Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Football: Ryan eases past Denton
Even with all of the progress Denton has made this season, one thing was abundantly clear during its annual showdown with Ryan.
It still has a long way to go.
Crippled by Ryan's star-studded defense - and their own mistakes - the Broncos gave up six touchdowns in the first half on their way to a 55-7 loss in the annual Battle of the Volt rivalry game Friday at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
"Any loss like that is tough," Denton coach Randy Patzkowski said. "Losing to your rival is no fun, either. That's not a good taste to have in your mouth."
The Broncos (3-5, 1-3 District 4-4A) have shown remarkable improvement this season with three gritty come-from-behind wins that have them in the thick of the playoff race. Still, most of those wins came despite struggles with excessive penalties, turnovers and other mistakes.
On Friday, those mistakes cost them any chance they had of pulling off an upset against their crosstown rivals.
The Broncos gave up two touchdowns in the second quarter on turnovers - one coming after Ryan's Mario Edwards scooped up a third-down fumble by quarterback Dentton Hudspeth and took it 42 yards for a score, while the other came on a bad snap on a punt that went into the end zone and was recovered by the Raiders' Ty Hook.
Special-teams play proved costly for Denton, which gave up another score after a shanked punt for minus-3 yards gave Ryan the ball inside the Denton red zone. The Raiders scored on a 4-yard run by Kaylon Alexander three plays later.
Denton gave up 21 points in the first half on miscues alone.
"We got a couple of big breaks there," Ryan head coach Joey Florence said. "They're a much improved football team; I think they're getting better. Without those plays it might have been a different story, so we feel fortunate. That aside, I thought we played really well tonight."
Ryan took advantage of the mistakes, using its increasingly potent run game and its suffocating defense to build an insurmountable halftime lead.
Alexander scored three times in the first half on runs of three, four and 16 yards and posted 74 yards on just 10 carries.
The Raiders had 125 yards on the ground in the first half, including a 35-yard run by Craig Moore that set up a 2-yard Nash Knight touchdown pass to Trey Cook with three seconds to go in the half to go up 40-0.
The second half was more of the same, despite Florence letting his foot off the gas and putting in the majority of his backups at the start of the third quarter.
Ryan scored twice more, once on a 13-yard pass from backup quarterback Hunter Wakefield to Sterling Fuggett and another on a 70-yard run by Fuggett.
Fuggett joined Jacoby Lawson and Craig Moore as Raiders with runs of more than 30 yards on the night. Lawson busted out a 67-yarder late in the game.
In all, Ryan finished with a season-high 272 yards rushing and nearly earned a shutout. The Broncos finally got on the board when Hudspeth found receiver Ruperto Guttierez on a 7-yard touchdown pass with just under four minutes left.
The win keeps the Raiders' dream of an unbeaten season alive as they go into the final two weeks of the season. Ryan will face Wichita Falls on the road next week before squaring off with Little Elm.
"We still have a lot of work to do," Florence said. "You either get better or worse; you never stay the same. That's what we've been telling the kids. We can enjoy this one for now, but Monday it's back to work."
The Broncos, meanwhile, are still in the thick of the playoff race despite the loss.
Denton is just one game behind Little Elm for the district's final playoff spot and currently holds the tiebreaker over the Lobos. As long as Little Elm does not win another game, Denton can make up the difference with a win in its next two games against either Wichita Falls Rider or The Colony.
"This is a much, much different football team," Patzkowski said. "They have a lot of fight. We're going into Week 9 with an opportunity to make the playoffs, and there isn't a Denton High School football team that's had that opportunity in 10 years. The kids know that, and they know that they can't make the kind of mistakes they made tonight to do that."
MARSHALL MOORE can be reached at 940-566-6869. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ryan 55, Denton 7
Denton 0 0 0 7 - 7
Ryan 13 27 8 7 - 55
R - Kaylon Alexander 3 run (Kick failed), 10:31
R - Alexander 16 run (Colten Gutierrez kick), 2:48
R - Mario Edwards 42 fumble return (Gutierrez kick), 10:21
R - Ty Hook 0 yard fumble recovery (Gutierrez kick), 6:35
R - Alexander 4 run (Gutierrez kick), 3:15
R - Trey Cook 2 pass from Nash Knight (Kick failed), :03
R - Sterling Fuggett 13 pass from Hunter Wakefield (Wakefield run), 3:26
Fourth quarterR - Fuggett 70 run (Gutierrez kick), 11:32
D - Ruperto Guttierez 7 pass from Dentton Hudspeth (Michael Husbands kick), 3:39
First downs 12 14
Rushing 47-138 26-272
Passing yards 40 92
Total yards 178 365
Passing 7-14-0 8-12-0
Fumbles-lost 1-1 2-2
Punts-avg. 7-27.8 3-33.0
Penalties-yards 7-60 4-30
Rushing: D - Denzell King 19-109, Wyatt Braden 9-24, Dentton Hudspeth 17-17, Ezekiel Johnson 1-5, Team 1-(minus-16). R - Jacoby Lawson 8-81, Kaylon Alexander 10-74, Sterling Fuggett 1-70, Craig Moore 3-51, Rahjian Patterson 1-2, Nash Knight 1-0, Blake Sprayberry 1-(minus-1), Hunter Wakefield 1-(minus-5).
Passing: D - Dentton Hudspeth 7-14-0-40. R - Nash Knight 7-10-0-79, Hunter Wakefield 1-2-0-13.
Receiving: D - Ruperto Guttierez 2-20, Matthew Perry 2-8, Leon Atkinson 1-7, Denzell King 2-5. Sam Johnson 2-29, Trey Cook 2-25, Sam Johnson 2-24, Sterling Fuggett 1-13, Craig Moore 1-1.