What you need to know: Denton

Braswell junior running back Ki'Andre Jackson (15) and junior wide receiver Jaeden Johnson (4) celebrate together after they score a touchdown against the Wichita Falls Rider defense at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, October 28, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Braswell junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson (15) and junior wide receiver Jaeden Johnson (4) celebrate together after they score a touchdown against the Wichita Falls Rider defense at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, October 28, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Both of these teams had this game circled on their schedule since before the season kicked off. It’s the beginning of a budding rivalry with Denton looking to keep momentum heading into playoffs, and Braswell getting a chance to upset former teammates and record its first win.

The Game: Denton (8-1) at Braswell (0-9), Thursday, 7 p.m., at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

What happened last week: Braswell played its best game all season in a 57-27 loss to Wichita Falls Rider, and extended its streak of games with a touchdown with four scores. A good majority of Braswell’s roster comes from Denton and there has been a lot of talk between players from both squads.

Denton had its bye last week.

What to expect: Same story, different team. Braswell hasn’t been able to stop the run all season, and with Denton running back Caleb Osuofa averaging close to seven yards per carry and three yards short of 1,000 heading into the contest, it’s safe to say Osuofa will eclipse the rushing milestone on his first carry.

Braswell will score, but it’ll be from former JV Denton Ryan running back Ki’Andre Jackson. The Broncos surrender an average of 354 yards per game, but the Bengals haven’t surpassed the 300-yard mark yet, and they won’t do it against the Broncos.

Final say: The one thing both teams don’t want to see is it getting chippy on the field. Most of these players are friends off the field, and everyone knows what happens to friendships when opposing teams step on the field: they are put aside because there’s a game to play. Braswell doesn’t want to end its season with multiple personal foul penalties and Denton doesn’t want to waste an opportunity to fine tune some things before heading into its bi-district playoff game against a stout Northwest Texans squad.

What you need to know: Wichita Falls Rider

Braswell quarterback Omari Ross (3) barely gets a pass off under Frisco Indepedence defenders during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC Braswell quarterback Omari Ross (3) barely gets a pass off under Frisco Indepedence defenders during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Braswell quarterback Omari Ross (3) barely gets a pass off under Frisco Indepedence defenders during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Braswell returns home for its final two games, and Friday night’s opponent Wichita Falls Rider is still miffed after losing their last two contests.

The Raiders hope to get back on track to secure a playoff spot, while Braswell still longs for that first win. In the last two weeks, the offense has found its stride through the air and Braswell coach Cody Moore hopes his air attack continues.

Same as last week, everybody. An advance will be in tomorrow’s paper, but for now, here are a few things you need to know.

The Game: Wichita Falls Rider (3-5, 2-2 District 5-5A) at Braswell (0-8, 0-4), Friday, 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex

What happened last week: Braswell lost 49-20, but recorded the most points all season and scored through the air for the first time. Rider is coming off their second-straight loss, a 31-13 defeat from Denton.

What to expect: Rider will bounce back behind its backfield, Willie Cherry and Willie Phillips. The Bengals’ defense has yet to stop a team from running the ball and the Raiders — much like Denison last week — will pound the rock.

Final Say: I don’t think the Bengals will surpass the 20 points they scored last week, but they will get on the board. Rider is bitter about the last two weeks, and is looking to turn the final stretch of their season around with a victory. It’s about getting better for Braswell each week, and after the last two weeks, hopefully the offense’s success carries over to the defense.

 

Weekend recap: Winners all around

Guyer senior defensive end Jalen Sutton (17) sacks Wylie senior quarterback Emilio Ames (15) after he fumbles the ball at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, October 21, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Guyer senior defensive end Jalen Sutton (17) sacks Wylie senior quarterback Emilio Ames (15) after he fumbles the ball at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex, Friday, October 21, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

The area was full of winners on Friday night, and even the teams that lost (Sanger and Braswell) had some positives to look at in their own regard.

My loyal sidekick Steve Gamel and I take a look back at the weekend that was in area high school football…

Wylie at Guyer

AB: The Wildcats played flawlessly on defense for a half before a pretty potent offense got to them. Take out the passing game like Guyer did (limiting Emilio Ames’ near 250 yards per game passing to well under 200), and you’re gonna get hit in the run game from time to time. That’s what Wylie did with a couple of well-timed draws to its shifty change-of-pace back, and they worked. Guyer’s offense did enough with Thabo Mwaniki getting the nod at quarterback, and he played well as he led the team in rushing and didn’t make any mistakes. Penalties were an issue again, and that’s something Guyer is simply going to have to clean up in these next two weeks before the money games start.

SG: My buddy Adam Boedeker will tell you this game was not as close as the score indicates, and maybe that’s true. I wasn’t there, after all. But I’m still surprised by the score. Wylie was able to hold Guyer to under 300 rushing yards, which for the Wildcats, is somewhat of an off night. Wylie was also able to pile up nearly 200 yards on the ground against what I believe is an incredibly salty defense. Regardless, it’s another win for Guyer and it comes off the heels of a rough loss to Allen. So kudos to Guyer for getting back in the win column, which is where I think they’ll stay heading into the playoffs.

Ryan at Wichita Falls

AB: It’s to the point now where I’m not really sure what to say about Ryan anymore other than the Raiders dominated another inferior opponent. It’s out of Ryan’s control, once you hit district play, you play who’s on your schedule. But this can’t be helping Ryan, who had one of the best nondistrict schedules in the state and went through it unscathed. But, Ryan opened 5-5A play with Denton, which is clearly the second-best team in the district but is clearly a large step down from Ryan. Since then, it’s been a lot of gross mismatches. That’s going to continue, even into the playoffs as not all 5A playoff teams are legitimate like the 6A run Ryan made last year. The Raiders will get tested, but it’s going to be interesting to see how they respond when that finally happens again.

SG: Man, it sure has been a long time since Ryan was last tested by an opponent, and that happens to coincide with the start of District 5-5A play. With the exception of Denton, which is a good team that the Raiders still were able to beat convincingly in the district opener, the rest of the slate has been incredibly subpar. That includes Wichita Falls, which turned the ball over four times Friday and had zero answers for anything Ryan did. Ryan should finish the regular season unbeaten, and most people still don’t see them getting tested until the third round of the playoffs. That’s a long time between quality opponents, but when you’re as good as Ryan is, everyone tends to look subpar.

Wichita Falls Rider at Denton

AB: Denton put it on Rider, and that’s impressive. Is Rider the dominant force it once was? Not even close, but the Raiders are still a proud program who can beat anyone on any day, and the Broncos ended any doubt pretty quickly. Colt Atkinson had a big night throwing the ball and saw to it that the game was in his team’s favor basically as soon as Denton tied it up at 7-7 in the first quarter. Atkinson used his athletes outside in throwing for better than 350 yards, as Colorado pledge Chris Miller racked up 133 yards on six grabs, including a long 62-yarder for a touchdown. Denton is poised for another nice playoff run, but would eventually run into Ryan.

SG: I actually anticipated this game being a little too close for comfort, so kudos to Denton for putting the kibosh on any sort of wild upset by Rider. Enough about the game, though. Let me say this about Colt Atkinson. In my mind, he doesn’t get a ton of credit for what he’s been able to do at quarterback for this program over the last few years. Being a young guy when he took the reins, he’s seen one graduation after another at wide receiver and running back. But he’s come back and put up solid numbers. The Denton area has great QBs this year in guys like Spencer Sanders at Ryan, Dane Ledford in Argyle and even Brandon Reeves in Krum. Hopefully everyone has Atkinson in that discussion, too.

Braswell at Denison

AB: For a different reason than Ryan, it’s getting hard to write about Braswell each week. The Bengals struggling horribly in not only their first varsity season, but also the first year in the school’s history — a huge disadvantage that many schools don’t face when they open. But, Braswell had some bright spots in its latest setback to a good Denison squad. Granted, the Jackets aren’t known for their defense, but Braswell did have a season-high point total (20) and their the Bengals’ offense is getting more productive with each passing week. We knew it’d be a process, and the process appears to be working for Cody Moore & Co.

SG: Ok, so I’m fixing to talk about another Braswell loss, but let’s be real for a second. Braswell was able to put up 279 total yards and the most points it has scored in any single game this season against a Denison team that is supposed to be the third-best team in District 5-5A. Yes, the result was still a loss – a blowout loss at that. But could Braswell actually getting better? I think so. It’s tough to tell at 0-8, but the stats don’t lie, folks. If the Bengals can show that type of production over their final two games, it will be something to build on – regardless if they don’t win the game.

Sanger at Argyle

AB: Argyle isn’t supposed to be tested in district play, especially not at home. Even though Sanger is a good program, the Indians haven’t had much luck with their arch-nemesis Argyle in recent years. But on Friday, Sanger almost did it and should have gained a lot of confidence from playing down to the wire with a deeper more battle-tested Argyle team at its place where the Eagles are basically unbeatable. Argyle is still the cream of the 4A Division I Region I crop, but Sanger might be looking toward a rematch down the road.

SG: This game was off-the-chain exciting, and it made me wish I could have been in two places at the same time. Sanger hasn’t had much luck against the Eagles in recent years, but this was a true battle between the top two teams in this district and it took a solid defensive performance and a rally by the offense for state-ranked Argyle to pull out the win. It was a tough loss for Sanger, but one the Indians can learn from as they ready for the playoffs. As for Argyle, this is the type of win they can use to light an extra fire as they push for another state title game berth.

Krum at Graham

AB: Graham is down this year, but the Steers are still a proud program and played host to Krum on Friday in a game that literally went down to the bitter end. The Bobcats pulled it out behind, you guessed it, their strong running game and opportune passing game. Their defense has been strong all year and while it struggled at times on Friday night it came up when needed the most and laid the hammer down on Graham at the 1-yard line. Thrilling way to win a game, and Krum marches on.

SG: Krum has been playing some stiff competition all year, and the Bobcats proved once again how difficult an out they are as they held on to beat perennial playoff favorite, Graham, on Friday. The game ended on a defensive stop at the 1-yard line, which is as exciting as it gets in high school football. At the beginning of the year, the sports staff here at the DRC pegged Ryan and Argyle as our two teams that would most likely make a run at a state title. Krum should be in that conversation now, too.

What you need to know: Denison

Braswell junior running back KiÕAndre Jackson (15) evades a tackle , Thursday, September 29, 2016, in , Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Braswell junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson (15) evades a tackle, Thursday, September 29, 2016, in , Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Back in early August, Braswell coach Cody Moore said he looks forward to the final three weeks of the season to see where his first-year program has improved. Well we’re here and he’s seen a a lot of improvement on both sides of the ball.

Although winless, the Bengals have shown glimpses of what they’re capable of. This week they’ll square off against an opponent who has a bitter taste in their mouths after losing by a point.

There will be an advance in tomorrow’s paper on the matchup, but for now here are a few notes.

The Game: Braswell (0-7, 0-4 District 5-5A) at Denison (3-4, 2-1), Friday at 7 p.m. at Munson Stadium

What happened last week: Braswell had one of its best chances to win heading into its matchup against a fellow winless Wichita Falls team, but after a flat first quarter and a few missed opportunities, the Bengals lost 40-9. Denison recorded multiple turnovers, but perhaps its most costly mistake was a failed extra-point attempt on its first scoring drive that ultimately cost the Yellow Jackets in their 21-20 loss to Denton.

What to expect: Denison has a stout defensive front that will make it difficult for Braswell’s running game to get going. As for the Bengals’ passing attack, it’ll have to continue its success of last week. Sophomore quarterback Palmer Campbell had 163 total passing yards heading into last week’s game agains the Coyotes, but he eclipsed that mark with 176 pass yards and a few deep connections to receivers Christian Battle and Jaeden Johnson. Denison has a workhorse at running back, Tre’Lon Lyday. He rushed for over 200 yards and all three of the Yellow Jackets’ scores against the Broncos last week.

Final say: At this point in the season, Moore wants to see improvement heading into the final three weeks of the season. The final score doesn’t matter to him, but he’s hoping his first year could end with a glimpse of what the future holds. Denison will win tomorrow, but I’m expecting one of Campbell’s deep connections to go for a score or two.

What you need to know: Wichita Falls

Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Braswell defensive back Caleb Richardson (7) is surrounded by Frisco Independence tacklers during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

It’s been three days short of a year since Wichita Falls tasted victory. Their last win was October 16, 2015, a 17-10 victory over Saginaw. The Coyotes are looking to break their 10-game losing streak, while Braswell hopes it can make it 11 consecutive Coyote losses.

We’ll have an advance in tomorrow’s paper, but for now, here are a few thoughts.

The Game: Braswell (0-6, 0-3) at Wichita Falls (0-7, 0-3), Friday, 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.

What happened last week: Without a healthy quarterback, Braswell was one dimensional running the ball and only passed twice in a 42-7 loss to Sherman. The Bengals’ lone score came off an impressive 95-yard kickoff returned for a touchdown by defensive back Quinton Draine. Wichita Falls lost to Denton 36-14, but displayed solid defense when it forced the Broncos to two field goals.

What to expect: The Bengals will receive one of their best chances to win a game in their inaugural year, but it won’t be handed to them. Although Braswell is eager to get its first ever win, the Coyotes are desperate to record a win in a dismal 2016 season. The Coyotes do not have a healthy quarterback who can move the sticks very well, so expect running back Stephen Gaines to be in the wildcat formation getting 30-plus touches. With that, you’d expect the Bengals’ defense to stop a one-dimensional Coyote team, but they have yet to stop an opponent’s ground attack all year.

Final Say: Did you pay attention to that last sentence? The Bengals — no matter how one-dimensional an opponent is — have yet to stop a team’s rushing attack. The Braswell defense will be able to stop a ground game when it has an offseason in the weight room under its belt.

Weekend recap: Little bit of everything

Guyer senior linebacker Gio Williams (8) tackles McKinney junior running back Matthew Gadek (9) for no gain on fourth-and-1, Friday, October 7, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Guyer senior linebacker Gio Williams (8) tackles McKinney junior running back Matthew Gadek (9) for no gain on fourth-and-1, Friday, October 7, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

This week’s game in the area featured blowouts, games interrupted by Mother Nature and overtime thrillers between top-notch teams. It gave us a true sample of everything that is great about high school football, and my compadre Steve and I are here to recap the weekend that was Denton-area high school football.

McKinney at Guyer

AB: For the second straight week, Guyer allowed points in the first minutes of a game. For the second straight week, that was all she wrote for the opposing offense. Are Plano East and McKinney world beaters? No, but they both had offenses averaging better than 30 points per game entering their game against Guyer, and the Wildcats dominated. At this point, it’s basically a lock the Wildcats will dominate with their rushing attack, and if their defense keeps doing this, look out. This week will be a stiff test and good barometer as Guyer travels to No. 1 Allen. Check my Twitter (@aboedeker) if you want to see John Walsh’s thoughts on playing the state’s No. 1 team. This is going to be a good one.

SG: Guyer has put up some impressive offensive numbers courtesy of some amazing players on that side of the ball over the years, but the program has always had a suffocating defense. For the second straight week, the Wildcats dominated a District 6-6A opponent thanks to that unit. I’m not shocked, but color me impressed. Head coach John Walsh feels incredibly confident in this group, which could be the catalyst to lead Guyer deep into the playoffs. Not to be outdone, that running game continues to churn out yards. Teams know what’s coming. They can’t stop it.

Denton at Wichita Falls

AB: If we’re being real, it’s going to be really hard to get a good gauge on Denton until the postseason starts, which can be both a blessing and a hindrance, depending on how a team approaches things. This isn’t your father’s District 5-5A, which was a really competitive district the past two years and prepared the Broncos for the playoffs. Wichita Falls is nothing like what Denton will see in November, and frankly, no team they see from here on out will be. Denton has to just focus on making itself better every week, and I fully believe Kevin Atkinson will drill that into his team.

SG: I saw this one coming. I mean, the District 5-5A schedule is not strong beyond Ryan and Denton. Since losing big to Ryan, the Broncos have reestablished themselves as the next-best team in this district. Did I mention the Denton defense forced five turnovers against Old High? Colt Atkinson again turned in solid numbers, and he’s being made to look even better with guys like Chris Houston and running back Caleb Osuofa.

Braswell at Sherman

AB: Things aren’t getting any easier or better for Braswell. The Bengals struggled to move the ball once again — this time against an average Sherman team. The Bengals have suffered tons of bad breaks on the injury front, with every quarterback they roll out there going down to injury, it seems. You have to feel for the Bengals’ players, but the good thing is they’re all underclassmen and can work their tails off for a year after this inaugural season is over.

SG:  A loooooong inaugural season for Braswell continues. Head coach Cody Moore said last week that he wanted to establish the running game against Braswell, mainly for two reasons: 1. Sherman has not done a great job stopping the run so far this season, and 2. The Bengals don’t have a quarterback thanks to a slew of injuries. The plan didn’t work. Braswell not only couldn’t run the ball, but it was held to 75 total yards – all on the ground – in a 42-7 loss.

Argyle at Decatur

AB: Checking on this game from time to time on Twitter, it looked like Argyle was getting its money’s worth from Decatur in both teams’ district opener. With Dane Ledford back in the fold, you have to figure Argyle will hit its stride and begin its journey to another deep playoff run. He had a big game in his return from a fractured wrist, throwing for four touchdowns. Now, we just count down the days until Argyle hoists its most recent district championship trophy…

SG:  I had the privilege of covering this game. I say privilege because it’s always fun watching this Eagles team work. Offensively, Dane Ledford returned from a wrist injury and rolled up nearly 300 yards through the air and four touchdowns. Don Williams rushed for nearly 200 yards and added three total touchdowns (2 rush, 1 pass). Defensively, the Eagles shut down a Decatur offense that definitely has some stars. Overall, solid win for Argyle to start off district play.

Krum at Iowa Park

AB: Since losing to Sanger in Week 2, Krum has made everyone in its way pay dearly for what was a hard-fought, close loss. The Bobcats did it again on Friday night in an epic clash with previously unbeaten Iowa Park, and they did it on the road in a tough environment. Once again, Krum did most of its damage with its pounding rushing attack led by quarterback Brandon Reeves and running back Haeden Knight, as well as its suffocating defense. Krum has established itself as a favorite to make it out of Region I in Class 4A Division II — not bad for a fledgling program.

SG:  Can Brandon Reeves be any more amazing than he already has this season? I mean, seriously … seven touchdowns? With that type of performance against a previously-unbeaten team, it’s shocking this game went three overtimes. Had Reeves not been in Krum’s corner, things would not have turned out the same for the Bobcats. Krum is rolling y’all. It doesn’t look like that will change anytime soon.

Sanger at Wichita Falls Hirschi

AB: This game was played over two days thanks to Mother Nature, and after the delay, Sanger got the better of a game Hirschi squad. Surprise, surprise: The Indians relied heavily upon their ground game behind running backs Dameon Moser and Gavin Brown — so much so they didn’t even need quarterback CJ Jackson to do too much.

SG: This game was interesting in the sense that it was delayed due to weather, and before the delay, Sanger was trailing 28-14. The Indians regrouped in a big way to win 49-41 and did so by leaning on the running back combo of Dameon Moser and Gavin Brown. The duo combined for 342 yards and six scores.

What you need to know: Sherman

Braswell junior running back KiÕAndre Jackson (15) evades a tackle , Thursday, September 29, 2016, in , Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Braswell junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson (15) evades a tackle , Thursday, September 29, 2016. Jeff Woo/DRC

Braswell is set for the first of three straight road games as it travels to play the Sherman Bearcats Friday. The Bengals will lean on a backfield led by junior running back Ki’Andre Jackson. The 5-foot-7, 181 pounder is one of the few bright spots in the Bengals’ offense this year. With a struggling passing game (52 yards per game) and a rushing attack that is just under 100 yards per contest, the Bengals will try to use its ground attack to possibly notch its first win of the year.

Here are some brief notes on the game before my advance in tomorrow’s paper.

The Game: Braswell (0-5, 0-1 District 5-5A) at Sherman (2-4, 0-2 district), Friday at 7 p.m. at Bearcat Stadium.

What happened last week: The Bengals fell to the No. 3 ranked Ryan Raiders 38-7 last Thursday. Braswell’s lone touchdown came in the third quarter on a routine zone play Jackson took 75 yards for the score. Sherman fell to Denton, but only trailed by one score at halftime before the Broncos outscored the Bearcats 21-14 in the second half.

What to expect: A bout between two bell cow running backs. Sherman’s running back Nathaniel Omayebu has already surpassed the 1,000-yard milestone through the first six games this season. Jackson said he’s more than ready to tote the rock 30-plus times for the Bengals Friday, but he’s most excited to know he’ll burst for a few long gains against a Sherman defense that surrenders 246 yards per game.

Final say: I think if Braswell coach Cody Moore sticks to his game plan, his Bengals can score as many touchdowns as they’ve scored all season (3). The Bengal defense needs to be able to stop Omayebu, because he’s what makes the Sherman offense run. Both teams are looking for a district win, while Braswell hopes it can record its first win in program history. With Sherman returning 11 defensive starters, I think their experience will be a key factor, especially in the second half.

What you need to know: Kaufman

Frisco Independence running back Brandon Williams (32) is gang tackled by Braswell s Donovun Longoria (23), Luis Hrenandez (40), Brendan Aland (44) and Devin Aguilar (27) during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC Frisco Independence running back Brandon Williams (32) is gang tackled by Braswell s Donovun Longoria (23), Luis Hrenandez (40), Brendan Aland (44) and Devin Aguilar (27) during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Frisco Independence running back Brandon Williams (32) is gang tackled by Braswell s Donovun Longoria (23), Luis Hrenandez (40), Brendan Aland (44) and Devin Aguilar (27) during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC Frisco Independence running back Brandon Williams (32) is gang tackled by Braswell s Donovun Longoria (23), Luis Hrenandez (40), Brendan Aland (44) and Devin Aguilar (27) during their game at C.H. Collins Friday September 2, 2016, in Denton, Tx. Photo by Al Key/for the DRC

Braswell travels to play Class 4A Kaufman Friday. The Lions are coming off their best finish in school history and have 12 returning starters, so the Bengals will have a tough test on a long road trip.

We will have an advance in tomorrow’s paper on head coach Cody Moore’s assessment of the Lions, and a few players’ take on Kaufman. For now, here’s some brief notes.

The Game: Braswell (0-3) at Kaufman (1-2), Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Kaufman Lions Stadium

What happened last week: The Bengals trailed by two points at halftime against Reedy, but ultimately lost the contest 28-12. Braswell did find a new starting quarterback in former third-string signal caller sophomore Palmer Campbell and recorded the first points in program history with running back Ki’Andre Jackson’s 58 and 70-yard touchdown runs.

Kaufman lost to Bishop Lynch 28-14 and recorded five turnovers. Starting quarterback Jefferson Fritz did not play against Lynch due to a foot injury he sustained the week prior.

What to expect: Moore is preparing his defense as if the dynamic Fritz will play, but it has been reported as of Monday’s practice Fritz is highly unlikely to see the field. If Fritz can’t play, wide receiver Jacob Nalls will likely get the start.

Although the Lions pride themselves as a run-first team, the Bengals’ defense has to prepare for anything. Kaufman’s two scores against Lynch were through the air on passes of 73 and 79 yards. They ran the ball 32 times to only 15 passes, but Braswell’s secondary must stay back to avoid the deep play.

Final say: I believe the Bengals will be able to continue to move the ball on offense, and we’ll see one maybe two explosive pass plays that go for touchdowns. Moore has been waiting for that explosive pass play, so it’s possible we’ll see Campbell hit one of his receivers deep. Defensively, the Bengals have to force Kaufman into third-and-long situations and get off the field when that time comes.

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.

 

 

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.