Weekend recap: Bi-district dandies

Guyer freshman running back Noah Cain (22) cruises into the end zone for a touchdown against Hebron, Friday, November 13, 2015, at Apogee Stadium in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Guyer freshman running back Noah Cain (22) cruises into the end zone for a touchdown against Hebron, Friday, November 13, 2015, at Apogee Stadium in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

The Denton Record-Chronicle lost just one area team over the weekend, meaning we’re all still really busy, so thanks, schools. Keep reading as Steve Gamel and I take a look at the weekend’s action.

Hebron at Guyer

AB: I said before this game that if Guyer could get everything together on offense, they could beat anyone in the 6A Division II bracket. And I still believe that. They’re an incredibly inconsistent team offensively this year, and that was on full display on Friday. Guyer trailed 13-6 at half (even though it easily could’ve been 13-13 if not for a questionable out-of-bounds call on Shawn Robinson’s tremendous run) and trailed 26-13 with 1:40 left in the third quarter. Then, the Wildcats showed up and were that “good” version of themselves. That’s when Guyer began to impose its will on the ground and just ran wild on the Hawks behind Shawn Robinson’s 247 rushing yards and freshman, yes FRESHMAN, Noah Cain’s 177 yards. From that 1:40 mark on, Guyer rushed for 262 of their 532 rushing yards and averaged 13.1 yards per carry. It was almost comical how easy it was for them. Now, Guyer gets a rematch with Southlake Carroll, who ended the Wildcats’ year in the area round last year in a high-scoring affair plagued by Guyer mistakes. If the Wildcats have mistakes like that, or like they did Friday, this game won’t end well for Guyer. If the Wildcats play clean football, like I said, they can beat anyone in front of them because of their defense and their insane rushing attack.

SG: I love reading quotes from Guyer coach John Walsh, don’t you? I mean, this guy laughs in the face of the whole “coach-speak” philosophy and simply tells it like it is – win or lose. I respect that, especially when he went on record with my buddy Adam by saying, “…We collectively screwed it up.” Hebron is obviously a better team than what I saw when Ryan sliced and diced the Hawks in Week 2, but Guyer honestly should have done the same early on in Friday’s first-round playoff game. Walsh clearly agreed. Two takeaways and the Wildcats still trailed 13-6. But, like all championship-caliber teams do – Guyer has won two titles, remember? – the Wildcats didn’t fold. Shawn Robinson and freshman Noah Cain obliterated the Hawk defense with 247 and 177 rushing yards, respectively. Cain, in particular, has been absolutely insane this season and is practically a lock for our DRC all-area newcomer of the year.

Plano East at Ryan

AB: Just sitting here at the office talking to my co-worker Steve, and I told him about my revelation that came full circle over the weekend. As it turns out, Ryan is a really, really good football team. I had pretty much come to that conclusion after the Raiders beat Guyer to close the regular season, but I’m all-in now. They didn’t use their usual defensive dominance to beat Plano East in their bi-district playoff win. Instead, they used a high-flying offensive attack led once again by the great Spencer Sanders. All the stars showed up for the Raiders — Sanders, Gabriel Douglas, Rodney Gladney, and of course, Tyreke Davis, who had a pick-six. Anyway, you don’t go 11-0 without being good, regardless of a lack of competition throughout the season, and the Raiders are a darn good football team. Word of caution for Raiders fans, though: Don’t think you got a break by not having to face previously unbeaten Euless Trinity. SGP can play.

SG: I’ve been saying all year long that Ryan is a more complete team than it is being given credit for, even at 11-0. Not only have the Raiders remained unbeaten, but they’ve won those games in a variety of ways (offense, defense, special teams, low-scoring and high-scoring). On Friday, they went toe-to-toe with a pretty good offensive team in Plano East and flat-out outscored them while rolling up 514 total yards. This could have been a tighter game but Plano East was, in my opinion, too fancy for its own good going for 2-point conversion attempts early in the first half. They missed two in a row, then had an extra point kick blocked and turned the ball over twice. Meanwhile, Ryan didn’t commit a single turnover and at one point lead by 17 early in the second half. Not a bad start at all to the playoffs for Ryan. Next up is South Grand Prairie at AT&T Stadium.

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Weekend recap: Domination station

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on the sideline against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on the sideline against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

I’m getting a little overly clever with my headlines on these things, but if the DRC coverage area was a station, it’d apply well.

Several area teams scored blowout victories in a rain-soaked weekend that saw the majority of the games moved to Thursday, and my cohort Steve and I take a look back at what was a pretty impressive weekend of #txhsfb action in northern Denton County.

Justin Northwest at Ryan

AB: This game went about like I saw it going — an utter demolition of an inferior Northwest team by an unbeaten Ryan team. The fact that it was a 33-0 game at halftime without Ryan’s best player Tyreke Davis after an early ejection was a mild surprise, but just barely. Anyway, enough about this game, let’s move on to what’s important, and that’s this week’s clash with Guyer. We hear all the time that teams don’t look forward and only concentrate on the here and now, and the here and now is finally here. (By the way, I find it near impossible to believe that Ryan’s kids weren’t thinking about what was coming when they were running through Northwest like a hot knife through butter last week). With Ryan’s first-team unit in, the Raiders beat Northwest 40-0 to continue what’s been an amazing run from the Raiders’ defense. Now, they’ll try to keep it up against what appears to be a rejuvenated Guyer offense.

SG: This game was merely a weak appetizer for what everyone in Raider Country has been waiting for, a showdown against Guyer with the District 5-6A title on the line. Ryan has played lights out this year and is the only unbeaten team left in the district, but the only option Ryan has to come away with an outright district title is to beat the Wildcats. Have you bought your ticket yet? It’s gonna be a doozy! In the meantime, there was little doubt Ryan would take care of business against Northwest, which came in with just one win on the season. Ryan’s first teamers jumped out to a 40-0 lead, doing most of it without two-way star Tyreke Davis, who was ejected early in the first quarter. Ryan comes in having allowed 130 points against in nine games. That’s pure domination.

Guyer at Keller Timber Creek

AB: Guyer did exactly what it needed to do on Thursday night, and that was win a game in convincing fashion after a recent cold spell that included a 12-10 win and a shocking loss to a Keller Central team who will likely end the season with its only district win coming over Guyer. Things weren’t looking to rosy for the Wildcats, and then, with a flip of the proverbial switch they played what might have been their best overall game of the season and scored a big win when they needed a big win, not just a win. Shawn Robinson returned from illness and looked good throwing the ball. It wasn’t a perfect night, but compared to what we had been seeing, it was a big step in the right direction. While the offense was coming to life, the defense was doing what it’s done all season, which is dominate folks. This is a program that prides itself on peaking about this time in the season, and we had a lot of reasons to wonder if that was going to happen this year. We’ll know for sure on Friday against Ryan, but it appears the Wildcats are right on schedule.

SG: Shawn Robinson is back, and though I wasn’t there to see this game live, I heard from my buddy Adam that he was in true form while carving up the Timber Creek defense for 160 rushing yards and 184 yards through the air. Robinson scored two touchdowns. Guyer is clearly a better team offensively with Robinson in the game, and even though this hasn’t been his best season since transferring to Guyer, he is clearly a threat. Two games removed from losing their first district game in what seems like ages, the Wildcats are supremely focused on proving they are still the team to beat in this district. Adam texted me late Thursday to tell me he was amped for the upcoming Ryan-Guyer game, and I can’t disagree. Both teams deserve a ton of credit, and it’s exciting to see so much on the line.

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Weekend Recap: Denton ISD, where winners live

Denton junior running back Xavier Scott breaks free against Saginaw Boswell on Friday en route to a huge night in a huge Denton win.

All three Denton ISD teams came home Friday night with wins under their belts, and all three wins were meaningful district victories.

Take a look at the weekend recap with yours truly, and our new full-time Ryan beat writer, the legendary Steve Gamel.

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Weekend Recap: Area thrives while the city sleeps


Lake Dallas junior quarterback Dagan Haehn had a big night as the Falcons defeated Dallas Kimball in Week Four action.

If you wanted to see a good high school football game last week, you had to go outside Denton’s city limits. All three Denton ISD teams were off last Friday as they prepared for the start of district play.

That put the spotlight on the teams around the area. And they didn’t waste their opportunities to shine.

Adam Boedeker and I take a look at some of the big games around the area in this Denton ISD-free edition of the Weekend Recap.

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Weekend Recap: A win for you, and you, and…

David Haynes and the Wildcats bowled over the Wichita Falls Rider in a Week Two matchup between old District 5-4A rivals.

For the second straight week, defeat is a word that hasn’t been associated with many of our local teams. The area’s heavy hitters came up with solid performances for a second straight week, including another undefeated weekend for Denton ISD’s teams.

In the area, Argyle and Lake Dallas came up with huge victories against some good ball clubs.

My usual Monday-morning accomplice, Adam Boedeker, is still getting back from vacation with his family so I’ll be riding solo today in this installment of the weekend recap.

Let’s take a look back at a very good weekend for the area.

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Guyer’s John Walsh did the ALS challenge … and so did I

As you can plainly see, Guyer head football coach John Walsh stepped up to the plate on Wednesday morning, along with his entire staff, and participated in the latest craze, the ALS ice bucket challenge to help raise money for ALS (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease) awareness.

It’s an awful, awful disease for which there is no cure. And while I’ve had my opinions on the recent viral phenomenon, it’s hard to argue with the facts, that it’s raised millions and millions of dollars for ALS research. And that’s obviously a good thing.

So, if you watch the video, you’ll figure out that Walsh and the two-time defending state champions challenged one pretty well-known figure around these parts in Allen head coach Tom Westerburg, or as Walsh accidently called him “Westerburger,” the coach he’ll be looking across the Apogee Stadium field at on Aug. 29. Then, he challenged some scrub known around these parts by the name of Adam Boedeker. Yep, yours truly.

I couldn’t not accept the challenge. Instead of taking the easy way out and having people dump ice water on me in 100-degree heat, I waited until 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday when it was a blustery 91 degrees and dumped the water on myself. So enjoy my video, and my nervous stammering of things like “Guyer Football Wildcats” and “Ice Busket Challenge.”

I challenge Lake Dallas head football coach Michael Young, Guyer head baseball coach Johnny Kinzy, my good buddy Nathan Cross and former Denton Record-Chronicle UNT beat writer Tim MacMahon, now of ESPN Dallas.

I hope all of you do what I did and donate some cash (or skrilla, as the kids might say) to a wonderful cause. Remember, this isn’t about dousing yourself in ice water. Now, it’s time to go warm up. Adios.

Lake Dallas ex-Dalyn Williams makes CFPA Watch List

Former Lake Dallas standout and current Dartmouth quarterback Dalyn Williams was named to the College Football Performance Awards Watch List on Sunday.

Former Lake Dallas standout Dalyn Williams will have a few extra eyes on him when the college football season starts in a few months.

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MLB draft begins tonight

Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick, a former Ryan standout, throws against TCU last month in Fort Worth.

The MLB First-Year Player Draft begins tonight at 6 p.m. and runs through Sunday, and with 40 rounds the list of potential draft picks is a long one.

There are a few local players who could be chosen this year — former area players who have gone on to successful college careers, as well as a current high school player who is set to pitch for Argyle tonight in the Class 3A state title game in Austin.

A look at the local potential picks, in order of probability of being drafted:

Adam Choplick, LHP, Oklahoma (Ryan HS) — The folks at prospectdigest.com suggest Choplick will be a third- or fourth-round selection after a season in which he became the Sooners’ ace in a down year for the program, although one analyst ranks him No. 40 among all the prospects in the draft and as a second-round selection. The thing with Choplick is his potential and ceiling. Who wouldn’t want to take a chance on a 6-8, hard-throwing lefty? Choplick is exactly that, as he averaged 9.46 K/9 innings this year after a second Tommy John surgery as a freshman from which he seems to be fully recovered. He was originally drafted in the 17th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks out of high school, but opted to go to college. Guess here is that if he’s not chosen by the eighth or ninth round, he’ll head back to OU for his senior season and give it another run next year. If he falls past the 10th round, don’t expect to see him drafted at all.

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Guyer clinches a playoff spot out of 5-4A

Guyer first baseman James Farris (left) is congratulated by teammate Daulton Horton after a home run in Friday's win over Trophy Club Nelson.

With the Guyer baseball team’s 7-2 win over rival Lake Dallas on Tuesday night, and a little bit of help from Azle, the Wildcats clinched a playoff spot with three games remaining in the regular season. For Guyer, now it’s all about seeding and pecking order, and well, trying to avoid finishing third or fourth and facing Saginaw Boswell or Birdville in the first round of the playoffs.

Guyer is now in second place by itself, and if the Wildcats can take care of the eliminated Wichita Falls Rider Raiders on Friday, will have a matchup for first place in 5-4A next Tuesday at home against first-place Wichita Falls Coyotes. Rider is out of the playoffs for the first time since 2001, according to our friend Zach Duncan at the Times Record News. Guyer already beat the Coyotes once this season, and with a win would have the season sweep.

Here’s a look at the current 5-4A standings with three games to play:

1. Wichita Falls (9-2); 2. Guyer (8-3); 3. Trophy Club Nelson (7-4); 4. Lake Dallas (7-4); 5. Azle (4-7); 6. Wichita Falls Rider (4-7); 7. Fort Worth Brewer (3-8); 8. Denton (2-9).

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Game Changers: Nov. 5

Game Changers: Nov. 5 from Ben Baby on Vimeo.

We’re only one week away from the end of the regular season. Guyer picked up another easy win, while Ryan and Denton lost in Week 9. Adam Boedeker and I take a look at all of that, including the area’s playoff scenarios and the week’s top performers on this week’s episode of Game Changers. Game Changers is a joint production by the Denton Record-Chronicle and the Mayborn School of Journalism at the University of North Texas.