Friday Semifinal: Mansfield Summit vs. Denton Ryan
It's the penultimate week of this much longer 2020 season. There are four games featuring DFW teams as they fight for a shot a state title next week. We take a look at one of those matchups between the Cinderella team of 5A Division I and the State's No. 1-ranked team.
5A Division I State Semifinal
You could not have two diametrically opposed routes with how these two teams reached this point. Denton Ryan is loaded, plain and simple. There is D1 talent up and down the roster, and Ryan is a known commodity. Having reached the State Championship last year and losing in the final seconds, the goal was State again with a senior-laden roster hungry to get back and go out on top (see: Argyle). Ryan being at this point seemed to be a formality.
Mansfield Summit, though, sneaked into the playoffs as the fourth seed from 4-5A because of district win percentage and has used tough defense and timely offense to navigate through the playoffs, including win its last three games by 3 points each.
While Ryan hasn't been its normal Ryan self the past two rounds - averaging just 22 points but only allowing a total of 16 points - it's also played a couple of stalwarts in the state in Longview and Highland Park.
For Summit, it rattled off 13 straight points in the fourth quarter to down district-rival Red Oak and used a fumble on fourth down to seal the win.
|Points Per Game||34.1||42.1|
|Points Allowed Per Game||
|Yards Per Game||
|Yards Allowed Per Game||316.5||
PLAYERS TO WATCH: WR Hal Presley (Summit), DB Jalon Rock (Summit); WR/DB Billy Bowman (Ryan), DB Ty Marsh (Ryan)
KICKOFF: 7 p.m. @ AT&T Stadium (Arlington)
LINE: Denton Ryan favored by 22
NEXT ROUND: Winner meets winner of Cedar Park/CC Veterans Memorial in State Championship
SCOUTING THE GAME
Summit has some defensive talent in the secondary with Sean Smith, Jalon Rock and Ahmaad Moses to match up against Ryan's Ja'Tavion Sanders, who is on highlight catch alert, Billy Bowman and Keagan Cunningham. However, Ryan can also throw out Jordyn Bailey, Kalib Hicks and Ke'ori Hicks to provide outlets for quarterback Seth Henigan.
The real concern for Summit, as with many teams, is Ryan's front seven. Summit is not known for its offensive prowess, relying heavily on its run game with running backs Jaydon Lott and Keon Hobbs and quarterback David Hopkins, and then sprinkle in opportunistic throws.
Denton Ryan is a force up front with Bear Alexander, Mason Davis and the two-way star Sanders, which rendered the offenses of Longview and Highland Park hapless.
As a three touchdown underdog, it would seem the magical run of Summit will run its course. Summit will have to score early and take chances in the secondary to generate turnovers or this could turn into a route.
PICK: Denton Ryan is just too strong all around. The defense will suffocate the run game and make life miserable for Hopkins and his go-to receiver Hal Presley when Summit does pass. Sanders gets another 1-handed catch in consecutive weeks.
Ryan wins 42-17