Halftime thoughts: Rockwall 14, Ryan 10

The first half of the football season is over and Ryan is the team trailing after two quarters here at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

Rockwall leads Ryan 14-10 in the season opener for both schools. Rockwall scored 14 straight points in the first half before the Raiders salvaged three points at the end of the half on a 38-yard field goal by J.D. Delarosa.

Ryan’s depended on the legs of senior running back Maurice Gordon. Gordon has already carried the ball 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown. He has 115 yards of Ryan’s 138 total offensive yards.

Gordon put Ryan ahead early on a 3-yard touchdown run, and Rockwall quickly countered.

Rockwall quarterback Will Reed hit Jay Galloway for a 42-yard touchdown pass with 37 seconds left in the first quarter, tying the game at seven.

Then in the second quarter, Reed launched a long pass down the left side of the field to senior wide receiver Xavier Castille. Castille was well behind the Ryan secondary and he strolled into the end zone for a 70-yard touchdown reception.

So that’s where we stand.

Ryan hasn’t made freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders throw the ball too much so far. He’s completed four of six passes for 30 yards. He lost a fumble trying to pick a few extra yards, but he was bailed out when Rockwall missed a field goal.

That play and an errant incomplete pass that could have resulted in a touchdown are some things you expect out of a kid making his first high school start.

But it’s far too early for Ryan to start fretting. The Raiders will receive the ball to start the second half.

Follow me on Twitter at @Ben_Baby for updates, and I’ll have the play-by-play right here.

 

Ryan head coach Dave Henigan on freshman QB Spencer Sanders (VIDEO)

Last week, Ryan head coach Dave Henigan announced that freshman quarterback Spencer Sanders will be the team’s starting quarterback in this Friday’s season-opener against Rockwall.

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Ryan boys relays sweep area meet, 800 relay gains ground in nation’s top region

Ryan boys track and field head coach Janson Head insists that Class 5A Region I is the fastest region in the nation.

With only two weeks remaining until the state meet, there’s plenty of evidence to supplement that statement.

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Weekday Recap: Argyle, Guyer advance

Jerrod Heard and the Guyer Wildcats waltzed into the 4A DI semifinals with a 53-28 win against Birdville. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)

It took a while for the roads to thaw out and the weekend’s slate of football games to wrap up.

But when the ice somewhat melted, Guyer and Argyle moved closer to an appearance in the state championship game. Ryan’s valiant season ended after what looked like another improbable comeback was going to occur.

Adam Boedeker and I look back at Monday’s action and look forward to this weekend’s state semifinal games.

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Update on Cedar Hill player injured against Ryan

Yesterday during Ryan’s game against Cedar Hill, there was a scary moment in the third quarter when Cedar Hill senior offensive tackle Jarod Branch was motionless and face-down on the field for a span of about 10 minutes.

Today, we’ve got some good news.

Cedar Hill head coach Joey McGuire said Branch ended up being OK and he actually met the team back at the school after Cedar Hill’s 52-29 victory against Ryan, and McGuire said he was excited to see him.

Branch didn’t appear to move for about 10 minutes before he was taken off the field on a stretcher.

“You just don’t want to move a kid like that when it’s a possible head or neck injury,” McGuire said.

McGuire said Branch was taken to the hospital and “everything checked out,” but the head coach was not sure what tests Branch went under. McGuire said Branch will not play in this week’s 5A Division II semifinal against Lake Travis.

DISD AD Ken Purcell praised UNT’s efforts to play Monday’s games

We finally got past that pesky regional final round of the state high school football playoffs. You know, that round that’s been delayed because of all this pesky ice on the roads.

Ryan and Guyer played their respective regional final games yesterday in a “doubleheader” at North Texas’ Apogee Stadium (the Ryan game started at 3 p.m., Guyer at 7:30 p.m.)

Denton ISD Ken Purcell had great things to say about the folks at UNT and Derek Grice, the head of facilities at UNT.

 

As of Monday morning, this is what the field looked like:

And when I showed up to the stadium, the field looked like this:


Purcell flagged me down in the press box at Apogee and emphatically praised UNT and Grice.

“We started working Thursday on sites, when the storm blew in,” Purcell said. “And the University of North Texas has been super. Some people are a little bit bothered by the parking lots and the stands and all that. But yesterday, there was four inches of snow and ice on there. In fact, at 7 o’clock [Monday] morning, there were four inches of snow and ice on there.

“And I was out here and I watched them. They rented tractors and everything to make sure this field is playable, and I’m just amazed at how good this field looks.”

Guyer originally was going to play at Justin Northwest, but that game was moved to Apogee and was scheduled after the Ryan game. It was highly important to get the games in on Monday, because the UIL says five days must be between football games.

The UNT athletic department staff also scraped off a section of the bleachers on the student side of the stadium so fans could enjoy a couple of pretty good games.

 

What you need to know: Cedar Hill

Aca'cedric Ware and the Cedar Hill Longhorns play Ryan on Monday with a berth in the Class 5A Division II state semifinals on the line. (Garett Ray Fisbeck/The Dallas Morning News)

When Ryan steps back onto the field at Apogee Stadium on Monday, the Raiders will be nine days removed from the biggest comeback in school history. Ryan hopes there is still some magic left at Apogee for the Class 5A Division II Region I final against Cedar Hill.

No more ice problems. No more waiting around. Finally, we have football.

Here’s what you need to know about Cedar Hill.

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Boys basketball: Saturday’s games at Sanger tourney canceled

The weekend’s high school football playoff games aren’t the only things to be cancelled.

In boys basketball, the Sanger tournament has been cancelled. The mix of sleet, snow and terrible road conditions have forced the cancellation of Saturday’s games. They were only able to get four games in on Thursday before the rest of the games were scrapped.

Georgetown East, Liberty Christian and Sherman all pulled out of the tournament completely on Thursday.

Ryan was scheduled to face Frisco, but that game won’t happen. Sanger head coach Rob Sikora said the Indians will now face Aubrey on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in Sanger.

 

Game Changers: Dec. 3

Game Changers: Dec. 3. from Ben Baby on Vimeo.

We’re halfway through the high school football playoffs, and three area teams still have a shot of winning a state title. Adam Boedeker and I break down last week’s game and this week’s matchups in this week’s episode of Game Changers. Game Changers is a joint production between the Mayborn School of Journalism and the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Barring inclement weather, Ryan and Guyer games still set for Saturday

A chance of bad weather this weekend has forced some teams around the area to change some playoff games.

But as for now, Ryan and Guyer will still play on Saturday.

Fellow DRC writer Adam Boedeker first tweeted out Tuesday morning that Guyer and Birdville’s Class 4A Division I regional final may be moved to Monday, Dec. 9, if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

According to Denton ISD athletic director Ken Purcell, both Ryan and Guyer will play on Monday if the teams can’t play on Saturday. That determination will be based on Saturday’s road conditions.

“If the roads are clear and the teams can safely make it to Apogee Stadium and [Justin] Northwest, then we’ll play,” Purcell said.

Ryan is currently scheduled to play Cedar Hill on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Apogee Stadium in the Class 5A Division II Region I final. Guyer is slotted to play Birdville on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Justin Northwest.

Boedeker said Guyer and Birdville also had Thursday night locked down, but Birdville opted against it because it had a few injuries.

Purcell said if the games can’t be played on Saturday, they will be moved to Monday at 2 p.m. at the same locations. It’ll depend on if the buses of each can safely make it to the respective stadiums.

If both teams play on Monday, it’ll could make for a stretch of three games played in 12 days, something that’s far from ideal before the state finals.

Boedeker will keep you posted on Saturday about Guyer, and I’ll do the same for Ryan. You can follow us on Twitter at @aboedeker or @Ben_Baby.