ARLINGTON – Earlier this week, Ryan head coach Joey Florence said the one thing coaches say when they know chances of winning are fairly slim.
“We’re going to have to play nearly perfect to beat these guys,” Florence said.
Well, things have been far from perfect for the Raiders in today’s Class 5A Division II Region I area game. Waco Midway leads Ryan 23-10 here at Arlington’s AT&T Stadium.
Ryan’s offense looks much better than it did last week, but it’s still having problems scoring in the red zone.
Senior quarterback Mitchell Bridges threw an interception into the end zone, and another Ryan drive stalled inside the Midway 10-yard line.
Ryan’s lone touchdown of the game came on the opening kickoff. Ronnie Coleman received the ball in the end zone. He ran and gave the ball to Xavier Gray, who had his back to the Midway defenders. Gray handed the ball off to Trent Willis, who ran it in for a 91-yard touchdown.
Midway quarterback Ben Hicks has been superb in the first half. He’s completed 15 of 19 passes for 248 yards and a touchdown. He threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Devontre Stricklin with 5:30 left in the half.
Bridges is 7-of-11 passing for 69 yards, an interception and a lost fumble. Bridges was bailed out after his interception when Midway attempted a halfback pass and it was picked off in the Ryan end zone by Cameron Williams.
Still, Ryan’s offense hasn’t looked bad. If Ryan’s secondary can figure out a way to stop Hicks, the Raiders might have a chance of advancing to the next round.
But, the way it looks now, if Florence doesn’t see perfection from his team in the second half, this might be Ryan’s final game of the season.