If you were at Apogee Stadium today, you witnessed something you probably won’t ever see again.
Ryan erased a 31-point deficit and defeated Keller Fossil Ridge 42-37 in the Class 5A Division II regional semifinal. The Raiders will face Cedar Hill next week, and according to Ryan head coach Joey Florence, time and place still haven’t been determined.
If you missed the game, you can find the box score right here.
Florence has done a lot of things in 14 seasons at Ryan, and what happened today will rank up there as one of the greatest feats he’s accomplished.
When Ryan picked up its initial first down of the contest, the Raiders were already losing 31-0. So, Fossil Ridge had more touchdowns than Ryan had first downs.
Then, Ryan scores before the end of the first half, and that was the spark the Raiders needed. Fossil Ridge played way too conservatively in the second half, and Ryan came as close to playing a perfect half as you’re going to see.
Right before Ryan scored to make the game 31-16, I leaned over to Steve Gamel, who was also covering the game for us, and I said this could become a ballgame if Ryan scored.
That’s how insane that comeback was. Halfway through the fourth quarter, you could feel all the momentum shifting over to Ryan’s sidelines.
On Fossil Ridge’s second-to-last possession, the Panthers could have taken the lead with a touchdown. But Ryan’s defense line came up with a few big sacks and the Raiders took over on Fossil Ridge’s 11-yard line.
Ryan senior quarterback Mitchell Bridges scored his third rushing touchdown of the game with 24 seconds left, and that sealed it.
As for next week, there was a lot of confusion on Twitter about the next week’s game against Cedar Hill. Corbett Smith of The Dallas Morning News and Ryan Cox of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram both said Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire said it’d be on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Southlake Carroll, where the teams played last year’s area playoff game.
Florence and Denton ISD AD Ken Purcell both said that was false. Both parties talked about it earlier in the week, but after an exhausting Saturday, they’d pick up negotiations on Sunday morning, Purcell said.
Purcell said the two coaches will most likely have a flip to play at Midlothian or at UNT’s Apogee Stadium.
When we hear something, we’ll have it on here. But as for now, just relax and digest the football that’s been played on Thanksgiving weekend.