Ryan’s starting quarterback tomorrow is… Kevin Ray

Ryan junior quarterback Mitchell Bridges will be out with a right knee injury, and senior Kevin Ray will fill in for the Raiders when it faces Coppell on Friday at 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. (David Minton/DRC)

To make matters much more difficult for the Raiders today against Coppell, Ryan will be starting fourth-string quarterback Kevin Ray against one of the best defenses in the state.

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Ryan-Rider: Pre-game questions

Xavier Gray and the rest of the Raiders will look to hand Rider back-to-back losses to start its season. The two teams will renew their rivalry tonight at 7:30 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. (David Minton/ Denton Record-Chronicle)

 

With kickoff a few hours away, here are four questions heading into tonight’s game between Ryan and Wichita Falls Rider.

1. How will Preston Compton fare?

Compton will step into the starting quarterback role after Mitchell Bridges fractured his fibula in last week’s win over Corsicana. Compton played in one series last week, and it was an uneventful three plays and a punt.

Compton had a gorgeous deep ball in Ryan’s scrimmage against Grapevine, and he showed some promise. It will be interesting to see how the team will react with Compton under center, and how the offense adapts to its new quarterback.

2. Will Rider’s defense stop the run?

Last week, Rider’s defense was slashed for five touchdowns by Abilene Cooper running back Kerry Sims. I don’t know if Ryan running back A.J. Anderson can duplicate Sims’ success, but a successful rushing attack would aid Compton in his first start. To be fair, Rider may have not been as prepared as it normally would have been because it’s hard to prepare for a team during Zero Week, because there’s not much opposing film to analyze. Anderson, along with Compton and Reynal Caldwell, will be needed to establish the ground game tonight.

3. Is J.T. Barrett the real deal?

I’m semi-asking this to myself, because I’ve never seen him play. And I can’t wait to see if Barrett lives up to the hype that has him as the Class of 2013’s seventh-ranked dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com. Barrett had an interception in last year’s game that helped Ryan set up its 20-17 victory, but he was facing one of the top defenses in the state. This year’s defense isn’t as strong, so it’ll be interesting to see if he can carve up Ryan’s secondary.

4. Will Ryan stretch its regular-season winning streak to 26 games?

Last year Ryan got the better of Rider, but this time around, Rider looks like it has the better team on paper. With eight returning starters on offense, this could end up being a shootout tonight. Rider looks like the stronger team and should come into tonight’s contest as the favorite. A win by Ryan extends the team’s regular season winning-streak to 26 games. Ryan hasn’t lost in the regular season since a loss to Lake Dallas on Oct. 9, 2009. To be fair, I don’t think anybody at Ryan cares about this streak, but it’d be interesting to see if Ryan can keep on winning.

If tonight’s game is as entertaining as last week’s game between Corsicana and Ryan, we’re all in for an exciting night of football.

Friday Night Football chat

The Ryan Raiders rallied from a 22-0 deficit last week to defeat Corsicana and tonight they must rally around backup quarterback Preston Compton when they face Wichita Falls Rider.

Ryan will be without starting signal-caller Mitchell Bridges, out with a fractured fibula, so Compton, a junior-transfer from Southlake Carroll, will be pressed into action. Ben Baby will be at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex to report the action.

Adam Boedeker will be in Argyle to report on the Sanger-Liberty Christian game while we have a team of reporters following the action of our other Denton-area high schools. Join us for our Friday Night Football chat.

Ryan’s Bridges fractures fibula, out indefinitely

Ryan will have a new starting quarterback going into tomorrow’s game against Wichita Falls Rider.

Preston Compton will take over for Mitchell Bridges. Bridges started his first game last Friday against Corsicana and fractured his fibula in the second quarter of the game.

He didn’t realize it was fractured until Monday. He said he’ll be week-to-week with the injury, and he’ll play depending on how much pain he feels up to that week. Bridges said on Thursday he will not be having surgery on the ankle.

Last year, Bridges played with a torn shoulder labrum for most of the season, so he’s no stranger to playing through pain. Last week against Corsicana, Bridges completed 16 of 20 passes for 179 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Bridges also had 25 carries for 98 yards and two touchdowns.

Compton played one series last week, and went 2-for-2 with no yards. Ryan’s offense was held to a three-and-out on the possession. Florence said he would have put Compton in for a series in the second half, but since Bridges was playing so well, he opted against it.

Compton is a move-in from Southlake Carroll, and he made some strong throws against Grapevine in Ryan’s last preseason scrimmage. Compton has a solid arm and can run the ball fairly effectively.

If you’re wondering what he plays like, it looks as if somebody’s been putting together a highlight reel from his JV days. So if that’s something you might be interested in (yes, that’s an Entourage reference), here’s the video.

 

Monday’s Notes: 2 Chainz and Joey Florence

Sorry we’ve been away for so long. For the last two weeks, the entire sports staff has been consumed by our 2012 Football magazine, which has darn good coverage on all 12 of our area high schools and on North Texas. It’s coming out on Thursday, so be looking out for that.

Last Friday, Ryan scrimmaged Grapevine in its final tune-up before this Friday’s game against Corsicana. The Raiders “won” 21-3, but nobody really cares about the final score in a scrimmage. Still, there a few things worth mentioning coming out of the scrimmage.

1. Preston Compton made a case for playing time

Ryan junior back-up quarterback Preston Compton moved to Denton from Southlake over the summer, and he looked pretty good against Grapevine. Compton had a gorgeous 70-yard pass down the field to a receiver who had burned Grapevine’s secondary and was tackled at the goal line. Compton made strong throws, ran a little bit, and showed he’ll definitely have something to offer this season. Ryan head coach Joey Florence said Compton will play some this season, but the head coach also said with resolute confidence that Mitchell Bridges is going to be Ryan’s starter.

2. Ryan must force more turnovers

If there’s one thing Florence wasn’t necessarily pleased with on Friday, it was the turnover margin. In other words, the ratio of turnovers Ryan forced compared to how many turnovers Ryan committed. Ryan had three turnovers against Grapevine while failing to force any of its own. A team that can force turnovers and not commit any will have a much easier time making it through four quarters. But that goes without saying.

3. 2 Chainz, meet Joey Florence

For those of you who understandably don’t listen to rap music, there’s a man by the name of 2 Chainz who has become the talk of the genre. Mostly, it’s because he says some of the most incompetent things known to man most of the time. Well, he’s made his namesake by saying his name in an obnoxious yet infectious way. He bellows in a deep and drawn out manner, and it’s something kids love to mimic.

After the scrimmage on Friday and with his team kneeling around him, Florence addressed his kids and gave what might be one of the best quotes of the season.

“Y’all been talking about this 2 CHAINZ stuff. Well I got TWO RINGS and I want a third one.”

Class 5A and hip-hop DJs, beware. Joey Florence and the Ryan Raiders are headed your way.