probably put the gas pedal down on Guyer’s offense for a half, bring his starters out for one series in the third quarter and then put in the reserves. Quite frankly, this game feels like Kimball should be getting a $1 million payout to be a sacrificial lamb (see UNT’s payout to go play Florida), except for the fact it’s the Knights’ home game.

Kimball does have one elite player in QB/athlete/linebacker Devodrick Johnson, who has 19 FBS offers from some big boys on the college football landscape. In fact, he’d committed to Texas A&M but decommitted last month. He’ll play a little bit of quarterback, a little bit of running back and a little bit of wide receiver, but his future is at linebacker.

Final say: This will be a game where you starters for a half, and then it’s time for everyone’s favorite kid and grandkid to get in the game. That said, I’d bet on Kimball to win the halftime performance.

Score prediction: Guyer 63, Dallas Kimball 6

 

What you need to know: Frisco Reedy

Braswell junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson (15) slips away from Haslet Eaton junior defensive lineman Nicholas Lanum (94), Thursday, August 25, 2016, at Northwest ISD stadium in Justin, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Braswell junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson (15) slips away from Haslet Eaton junior defensive lineman Nicholas Lanum (94), Thursday, August 25, 2016, at Northwest ISD stadium in Justin, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Braswell has an uphill battle ahead that is only going to get steeper as the season progresses. For now, the Bengals must focus on Thursday’s opponent, Frisco Reedy.

We will have an advance in tomorrow’s paper with reactions from a few players and head coach Cody Moore’s take on the Lions. Until then, here’s some brief notes.

The Game: Braswell (0-2) at Frisco Reedy (1-1), Thursday, 7 p.m. at The Ford Center at The Star.

What happened last week: Reedy — also in its first year of varsity football — recorded its first win in program history; a 43-38 win over Braswell’s Week 1 opponent, Haslet Eaton. Against Independence, Braswell couldn’t move the ball on offense, recording three first downs and 61 total yards in a 57-0 loss. Defensively, the Bengals gave up over 300 yards on the ground for the second straight week.

What to expect:  Expect Reedy to go with a heavy dose of the ground game that helped it amass nearly 300 yards a week ago. Braswell has yet to prove it can stop the run, but there will be a heavy emphasis on it if the Bengals hope to notch a win.

Final say: Is this the week we see Braswell reach the end zone? I think so, but realistically it will be a tall order for this young program to overcome Reedy. That’s why we play the game, though. The Bengals will have a great opportunity to play at The Star, easily one of the highlights of Braswell’s opening campaign.

 

What you need to know: Frisco Independence

Braswell head coach Cody Moore on the sideline against Haslet Eaton, Thursday, August 25, 2016, at Northwest ISD stadium in Justin, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Braswell head coach Cody Moore on the sideline against Haslet Eaton, Thursday, August 25, 2016, at Northwest ISD stadium in Justin, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Braswell is looking forward to playing the first of its two Frisco ISD opponents, largely in part because they share similar circumstances. For now, let’s focus on Braswell’s Week 2 opponent, Frisco Independence. The Knights are in their third season and has had its fair share of losses. Independence is coming off a 2-8 finish in 2015, one win better than its first varsity season in 2014.

We will have an advance story in tomorrow’s paper with reactions from the team on the upcoming game. But here’s some brief info to keep your appetite wet.

 The Game: Frisco Independence (1-0) at Braswell (0-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

What happened last week: Braswell would like to look past its mistakes in a 55-0 loss to Haslet Eaton last week. But ultimately, it needs to focus on those blunders to get better each week. The defense struggled to stop a run game that racked up 346 rushing yards, and the offense sputtered throughout the contest. The Knights (1-0) added their fourth win in program history last Saturday when they walloped fellow District 13-5A mate and Braswell’s Week 3 foe, Frisco Reedy, 54-3, at Jerry Jones’ second pride and joy, the Ford Center at the Star.

What to expect: Independence ran the ball at will against Reedy, amassing 401 yards on 38 carries. Expect the Knights to use the same formula against the Braswell defense. On the other side of the ball, Braswell offensive coordinator Collin Strahan has his players fired up about the opportunities they’ll receive against the Independence defense after installing more plays out of the playbook. Overall, coach Cody Moore said the Bengal faithful should see more consistency out of the offense, and the defensive line will do a better job penetrating the backfield.

Final say: Braswell’s offense posted a goose egg on the scoreboard last week and has to score points at some point. I’m thinking this Friday is the day the offense posts some numbers in the stat line and the scoreboard. Call me crazy, but I’m calling for Braswell to get its first win in program history.

Prediction: Braswell 21, Frisco Independence 17

Thoughts from the other side: DeSoto’s Todd Peterman

DeSoto head coach Todd Peterman walks to greet Jesuit players following a high school football game between Jesuit and DeSoto at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas Friday August 28, 2016. DeSoto beat Jesuit 47-13. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

DeSoto head coach Todd Peterman walks to greet Jesuit players following a high school football game between Jesuit and DeSoto at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas Friday August 28, 2016. DeSoto beat Jesuit 47-13. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

I usually try to call the head coach of Guyer’s opponent each week, with mixed results. I had no issue at all getting up with DeSoto’s Todd Peterman, the Eagles’ second-year head coach who replaced longtime coach Claude Mathis upon his departure for SMU.

Peterman shared his thoughts on Guyer and on the whole Shawn Robinson reunion storyline as the former Guyer quarterback is playing his senior season for DeSoto. Here’s a summary of what he had to say about the big game Friday night in DeSoto.

On what he saw on film from Guyer’s season-opening 55-35 win over Mansfield Lake Ridge:

“What I see from Guyer is the same old championship caliber football team — extremely disciplined, very well coached and very athletic on both sides of the football.”

On Guyer’s defense (Peterman is an offensive coach, by trade), specifically a secondary featuring two Football Bowl Subdivision players at safety in Bryce Jackson (Northwestern) and Thabo Mwaniki (Oklahoma State):

“They’re talented the whole way across. They’re extremely athletic. Their linebackers are tough and move well and their corners and safeties are really physical kids. It’s just a normal coach Walsh, well-coached, tough football team. That’s what they are.”

On Robinson preparing to face his old team and old teammates at Guyer and the hype surrounding the game:

“It hasn’t really come up. Everyone else can make it a bigger game than what it is. We’re getting ready to play a great football team, and we’re coming off a 6-6 season so the other drama has not been drama. I don’t have Facebook. I’m on Twitter but I haven’t opened it in forever and I don’t read the papers once football season gets started, so I’m kind of in my own little bubble.”

On why he asked Robinson not to do interviews this week in the lead up to the Guyer game:

“I just told him back in the spring that there’s no need to fuel anything that may or may not be there. People can make something out of it if they want, but there’s nothing to it on our side. It’s nothing we’ve talked about as a team. I meet with Shawn every day, and it’s something that has never even been brought up.”

 

What you need to know: DeSoto

DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) , the former Guyer standout, rushes for a touchdown to make the score 6-0 in the first quarter during a high school football game between Jesuit and DeSoto at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas Friday August 28, 2016. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

DeSoto quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) , the former Guyer standout, rushes for a touchdown to make the score 6-0 in the first quarter during a high school football game between Jesuit and DeSoto at Eagle Stadium in DeSoto, Texas Friday August 28, 2016. (Andy Jacobsohn/The Dallas Morning News)

You guys hear anything special about this week’s game between Guyer and DeSoto? Yeah, me neither.

Just kidding, of course. As much as both sides want to downplay the hype surrounding this game, the elephant in the room is there, and it’s a really athletic elephant who can sling the ball all over the field and just as easily take it 80 yards to the house on his own. It’s Shawn Robinson, and the former Guyer star quarterback will be lining up against his former teammates for the first time since transferring to DeSoto in April to follow his coaching parents to DeSoto.

Forgetting what Robinson accomplished in two years at Guyer? I’ll make it easy for you: 7,449 total yards and 80 touchdowns in 25 games, even though his numbers did take a dip last year, especially in the passing department.

So, that’s what Guyer’s defense will be trying to deal with this week, not to mention the Eagles’ pair of FBS wide receivers in KD Nixon (Tennessee) and Emmet Perry (Colorado). But you can bet Guyer has a plan, and if you’re wondering what it is, think back to Guyer-Southlake Carroll in the area round of the playoffs a year ago. Basically, Guyer will look to impose its will on DeSoto with its insanely potent rushing attack and control the pace of the game while keeping Robinson at bay.

The Game: No. 13 Guyer (1-0) at No. 3 DeSoto (1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Series Record: This is the first-ever meeting between the programs.

What happened last week: Guyer recovered from a sloppy first quarter to run away (literally) with a 55-35 win over defending Class 5A Division I state finalist Mansfield Lake Ridge. The Wildcats rushed for 494 yards in the game and completed just three passes from new starting quarterback Luke Stillwell, who rushed for 92 yards and a score.

“If we come out like we did the first quarter last week [against Lake Ridge] against DeSoto, we’ll be playing catch-up for the next two weeks,” Guyer coach John Walsh said.

DeSoto ushered in the Robinson era in style with a 47-13 rout of Jesuit, which lost its starting quarterback to injury during the game. Robinson passed for 268 yards and rushed for 97 with four total touchdowns before taking a seat in the third quarter.

What to expect: Expect a barn-burner. Both teams and coaches are saying the right things, but I find it near impossible to believe there’s not a little extra juice for this one. DeSoto will have some big plays — most likely some big scoring plays — because that’s just what they do. And in that Carroll game last year, the Dragons torched Guyer a few times. In the end it didn’t matter. Guyer just has to weather the storm and be sure the game doesn’t get out of hand early on.

Final say: This is going to be a four-quarter ballgame. I can almost guarantee it with the “Boedeker Guarantee” seal of approval. Guyer’s gameplan, unless it has to stray from it, will be sure that’s the case. If it’s a game in the fourth quarter, I like the Wildcats due to the fact they can score by controlling the ball and the tempo with their rushing attack. If DeSoto is going to outscore Guyer, the Wildcats will force Robinson to do it with his arm and not the easy way. Ultimately, Guyer’s ability to run the ball will be the difference in the game.

Score prediction: Guyer 45, DeSoto 35

Associated Press state poll: Week 1

Denton senior wide receiver Chris Miller (14) stiff arms Lake Dallas senior line backer Jacob Schuster (35), Friday, August 26, 2016, in Corinth. Jeff Woo/DRC

Denton senior wide receiver Chris Miller (14) stiff arms Lake Dallas senior line backer Jacob Schuster (35), Friday, August 26, 2016, in Corinth. Jeff Woo/DRC

The newest edition of the Associated Press state poll is out after one week of games, and there was a little movement for the area teams in the poll after several big matchups and some upsets.

The biggest movement came from the Denton Broncos, who jumped from nowhere to be found in the Class 5A poll all the way up to the first team receiving votes (No. 11) after a sound beating of Lake Dallas, which opened the year at No. 14. Ryan remained at No. 3 in 5A while Cedar Park and Aledo traded places above the Raiders. Argyle stayed at No. 1 in Class 4A, and Guyer moved up one spot in the “ORV” to No. 13 and now have No. 3 DeSoto waiting for them this week.

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:

Class 6A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Austin Westlake (7) (1-0) 215 5
2. Allen (14) (1-0) 212 4
3. DeSoto (1) (1-0) 161 6
4. Converse Judson (2) (1-0) 134 10
5. Katy (0-1) 132 1
6. Galena Park North Shore (1-0) 103 8
7. Cibolo Steele (1-0) 101 7
8. Lake Travis (0-1) 70 2
9. Cedar Hill (0-1) 69 3
10. Euless Trinity (1-0) 67 9

Others receiving votes: 11, Richmond George Ranch 26. 12, Arlington Martin 14. 13, Denton Guyer 6. 14, Lufkin 3. 15, The Woodlands 2. 16, Tyler 1. 16, Mansfield 1. 16, Pearland 1. 16, San Angelo Central 1. 16, Cedar Park Vista Ridge 1.

Class 5A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Cedar Park (9) (1-0) 218 2
2. Aledo (10) (1-0) 215 1
3. Denton Ryan (5) (1-0) 195 3
4. Manvel (1-0) 151 4
5. Temple (1-0) 134 5
6. Frisco Lone Star (1-0) 120 6
7. Dallas Highland Park (1-0) 112 7
8. CC Calallen (1-0) 71 8
9. Richmond Foster (1-0) 50 9
10. Angleton (1-0) 11 NR

Others receiving votes: 11, Denton 8. 11, Lancaster 8. 13, Texarkana Texas 7. 14, College Station 6. 15, Ennis 5. 16, Crosby 4. 17, Mansfield Timberview 2. 18, Georgetown 1. 18, Canyon 1. 18, Abilene Cooper 1.

Class 4A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Argyle (13) (1-0) 226 1
2. West Orange-Stark (10) (1-0) 221 2
3. Waco La Vega (1) (1-0) 187 3
4. Gilmer (1-0) 151 6
5. Carthage (0-0) 145 5
6. Abilene Wylie (1-0) 108 8
7. Kennedale (0-0) 70 10
8. Cuero (1-0) 42 NR
9. Navasota (0-1) 32 4
10. China Spring (1-0) 24 NR

Others receiving votes: 11, Texarkana Liberty-Eylau 21. 12, Liberty Hill 20. 12, Celina 20. 14, La Grange 18. 15, Henderson 12. 16, Princeton 9. 17, Terrell 5. 18, Sweetwater 4. 19, Van 2. 20, Sinton 1. 20, El Campo 1. 20, Center 1.

Class 3A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Brock (19) (1-0) 231 1
2. Cameron Yoe (2) (1-0) 210 3
3. Newton (2) (1-0) 160 6
4. Franklin (1) (1-0) 154 8
5. Waskom (1-0) 152 5
6. Malakoff (1-0) 128 7
7. East Bernard (1-0) 72 10
8. Mineola (0-1) 56 2
9. Canadian (0-1) 32 4
10. Crockett (1-0) 27 NR

Others receiving votes: 11, Sunnyvale 26. 12, Cisco 16. 13, Teague 14. 13, La Marque 14. 15, White Oak 8. 16, Wall 6. 16, East Chambers 6. 18, Rockdale 3. 19, Grandview 2. 19, Pottsboro 2. 21, Mathis 1.

Class 2A
School Record Total Points Prv
1. Refugio (20) (1-0) 235 1
2. Bremond (4) (1-0) 207 2
3. Shiner (1-0) 192 3
4. Iraan (1-0) 160 4
5. Stratford (1-0) 124 5
6. Albany (1-0) 119 6
7. Mart (1-0) 83 9
8. Tenaha (1-0) 64 10
9. Muenster (1-0) 45 NR
10. Lovelady (0-0) 23 NR

Others receiving votes: 11, Alto 16. 12, Wellington 15. 13, Post 8. 14, Goldthwaite 7. 15, Stinnett West Texas 6. 16, Crawford 5. 16, Mason 5. 18, Seagraves 2. 18, Thorndale 2. 18, Weimar 2.

Weekend recap: Let’s get it on

Sean Steffen / Amarillo Globe-News Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders throws a pass against Tascosa Monday, November 30, 2015 during a Class 6A Regional game at Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo.

Sean Steffen / Amarillo Globe-News Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders throws a pass against Tascosa Monday, November 30, 2015 during a Class 6A Regional game at Dick Bivins Stadium in Amarillo.

After all those lame practices and scrimmages, things got real on Friday (Thursday, actually) and we had our opening week of Texas high school football season. There were some upsets, some blowouts, some injuries, and more, and my esteemed colleague, Steve Gamel, and I take a look back in our weekend recap.

Ryan at Lancaster

AB: I figured Ryan would win this game, but I was interested to see how it’d play out knowing the athleticism Lancaster possesses as a big test for what is a loaded Ryan team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. True to form in games like that, Lancaster made it interesting for a while before Ryan eventually pulled away and proved to be the better team. The Raiders’ offense is going to be really tough to stop this year with Spencer Sanders and his stable of receivers, and everyone knows what that defense is capable of. For Ryan, it’s state title or bust, as far as I’m concerned. The Raiders are that good.

SG: Ryan did not look sharp early on against Lancaster, but let’s not forget this was a top 10 matchup between two of Class 5A’s elite teams. And it was a season opener, so crazy stuff is bound to happen. Ryan turned the ball over three times, but in the end proved it was the better team by forcing four turnovers and scoring 28-straight points to pull away. Couple of quick thoughts: That defense is amazing and the pressure they can inflict up front is unreal. Also, Gabriel Douglas (11 catches, 190 yards and two touchdowns) is an absolute monster at wide receiver.

Mansfield Lake Ridge at Guyer

AB: Yes, Lake Ridge lost 47 seniors from last year’s team that was a couple of key injuries away from being 16-0. Yes, the Eagles lost quarterback Jett Duffey and running back Duke Carter — more than 80 percent of their offense from a year ago. But they simply reloaded. There is some serious skill on that team out wide and in the secondary on defense. It was enough to lead Guyer, 15-3, midway through the second quarter before the Wildcats reeled off 21 unanswered points and never looked back in a 55-35 win. I said on many occasions Guyer might have the best 1-2 running back punch in Texas, and I’m standing by it after Week 1 as Myron Mason and Noah Cain rushed for nearly 400 yards combined. Guyer is going to be fine. Yes, even without Shawn Robinson. Speaking of… You know what’s next.

SG: This was a matchup against a really really really good Class 5A team that could be playing well past Thanksgiving. We all knew Guyer had a loaded running game, though, and that talk was backed up when the Wildcats – namely Myron Mason and Noah Cain – rolled up a staggering 494 rushing yards. That rushing attack was working so well that Guyer barely had to throw the ball. Luke Stillwell passed for 19 yards but added 92 rushing yards and a touchdown run of his own. Must be rough for opposing defenses when you know what a team is going to do, but still can’t stop them.

Denton at Lake Dallas

AB: I was shocked by this result. Sounds like the Broncos pretty much had their way with Lake Dallas. The Falcons lost a ton of really good players to graduation from last year’s state semifinalist squad, but they had enough back to where it seemed there wouldn’t be a huge drop-off. There’s still plenty of time to prove that theory after just one game, but Denton sure had its way with the Falcons and seemed to have found another stud running back in Caleb Osuofa. Big win for Kevin Atkinson & Co.

SG: I love when our Denton-area teams face off, though I was surprised by the outcome. That’s not a knock against Denton. I just felt like, despite the losses to graduation, the Falcons would turn in a better performance – though I’m sure they will rebound just fine from this. Denton’s ground game rolled up 303 rushing yards despite losing star back Xavier Scott to graduation. We see you, Caleb Osuofa. Lake Dallas turned the ball over four times – including three interceptions from a quarterback that managed to start five games last year and is no slouch.

Braswell at Haslet Eaton

AB: I didn’t see this game, and unfortunately for Braswell, it doesn’t sound like I missed much. But take it from someone who saw Guyer’s 1-9 season in Year 2 of its program and actually saw the Wildcats play a game in its opening year (0-10), a program’s first game, or even first year are hardly indicative of where said program is going. I’ve heard from some good football people that Cody Moore is without question a great football mind and coach, so I have no doubt they’ll get things squared away. Just don’t expect it real soon.

SG: This was one of three games I attended this weekend, and even with the lopsided loss, I do truly believe that Braswell will be just fine. People forget that Guyer and many other quality programs went through a similar shellacking early on before becoming some of the top programs in the area. The same will happen at Braswell. By the way, the Bengals have some quality athletes whose performances were clearly overshadowed by the 55-0 loss. Ki’Andre Jackson rushed for 70 yards and caught two passes for 11 yards in the losing effort.

Argyle at Lovejoy

AB: I was following along in passing on Saturday night and kept seeing a close game and thought, “Wow, that’s a pretty good result for Argyle to beat a solid 5A team.” Then, I heard later on in the night that Tulane pledged quarterback Dane Ledford didn’t play the entire second half after suffering a wrist injury, which is thought to be a sprain. I thought Dillon Carter was going to be the Eagles’ featured running back, but it seems like they found their guy in Don Williams, who had a whale of a game in helping to carry a Ledford-less offense while also displaying what we already knew about the Eagles — their offensive line is off-the-charts good.

SG: Everyone is going to be talking about quarterback Dane Ledford’s wrist injury after this one, and rightfully so. He’s extremely talented and, as of right now, is slated to have an MRI. That’s all we know about the Tulane commit, but we wish him well. As for the game, it shouldn’t be brushed under the rug that Argyle poured it on Lovejoy in the second half – without its quarterback. Don Williams is going to be a dynamic running back.

Pilot Point at Krum

AB: I knew coming into this year Krum had a chance to be a really good team. That will tend to happen in small-school 4A football when you have more than 30 seniors on your roster. It looks like that leadership is paying dividends for the Bobcats early on after their shutout whuppin’ of Pilot Point. Krum had a Cinderella run to the 4A Division II regional final last year, but I’m starting to think they’ll return this year and there will be no “Cinderella” about it.

SG: Another battle of Denton-area teams, and Krum dominated it, 29-0. I read that was the first shutout Pilot Point has suffered since 2011? That’s big, if true. Meanwhile, Krum forced three turnovers, rolled behind a steady run game, and proved it can be a major playoff power this season. Krum ran the ball 50 times compared to just 12 pass attempts. With that being said, quarterback Trent McMillin appears to be a solid addition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guyer’s Walsh heaping praise on offensive line

Guyer head coach John Walsh high-fives players coming off the field against Southlake Carroll, Saturday, November 22, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Guyer head coach John Walsh high-fives players coming off the field against Southlake Carroll, Saturday, November 22, 2014, at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

I’ve been covering Guyer football since that monumental 1-9 season in 2007, and even heading into that season, the Wildcats had two future Big 12 offensive linemen.

Since then, not much has changed, except for the Wildcats’ run of success that has seen them post a 94-22 record since the 2008 season began. In that time, the Wildcats mixed in a trip to the title game in the state’s largest classification (something no other Denton ISD program has accomplished) and back-to-back titles in the old Class 4A in 2012 and 2013.

Through all those successful seasons, there’s been a constant at Guyer — a really strong offensive line and a dominant rushing attack.

With all that said, this year’s prospects in those two areas look to be the strongest in program history. It starts with the running back tandem of senior Myron Mason, who could be a Division I running back by season’s end and sophomore Noah Cain, who was recently ranked as the top back in the Class of 2019 nationally and has several big-time offers after a great freshman year.

But those guys need help, and the offensive line should be ready to provide it this year despite returning just one starter in right guard Colton Kubicek (6-2, 270). Joining him are left tackle John Lanz (6-4, 260), who Walsh swears will be an FBS player, left guard Blake Watson (6-3, 240), who started for Flower Mound last year, center Dylan Alexander (5-11, 245) and right tackle Josh Nicholson (6-2, 230).

Wondering how the Wildcats could be better up front than ever, perhaps, despite four new faces? I was, too.

“We’ve had some really good offensive lines here,” Walsh said. “I’m really excited about this one because they have the talent the others have had but from left to right, it’s business every day, no nonsense, blue-collar and they’re extremely intelligent. When you have that going on up front you don’t have to be too special behind them.

“But we feel like we’re pretty special behind them.”