Argyle tight end Casey Harper (44) dives for yardage against Paris Friday September 23, 2016 at Eagle Stadium, in Argyle, Tx. Photo by Al Key/For the DRC
It was a busy week for Denton-area football and, if you can believe it, we are three weeks removed from wrapping up the regular season.
This past week saw two elite-level teams in Ryan and Argyle walk their way to another victory. We also saw Denton eke out a tight win over Denison and Guyer fall big to the machine known as Allen. My buddy, Adam Boedeker, and I picked out some of the more notable games from around the area to offer our not-so-scientific perspective.
Read on, folks. It’s good for the soul.
Sherman at Ryan
SG: A lot had been said of Sherman running back Nathaniel Omayebu, and deservedly so. The kid is an absolute monster, and extremely difficult to take down judging by his 1,200-plus rushing yards through the Bearcats’ first seven games. It may have taken Ryan’s entire defense to bring the guy down throughout Friday’s game, but the Raiders did it while holding Omayebu to 23 yards on 18 carries. And with Spencer Sanders and the offense doing their thing, this game – as expected – was honestly a rout after the first 12 minutes. I really don’t expect Ryan’s starters to be forced to play a full four quarters between now and several rounds into the playoffs. That could be a slippery slope for some programs, but it’s not like Ryan hasn’t had its share of hard-fought wins earlier this season. Ryan is elite y’all. But, you already knew that.
AB: Sherman was supposed to be on the upswing, and I suppose you could still say that about the Bearcats, but one of the state’s top teams brought them down about 20 notches in a hurry. If I remember correctly, the Raiders pulled their starters in the second quarter and built a 43-0 halftime lead. That’s impressive. But it also could be a detriment, because I think there’s a lot of that coming, and at some point coach Dave Henigan is going to have a decision to make — tune up his team for the postseason or play nice. It’s a real dilemma. Either way, Ryan is clicking on all cylinders and has to be (even secretly) just focusing on the postseason now, starting in like Round 4. They’re that good.
Guyer at Allen
SG: Not much of a surprise here. I don’t mean that as a shot against Guyer, it’s just that Allen is another elite team that rarely gets beat. They jumped on the Wildcats early and it was honestly smooth sailing from there. Guyer is going to make the playoffs in this district, and its ridiculously-talented rushing attack will certainly lead that charge. But in lopsided losses to DeSoto and now Allen – two of the best teams in the state’s largest classification – you got to wonder what it will take for the Wildcats to gain the upper hand on the rest of the state’s elite come playoff time.
AB: For a second time this year, Guyer has played a top-2 team in the state, and for the second time, the Wildcats have had their doors blown off. There was something different about this game, though. While Guyer’s 51-17 loss to DeSoto came thanks to a really good Eagles team and a really bad Guyer team that shot itself in the foot over and over again, Friday’s 42-7 loss to Allen was a straight-up beating. Guyer didn’t make mistakes and didn’t shoot itself in the foot, Allen is just really, really good. The Eagles had been previously untested and folks were waiting on this game to get a good feel for how good Allen is. Well, I think we got it. The Eagles are officially my favorite to reclaim the No. 1 spot come late December and win a 6A Division I title. Luckily for Guyer, it won’t be running into Allen again until next season. Guyer dodged a major bullet with quarterback Luke Stillwell, who appeared to have broken his collarbone, but all is well and he should be ready for Wylie on Friday.
Denison at Denton
SG: Barring a mishap down the stretch, Denton solidified itself as the second-place team in District 5-5A with a one-point win over Denison Friday. This game was a lot closer than what I thought going in, but once again, Denton stepped up when it needed to and notched the win with another second-half flurry. Credit the Denton defense for two huge interceptions in the fourth quarter, and a strong rushing performance from the Broncos’ Caleb Osuofa, in the win.
AB: This game was most likely for second place in District 5-5A, though it really meant nothing as Denton’s playoff seeding is locked in as the No. 2 seed in the 5A Division I bracket behind Ryan, and Denison is locked in as a Division II school. Even still, it was one of the best games of the night between two good teams. It was also a defensive battle, which was a bit unexpected as both teams were held scoreless in the fourth quarter. Colt Atkinson’s 64-yard touchdown pass to Chris Houston in the third quarter proved to stand up as the game winner as the Broncos scored a 21-20 win.
Braswell at Wichita Falls
SG: This was a battle of two winless teams, so you figure maybe it will be a tight game until the last few minutes when one team finally pulls away. That was not the case. Wichita Falls may have come in with the same record as Braswell, but this is an established program and the differences between the Coyotes and Braswell rang loud and clear in a 40-9 win. Braswell needs a full offseason, and possibly another full season, under its belt before it can compete at this level. They’ll get there, but in the meantime, it’s going to be rough. With all that being said, kudos to quarterback Palmer Campbell as he threw for 176 yards and provided a spark to the Bengals’ offense.
AB: The Bengals had what was their last hope of a win this year as they hit the road to Memorial Stadium, and it didn’t end well for the first-year program playing a varsity schedule. The Bengals spotted Old High a 17-0 lead before finding the end zone, and that was all she wrote. If there was a positive to take out of this game for Cody Moore’s crew it was the fact their passing game made some strides in Moore’s high-flying offensive scheme behind quarterback Palmer Campbell, who threw for 176 yards on 20 completions. It’s far from Moore’s ideal offensive stat line, but it’s a step in the right direction, and for Braswell, that’s what this year is all about.
Argyle at Gainesville
SG: Argyle continues to score at a ridiculous clip, which is really to no one’s surprise. And the Eagles are doing it in a variety of ways. Dane Ledford is doing Dane Ledford things at quarterback, but Don Williams has done a tremendous job running the football behind a veteran offensive line, and they’re even getting points on special teams. Argyle is two games into district and has scored 64 and 48 points in back-to-back wins. If the Eagles continue to score at that clip, and clean up penalties, their impending battle against longtime rival Sanger should be a piece of cake. This is an Argyle team that is built to make another appearance in a state title game. We all expect it, and I’m sure you do, too.
AB: This game went about as planned, as the Eagles stormed out to a quick lead and rolled to a decisive win over an overmatched team — pretty much par for the course for unbeaten Argyle, at least until it gets deep into the postseason. Dane Ledford was once again efficiently good in his second game back from a fractured wrist and threw for 209 yards and three scores, and Dylan Sadler did his best impression of his big brother and returned a punt for a score.
Pilot Point at Whitesboro
SG: Check out Pilot Point, folks. After a rough start to the season, the Bearcats are 2-0 in district thanks to a thrilling 10-9 win over Whitesboro. That’s hardly the type of football score you see every day, but I’m sure head coach Rob Best will take it. This game apparently featured three blocked punts, a game-winning scoring drive inside the final two minutes of regulation, and a missed field goal as time expired.
AB: Pilot Point has bounced back nicely from an 0-5 start to its season by winning its first two games in District 5-3A (Division I) play in a thrilling comeback victory over Whitesboro. Pilot Point could get nothing going offensively, and even gave away points on a safety to trail 9-3 before scoring with 1:25 left in the game to take a 10-9 lead and making it stand up. Things get real for Pilot Point next week, however, as it hosts a very good Pottsboro team.