Written by SportsDayDFW.com
Football: Rider hammers Broncos
Despite losing its third game in as many weeks, Denton is in prime position to grab its first playoff berth since 2002 with a victory next week at The Colony.
If Denton (3-6, 1-4), which dropped a 56-2 decision to Wichita Falls Rider on Friday at Bronco Field, defeats the Cougars - and if Rider defeats Wichita Falls and Ryan beats Little Elm - the Broncos will be in the playoffs.
"As ugly at that was, and as physically as we got outplayed, it doesn't matter," said Denton head coach Randy Patzkowski. "We have a shot to get to the playoffs if we can win next week. We have to lick our wounds and get ready. If we're going to be a playoff team, these are the type of games you have to bounce back from."
Denton had two chances to score in the second quarter while down 21-0 but was never able to push the ball into the end zone, and Rider took advantage. With a size advantage up front, Rider controlled the line of scrimmage and racked up more than 500 yards offense while holding Denton to 166.
There were a few bright spots for Denton, including quarterback Dentton Hudspeth going over the 1,000-yard mark for passing this season on the game's first play - an 11-yard pass to Leon Atkinson. But the Broncos' next nine plays went for minus-19 yards.
Rider, on the other hand, took advantage of great field position to score three times while going a total of just 110 yards. It started drives at its own 45 and at Denton's 19- and 36-yard lines.
Rider's first score came on a 16-yard pass from Malcolm Carter to Josh Aaron. DeRon Royster then took over, scoring on a 1-yard run to cap a 19-yard drive that was set up by a partially blocked punt. He then added a 3-yard scoring run to finish off a 36-yard drive.
The Broncos had a chance to get back in the game at the start of the second quarter. Denton started at its own 17-yard line and 12 plays later found itself first-and-goal at the Rider 1. Four straight running plays came up short, and the Raiders took over at their 1 with 4:51 to play in the first half.
"That was a huge turning point in the game," said Rider head coach Jim Garfield. "That was a momentum changer. Our kids did a great job on the both sides of the ball on the line tonight."
Denton got its lone points on the next play, when the ball was snapped out of the end zone. The free kick gave Denton the ball at the Rider 48-yard line, and two plays later the Broncos were at the Raider 17. A fumble gave Rider the ball back, and Royster eventually scored from 29 yards out to make it 28-2 at halftime.
"Who would have thought we would get to Week 10 and have a shot at the playoffs?" Patzkowski said. "We just have to get ready to play and come out next week and play like we're capable of playing."
Rider didn't let up in the second half, as it scored on its first four possessions to open up the 56-2 margin. The only possession it didn't score on was its last, and that ended in Denton territory.
Malcom Carter got things started in the second half, scoring from 5 yards out on Rider's opening possession to finish off a five-play, 68-yard drive. Devon Garvin then hauled in a 13-yard touchdown pass from J.T. Barnett with 4:47 to play in the third quarter.
Carter found Graham McGregor from 10 yards out to score on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Barnett added a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:48 to play.
Wichita Falls Rider 56, Denton 2
WF Rider 21 7 14 14 - 56
Denton 0 2 0 0 - 2
WFR - Josh Aaron 16 pass from Malcolm Carter (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - Deron Royster 1 run (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - Deron Royster 3 run (Connor Nutt kick)
D - safety, ball snapped out of end zone
WFR - Deron Royster 29 run (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - Malcolm Carter 5 run (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - Devon Garvin 13 pass from JT Barrett (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - Graham McGregor 10 pass from Carter (Connor Nutt kick)
WFR - JT Barrett 1 run (Connor Nutt kick)
First downs 28 10
Rushing 46-333 34-90
Passing yards 169 76
Passing 13-21-0 6-18-2
Punts-avg. 0-0 5-27
Penalties 4-32 7-60
Fumbles-lost 1-0 3-1
Rushing - D: Dentton Hudspeth 20-68, Denzell King 11-28, Darren Smith 1-0, Charles Johnson 1--2, Matthew Perry 1--4, WFR: Esse Gutierrez 6-92, JT Barrett 9-85, Deron Royster 12-83, Malcolm Carter 9-48, Robert Jones 8-20, Tevin Aldridge 2-5.
Passing - D: Dentton Hudspeth 6-17-2-76, WFR: Malcolm Carter 11-18-0-132, JT Barrett 2-3-0-37.
Receiving - D: Matthew Perry 3-45, Isaac Johnson 1-11, Leon Atkinson 1-11, Corbin Rodriguez 1-9, WFR: Graham McGregor 4-45, Josh Aaron 2-37, Esse Gutierrez 2-36, Robert Jones 2-28, Devon Garvin 1-13, Tevin Aldridge 2-10.