Denton-area basketball players among nominees for McDonald’s All-American Games

Argyle's Vivian Gray, center, celebrates with her teammates as they win over Waco La Vega during the UIL Girls Basketball 4A State Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Stephen Spillman/Special Contributor)

Argyle’s Vivian Gray, center, celebrates with her teammates as they win over Waco La Vega during the UIL Girls Basketball 4A State Championship at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Saturday, March 5, 2016. (Stephen Spillman/Special Contributor)

The nominee list for the 40th McDonald’s All-American Games is out. Below is the list of Denton-area nominees for the girls squad. The boys team does not have any nominees from the Denton area.

It should be noted that this is part of the very early stages of the selection process for this particular All-American game. According to an official press release, players from 45 states and the District of Columbia were nominated by high school coaches, athletic directors, principals and members of the McDonald’s All-American Games Selection Committee.

The final roster of 24 boys and 24 girls will be announced Jan. 15 on the McDonald’s All-American Games Selection Show on ESPNU. The games will be played March 29, 2017 at the United Center in Chicago.

2017 All-American Games Nominees (Girls — Denton Area ONLY):

Emily Earley–Liberty Christian School–Argyle, TX 
Vivian Gray–Argyle High School–Argyle, TX 
Kayla Haynes–Argyle High School–Argyle, TX 
Lauren Heard–John H. Guyer High School–Denton, TX 
Jocelyn Pierce–Argyle High School–Argyle, TX 
Madison Ralston–Argyle High School–Argyle, TX
Brittany Hamilton–Argyle High School–Argyle, TX 

Football: Sanger’s Chuck Galbreath named full-time AD, Ford becomes new head coach

Sanger head football coach and district athletic director Chuck Galbreath confirmed Friday he has stepped down as coach to focus solely on his duties as athletic director.

Galbreath is 64-44 in 10 seasons at Sanger while holding both positions, which is not uncommon for smaller school districts. However, many districts are moving toward separating the roles, Galbreath said, and now is a good time for Class 4A Sanger to follow that lead.

Galbreath

Galbreath

Offensive coordinator Cole Ford is the Indians’ new head coach, effective immediately.

“This has been discussed for a couple of years,” Galbreath said. “A lot of school districts, particularly the larger ones, have a [full-time] athletic director. I am absolutely OK with this. It was ultimately my decision, and upper administration said it would be on my timing.”

Galbreath is a 1984 graduate of Sanger and his coaching career includes a short stint as the head coach at Cooper, and one year as an assistant at Ryan. He left coaching and was in the private sector for just more than two years before being hired at Sanger in 2007.

Sanger has made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons under Galbreath. The Indians posted a combined 19-5 record between the 2014 and 2015 seasons and advanced to the second round of the playoffs each time.

Sanger finished 6-5 in 2016 and lost in the first round to Brownwood.

While he has enjoyed being a football coach, Galbreath said his long-term goal always has been to improve the overall athletic department at Sanger. Making this move allows him to dive deeper into several projects, including facility upgrades and the potential addition of sports programs in the next few years.

Argyle football coach and athletic director Todd Rodgers, whose program has long been a Sanger rival, said he’s excited for Galbreath and his new opportunity.

“Our communities are growing and the AD role is taking a greater toll on time,” said Rodgers, who also acknowledged the trend of school districts moving toward separating positions. “I’m sure he’s doing his dead-level best to manage that and try to be the head football coach. For him to be able to do this and meet the needs of the school district from the athletic director standpoint versus the combined spot, I’m happy for him.”

Galbreath added that it’s a win-win for everyone involved, especially Ford, who has performed well in his four years as the offensive coordinator at Sanger and deserved an opportunity to lead the program.

“We feel he’s the guy that can take over, and it will be great for the program,” Galbreath said. “I’m a Sanger guy and always have been. I’m looking forward to this.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

Ryan QB Sanders has torn ACL, surgery upcoming

Ryan junior quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) sits on the sideline due to an injury at AT&T Stadium, Saturday, December 10, 2016, in Arlington, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Ryan junior quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) sits on the sideline due to an injury at AT&T Stadium, Saturday, December 10, 2016, in Arlington, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders has a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, confirming what many close to the situation anticipated after he was injured in last weekend’s Class 5A Division I state semifinal loss to Highland Park.

Sanders, a junior who is verbally committed to Oklahoma State, shared the news in a text message Tuesday morning with the Denton Record-Chronicle. His surgery is slated for Dec. 23.

Sanders was injured Saturday with roughly seven minutes to play in the first half when he was tackled on a 6-yard run to the Highland Park 7-yard line. Sanders said his knee buckled on the play as defenders piled on top of him. He was helped from the field and stood on the sideline with crutches for the remainder of the game.

“It was more that there were people on my back,” Sanders said immediately after the game. “I was crouching and I guess it was just too much pressure on my knee and I went down on it. Whatever it is, it will be fixed.”

Ryan went on to lose to the Scots, 31-24.

“It’s a tough break for Spencer, and it was obviously a tough break for our team,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. “We’re all disappointed, but the blessing is that it’s only his ACL. I’m not trying to downplay the ACL part, I’m just saying that it could have been a lot worse with more ligament damage.

“Spencer has the right mentality. He will be back.”

Sanders passed for 3,258 yards, rushed for another 1,099 and accounted for 56 total touchdowns. He verbally committed to OSU in October and is currently the No. 14 dual-threat quarterback in his class according to 247Sports’ national rankings.

This is Sanders’ second season-ending knee injury. He suffered a similar injury to his left knee as a freshman in a late-season loss to Keller. He missed the next two games and Ryan finished 5-5 to miss the playoffs. Sanders returned from that injury in four months and started all of Ryan’s games in 2015 as the Raiders finished 13-1 in Class 6A.

Ryan (14-1 in 2016) is 32-7 over the last three seasons. In four of those seven losses, Sanders either didn’t finish the game or didn’t play at all due to injury.

Not only did Sanders’ injury come at the worst time for the football team, but it also impacts other sports at Ryan. Sanders was expected to start in basketball and has also competed on the track team.

“The normal recovery time is six months,” Henigan said. “Spencer has great work ethic, he’s tough and he’s got good muscle structure. So I’m sure he will have a great rehab. The other benefit is we won’t have spring ball, so he’s got time.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

 

 

 

What you need to know: Highland Park

Colleyville Heritage senior quarterback Cam Roane (15) rushes the ball and gets tackled by Ryan senior defensive back Delano Robinson (10) at AT&T Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2016, in Arlington, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Colleyville Heritage senior quarterback Cam Roane (15) rushes the ball and gets tackled by Ryan senior defensive back Delano Robinson (10) at AT&T Stadium, Saturday, December 3, 2016, in Arlington, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

In what is being billed as a battle of two great defenses, Ryan and Highland Park square off tomorrow at AT&T Stadium in a Class 5A Division I state semifinal. It’s a monster game considering it features two tradition-rich programs, plenty of storylines, and of course, the whole state title game berth on the line thing.

That means anything can happen. So sit back, relax and allow me to share some small nuggets of truth before my longer game advance in tomorrow’s Denton Record-Chronicle. Enjoy!

The Game: No. 4 Ryan (14-0) vs Highland Park (12-2), Saturday, 1:30 p.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Series Record: Ryan leads the all-time series 2-1. This is the first meeting since 2005, though incidentally, Ryan beat the Scots in the 2003 state semifinals to advance to what was their fourth-straight state title game.

What happened last week: Ryan beat Colleyville Heritage 24-10. Highland Park held off Mansfield Legacy, 14-7.

What to expect: Expect anything. Both defenses have played absolutely out of their mind all season long. Highland Park is giving up an average of 13.5 points per game while Ryan is averaging 16.1 points against through 14 games. That would make for a low-scoring game, but as I said, expect anything. Ryan’s offense is averaging just more than 40 points per game and features a Division I quarterback in Spencer Sanders, a Division I linebacker who also plays running back in Tyreke Davis and a Division I wide receiver in Gabriel Douglas. Add in receiver Tauskie Dove, who is Division I material in a lot of people’s minds, and you have a ton of weapons to contend with. Highland Park is here for a reason, though, and not only have the Scots made a career out of winning big games, they also don’t make a ton of mistakes.

Final say: I was talking to my compadre, Adam Boedeker, yesterday and he made the comment that I might be underestimating Highland Park. Quite the contrary. I’m not underestimating the Scots. I’d be stupid to do that. But with that said, I don’t think I am overestimating Ryan, either. My thoughts boil down to this: if Ryan wins, everyone will say they expected that to happen. If Highland Park were to win, many people would consider it an upset on some level. Also, Ryan is undefeated. So for the Scots, to be the man you have to beat the man.

Prediction: Ryan 30, Highland Park 14.

Football: Lake Dallas lineman commits to Texas State

Lake Dallas High School offensive lineman Segun Ijiyera (70), an area standout, follows a play during the first half as Prestonwood Christian Academy hosted Lake Dallas High School at Lions Stadium in Plano on Friday night, September 9, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Lake Dallas High School offensive lineman Segun Ijiyera (70), an area standout, follows a play during the first half as Prestonwood Christian Academy hosted Lake Dallas High School at Lions Stadium in Plano on Friday night, September 9, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Segun Ijiyera’s commitment to Texas State on Sunday couldn’t have worked out better for both parties. Ijiyera, a career offensive tackle at Lake Dallas, wanted to try his hand at defensive line, and the Bobcats had a need at the position.

Ijiyera had eight offers to sift through, but at that point, Texas State was a no-brainer.

“They offered me as an offensive lineman a long time ago,” Ijiyera said. “I played defense this year a little bit, and I felt like that’s where I could play in college. This feels good. It’s something I’ve been thinking about.”

Ijiyera also had offers from schools such as North Texas, Tulane, Nevada, Sam Houston and Southern Mississippi.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding. The first day Ijiyera can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

The 6-2, 270-pound Ijiyera has predominately been an offensive lineman during his career with the Falcons. He played on both sides of the ball this year due to injuries to several teammates, recording 31 tackles (9 for loss) with one sack.

Ijiyera said the opportunity to play defense at the next level involved getting some help from an old teammate. Former Lake Dallas quarterback Dagan Haehn, who went to Kansas but since has transferred to Texas State, put in a good word for Ijiyera when the two recently spoke.

“I told [Dagan] that I’d love to play defense in college, and next thing I know he gets a chance to talk to the coach and he told them about me,” Ijiyera said. “They watched my film and liked what they saw.”

Lake Dallas coach Michael Young agreed that this is a perfect fit.

“He had been leaning this way for a while,” Young said of Ijiyera. “I think his visit [to Texas State] helped throw it over the top.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

 

What you need to know: Colleyville Heritage

Denton Ryan wide reciever Tauskie Dove catches a pass from quarterback Spencer Sanders deep in Plainsmen territory and runs it in for a touchdown early in a 5A Division I regional semifinal playoff game on Friday, Nov. 25 against Lubock Monterey at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. photo by Gary Rhodes

Denton Ryan wide reciever Tauskie Dove catches a pass from quarterback Spencer Sanders deep in Plainsmen territory and runs it in for a touchdown early in a 5A Division I regional semifinal playoff game on Friday, Nov. 25 against Lubock Monterey at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.
photo by Gary Rhodes

Buckle up: Ryan travels to AT&T Stadium in Arlington tomorrow to take on Colleyville Heritage in a Class 5A Division I Region I final. Heritage is on a roll and has already matched the longest playoff run in school history. Meanwhile, Ryan has been to the state quarterfinals lots of times, including just last year.

What will happen? I’m not sure, but this has all the makings of a great game to determine who moves on to the state semifinals.

A longer game advance will be in tomorrow’s Denton Record-Chronicle. In the meantime, here are some things you need to know:

The Game: No. 4 Ryan (13-0) vs Colleyville Heritage (10-3), Saturday, 10:30 a.m. at AT&T Stadium in Arlington.

Series Record: Colleyville Heritage leads the all-time series 4-3. This is the first meeting between the two programs since 2013.

What happened last week: Ryan beat Lubbock Monterey, 38-21. Colleyville Heritage beat Lubbock Coronado, 43-34.

What to expect: A great game. Ryan and Heritage have explosive playmakers on offense, and are loaded on defense. That combination is an obvious reason why they are both here in this round. Heritage quarterback Cam Roane can make every throw and is not afraid to get everyone involved in the passing game. He will need to in order to have a chance at keeping Ryan’s suffocating defense guessing. Meanwhile, Ryan QB Spencer Sanders is dangerous in the run game and through the air with 54 total touchdowns. He’s had help in the run game this postseason from Tyreke Davis, a starting linebacker who also plays running back. Davis is a key to making Ryan’s offense go, and he’s a guy the Raiders did not have in this same round last year due to injury.

Final say: Jerry World will be rockin’ for this one, and for good reason. I can totally see this one coming down to who can make the most plays and least mistakes in the fourth quarter. With that said, I have to say that team will be Ryan. At 13-0, the Raiders haven’t given anyone a reason to doubt them.

Prediction: Ryan 40, Colleyville Heritage 24.

Guyer stud sophomore dealing with stress fracture

Guyer forward Jalen Wilson (10) puts one up over South Grand Prarie senior forward Cameron McGriff in a playoff game last season. David Minton/DRC

Guyer forward Jalen Wilson (10) puts one up over South Grand Prarie senior forward Cameron McGriff in a playoff game last season. David Minton/DRC

The star-studded Guyer boys basketball team will be down one of its best players as sophomore Jalen Wilson will miss the next 4-6 weeks of action with a stress fracture in his foot.

The absence begins tonight, as the Wildcats’ second-leading scorer will miss Guyer’s game at Flower Mound Marcus.

Guyer head coach Grant Long said Wilson had some pain in his foot after the Wildcats’ season-opener in which he scored 22 points, and the pain got worse after last week’s win, when he scored 11 points.

“I think the new shoes he’s wearing might have had something to do with it,” Long said. “The way he was running was hurting him, but he got some custom inserts from a doctor that hopefully will help him when he gets back.”

Long said he hopes to have Wilson, who has offers from Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, back in the lineup for the Wildcats’ District 6-6A opener against fellow district favorite Allen on Jan. 3

On the plus side for Guyer (1-1), the Wildcats get senior three-year starter Jake Roberts back in the lineup on Tuesday night to add a much-needed threat as the team’s top outside shooter. He had been nursing an ankle injury since the season began.

“We’re definitely thankful for that,” Long said. “He brings us that outside shooter that is tough to handle with our inside-outside presence. We can’t wait to be full strength [when Wilson returns], but we’ll take this as a positive with other guys that are new to our team having a chance to build that chemistry and get good playing time.”

That most notably means more minutes for 6-6 freshman forward JaKobe Coles, who scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds with four blocked shots in Guyer’s win last week over Dallas Madison.

“We never want to be missing a guy, but we have to find a positive out of it and we’re deep enough for another guy to step up and pick him up,” Long said. “We know the biggest part of the season is district time and playoff time, and that’s the time we want to be our best.”

 

 

What you need to know: Lubbock Monterey

Ryan senior running back Tyreke Davis (21) celebrates with junior quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) after he scores a touchdown at Northwest ISD Stadium, Friday, November 18, 2016, in Justin, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Ryan senior running back Tyreke Davis (21) celebrates with junior quarterback Spencer Sanders (3) after he scores a touchdown at Northwest ISD Stadium, Friday, November 18, 2016, in Justin, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Happy Thanksgiving week, y’all! With tomorrow being Turkey Day, I’m getting this short blog out a day earlier than normal. I hope you don’t mind.

So let’s get right down to it. Ryan travels to Abilene this week to take on Lubbock Monterey at Shotwell Stadium in a Class 5A Division I Region I semifinal. It’s the first meeting between the two schools, and a Ryan win would give the program 13 wins in back-to-back seasons. Monterey would love to spoil that opportunity while picking up a huge win over the No. 4 team in the state.

I ventured out to Ryan twice this week watch a little bit of practice, and at least from what I saw, the Raiders are itching to get back out on the field. I also took the time to chat with Ryan coach Dave Henigan and Monterey coach Wayne Hutchinson. All of that, including more reactions from players, will be in my game advance story in Friday’s Denton Record-Chronicle.

In the meantime, here’s what you need to know:

The Game: No. 4 Ryan (12-0) vs Lubbock Monterey (10-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m. at Shotwell Stadium in Abilene.

Series Record: This is the first meeting between the two schools.

What happened last week: Ryan beat Richland 34-13. Lubbock Monterey beat El Paso Eastlake 59-26 in its area-round game.

What to expect: I haven’t seen Lubbock Monterey play, but I believe a lot will hinge on what quarterback Jaron Jones can or cannot do against Ryan’s defense. Jones is a dual-threat guy and Henigan has already told me he’s one of the more explosive QB’s Ryan will see this season. That’s quite a compliment since Ryan has seen quarterbacks like Trevor Hatton in Lancaster, Kaleb Fletcher at Mesquite Poteet and Jason Shelley at Frisco Lone Star, to name a few. Then there’s the overall explosiveness Ryan possesses on offense. Henigan insists Ryan will have its hands full, but I think the same can be said for Monterey.

Final say: Lubbock Monterey is no slouch, but Ryan simply has too many weapons. I think the Raiders pick up their 13th win of the year and advance.

Prediction: Ryan 40, Lubbock Monterey 14.

Weekend recap: And then there were two

Ryan senior running back Tyreke Davis (21) pushes through the Richland defense and scores a touchdown at Northwest ISD Stadium, Friday, November 18, 2016, in Justin, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Ryan senior running back Tyreke Davis (21) pushes through the Richland defense and scores a touchdown at Northwest ISD Stadium, Friday, November 18, 2016, in Justin, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

And then there were two. It was a well-played and at the same time brutal second round of the playoffs for Denton-area teams. We went into the week with five teams, and only Ryan and Argyle survived to play another round.

Sit back and relax as my sidekick Adam Boedeker and I take a look back at what got us to this point.

Ryan vs Richland

SG: Ryan continues to be a statistical nightmare for opponents. Not only did Richland have to contend with the ever-present danger of Spencer Sanders being able to use his legs and rocket arm, but Tyreke Davis got into the action by spurring on a solid run game. Combine that with Sanders and the solid receiving night Tauskie Dove had, and Ryan rolled up over 500 total yards. I spoke to Davis after the game and he couldn’t have been more excited. The Raiders’ featured back from a year ago hasn’t been needed as much on that side of the ball and came into this game with just three rushing scores. He equaled that mark on a night where he piled up 170 rushing yards. Not too shabby. Next up is Lubbock Monterey at the old Shotwell Stadium in Abilene. This will be my first trip to Shotwell since 1997. P.S. The team I was there to cover that year won big. We’ll see what happens when the Raiders come to town.

AB: Ryan’s playoff road is going to get tougher with each passing week, and this game was a step in that direction. OK, I take that back, throw this next week’s game against Lubbock Monterey out of that equation, but after that it’s going to be harder each week. Richland showed some promise early in the game behind a surprisingly effective run game, but I imagine that had a lot to do with Ryan completely taking away Richland’s passing game — its bread and butter all season. I’ve been waiting for Ryan to demonstrate a running game to speak of other than Spencer Sanders, and they did it with an old familiar face in Tyreke Davis, whose 49-yard parting-of-the-Red-Sea scamper put Ryan on the board early in that game. He had a monster game on the ground and will need to have some more games like that down the road.

Guyer vs Cedar Hill

SG: Well, Adam, you called it. You said earlier this week that this matchup had the makings of an instant classic, and for the most part, it was. Guyer surprised many by jumping out to a huge lead … but as good as Guyer is, so is Cedar Hill. You had to know this would come down to the wire, and it did as Cedar Hill pulled off yet another second-half rally to bounce the Wildcats from the playoffs. It’s a shame Guyer’s season ends following a game in which it rushed for 239 yards and jumped out to a 21-7 lead at halftime. But the Wildcats were held to 30 yards over the final 24 minutes. That’s not going to win you very many games. The good news is coach John Walsh knows what he’s doing and he’ll have Guyer back and ready to go for next season. If nothing else, this loss will definitely light a fire.

AB: After the first quarter of this game, I thought Guyer was going to completely blow the doors off Cedar Hill in pretty stunning fashion, and I wasn’t the only one who thought that judging by reaction from Twitter’s #txhsfbmediamafia. At halftime, I still thought Guyer was going to win fairly easily despite neither team scoring in the second quarter. Then, the Wildcats were held to 30 yards of total offense — 30 yards! — in the second half. Credit the Longhorns’ defense for that, but there are some plays from that game that Guyer will be second-guessing itself on for a while, including a holding call that negated a Noah Cain touchdown run in the final minute of the first half that would’ve sent Guyer to halftime with a 28-7 lead. I can’t say enough about Guyer’s defense, which had played great all year with the exception of two games against arguably the two best teams in the state, Allen and DeSoto. Against a high-octane Cedar Hill offense, Guyer allowed two touchdowns and a field goal after the first minute of the game. That was good enough to win, it just didn’t work out for them.

Argyle vs Lubbock Estacado

SG: Everybody now … duh duh duh, another one bites the dust. Duh duh duh, another one bites the dust. And another one comes, and another one comes … OK, I’ll stop. But seriously, folks. Argyle had its way with Lubbock Estacado, 63-7. Scores like that shouldn’t really happen in the postseason, but occasionally they do when you run into a buzz saw such as the Eagles. It was a balanced attack, too, with 255 yards through the air and 217 on the ground. And from what I can tell, the Eagles were only penalized twice for 32 yards. Next up is longtime foe Abilene Wylie on Friday in Mineral Wells. This will likely be a tighter game as both teams know one another all too well.

AB: The Argyle playoff machine appears to be rolling full steam ahead now after a somewhat surprising first-round win given the fact it was relatively close for a while against a one-win team. This one was much different.  It was 49-0 at half before the Eagles eventually won 63-7. Next up? A much-anticipated clash with traditional rival Abilene Wylie — one that was supposed to take place in nondistrict but was canceled due to inclement weather. Wylie typically plays Argyle very close and tough, but Argyle finds a way to pull it out in the end. We’ll see if the Eagles can do it again.

Krum vs Sweetwater

SG: Ouch. I think it’s safe to say Sweetwater had revenge on its mind heading into Friday’s area-round game against the Bobcats. All of us in the office were expecting Krum to make a long run this year given all the talented senior leadership, and it’s honestly a shame the season had to end in this way. Sweetwater, after losing big to Krum last year, rebounded with a 40-14 win in the rematch. Krum fell behind 34-0 and that was by halftime. With all that being said, Krum coach Gary Robinson is a favorite of ours and we’re sure he will get his team back in the hunt next year. Krum is not that old of a program, and what most people may not realize is that the Bobcats have made the postseason every year they’ve been in existence. They won their first playoff game two years ago and nearly made it to the state tournament last year. Krum will be back, folks. And we can’t wait.

AB: This might be the most shocking result of the weekend for me. Krum came into this game looking every bit the part of a team that could make a really serious run into December behind its stellar rushing attack and suffocating defense along with tons of beef in the trenches. Instead, Sweetwater got sweet revenge with a 40-14 win over Krum after Krum’s 31-0 playoff victory over the Mustangs last year. Krum trailed 34-0 at halftime, as Sweetwater proved to be a really legitimate state contender in 4A Division II.

Aubrey vs Jasper

SG: Another team I expected would find a way to advance to the next round. Unfortunately for the Chaps, you don’t win many games when you turn the ball over and give up too many big plays. Jasper scored 21 points in the second quarter and intercepted Aubrey three times en route to what only amounted to a 14-point win. Take away one or two defensive mistakes, or a turnover, and things may have been different for Aubrey. It’s a frustrating way to end a season, but Aubrey coach Keith Ivy has a lot to be proud of. I’ve said it before, but this program was in rough shape just two seasons ago. Now they’ve made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and were in contention for a district crown.

AB: Aubrey coach Keith Ivy had told me to beware of Jasper running back Decorrian Holmes, and the Chaparrals were able to keep him relatively quiet for much of Friday’s game against Jasper — a game the Chaps led 7-0 after the first quarter.  Aubrey eventually trailed 21-7 at halftime before tying the game at 21-21 in the third quarter behind another rushing effort from sophomore Gatlin Grisso. Then, Holmes exploded, returning a kickoff 80 yards and then rushing for a fourth-quarter touchdown to put the nail in Aubrey’s proverbial coffin.

 

 

 

What you need to know: Richland

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan celebrates his team's victory after the game at C.H. Collin Athletic Complex, Friday, September 16, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan celebrates his team’s victory after the game at C.H. Collin Athletic Complex, Friday, September 16, 2016, in Denton, Texas, Jeff Woo/DRC

Ryan’s postseason road just got a bit more interesting as it readies to face Richland tomorrow in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. The Raiders are easily one of the favorites to compete for a state title in Division I, and a favorite in this game, too. But Richland is no slouch.

Like Ryan, Richland (10-1) has been beating up on opponents, so this is a chance to see one of the better teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth area go toe-to-toe with state-ranked Ryan. What will happen? I don’t know. But it will be fun to watch.

Same drill, folks. I’ve got a game advance story coming out tomorrow. But in the meantime, here are some things you need to know.

The Game: No. 4 Ryan (11-0) vs Richland (10-1), Friday, 7 p.m. at Northwest ISD Stadium.

Series Record: Ryan is 4-0 all time against Richland. The last meeting between these two programs was in 2005.

What happened last week: Ryan beat Fort Worth Brewer 54-13. Richland started slow before beating previously-unbeaten Fort Worth South Hills, 42-35.

What to expect: A good game. Richland can put points on the scoreboard thanks to a solid quarterback in Trae Self and a dominant receiver in Landon Le. I expect this game to be a bit different early on as both teams try to figure each other out. Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders hasn’t needed to use his legs much over the last month or so, but that may change Friday. If so, look out.

Final say: Ryan is built for a long playoff run, and though I think very highly of Richland, I would be surprised if the Rebels leave Northwest ISD Stadium with a win. But that’s why it’s called Texas High School Football, folks, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this one plays out.

Prediction: Ryan 48, Richland 24