Ryan's Keith Cole is dragged down by a Wylie East defender. (DRC File Photo)
Ryan is already behind the eight ball, so to speak, in District 5-6A after last week’s 37-29 loss at Keller Central. The funny thing is, the Raiders could have just as easily won this game had it not been for five turnovers. That’s right, five turnovers — and three were in the first half.
This week, the team comes back to the friendly confines of C.H. Collins Athletic Complex to host Trophy Club Nelson. The Raiders are hoping to avoid an uncharacteristic 0-2 district start. How uncharacteristic is it? Well, you’ll just have to wait and read my game advance story in tomorrow’s paper.
Game: Ryan (2-2, 0-1) vs Trophy Club Nelson (2-2, 1-0), 7 p.m., C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Series record: This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools.
What happened last week: Well, the Raiders scored just eight points in the first half thanks to three critical turnovers. The first came immediately after their own defense forced a Keller Central punt. Ryan returned that punt down to the Chargers’ 20-yard line but fumbled the ball at the nine-yard line two plays later. Quarterback Spencer Sanders was intercepted twice in the first half. Even with the miscues, Ryan was a touchdown and two-point conversion shy of tying the game up near the end of regulation.
Trophy Club Nelson had a much better night, in contrast. Quarterback Preston Haire threw for 218 yards and three touchdowns on just eight completions. Wide receiver Pascal Mondombo caught four of those balls for 161 yards. He accounted for all three scores. This took a lot of pressure off running back Courtney Miles, who is usually the focal point of the Bobcats’ offense. He carried the ball just 12 times for 54 yards and a score.
What to expect: A lot of Courtney Miles. This kid already has a 300-yard rushing game and another where he rushed for 294 against Birdville. Ryan coach Dave Henigan told me his defense prides itself on being able to stop the run, but admitted Miles is easily one of the best — if not the best — running back they’ve faced so far this season. The key to the game will be eliminating turnovers. If the Raiders can do that, they will be right back in the thick of this very impressive district race.
Ryan player to watch: LB Nick Watts
Trophy Club Nelson player to watch: RB Courtney Miles