A Look Back: Spencer Sanders of Denton Ryan

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By: Tony Thomas


A dual-threat quarterback and 4-star recruit, he led his team to a 46-6 record in 52 starts. At 6-1, 205, he could make you look silly by making plays with his arm and his legs. He passed for 8,747 yards and scored 146 total touchdowns in his prep career, despite suffering two season-ending injuries. He’s Spencer Sanders of Denton Ryan.


Freshman Season (2014)

Sanders was just coming onto the scene, throwing for 553 yards with 5 INTs, rushing for 393 yards, and scoring 9 total touchdowns as the Raiders went 5-5 on the season.

Sophomore Season (2015)

The Raiders went 13-1. Sanders threw for 1061 yards, 9 TDs, 1 INT. He also accounted for 311 yards rushing and 5 more scores as they headed into the playoffs:

  • Defeated Plano East 56-33
  • Defeated S. Grand Prairie 43-35
  • Defeated Tascosa 41-34
  • Lost in the quarterfinals to Allen 48-27

Sanders was named the Co-MVP of District 5-6A.

Junior Season (2016)

2016 was Sanders’ breakout season as he accounted for over 4300 yards: 3288 passing and 1099 rushing. He scored 53 total touchdowns. His stats:

  • 1 game over 300 yards passing
  • 1 game over 400 yards passing
  • 1 game with 3 passing TDs
  • 1 game with 5 passing TDs
  • 3 games over 100 yards rushing
  • 5 total TDs vs Wylie East
  • 7 total TDs vs Lonestar
  • 6 total TDs vs Denison

The Raiders were 14-1 on the season and went deep into the playoffs once again:

  • Defeated Fort Worth Brewer 54-13
  • Defeated North Richland Hills 34-13
  • Defeated Monterey 38-21
  • Defeated Coffeeville-Heritage 24-10
  • Lost to Highland Park 31-24 (State Quarterfinals)

Sanders was named to the Class 5A All-State Team.


Senior Season (2017)

Talk about saving the best for last. Sanders accounted for 5257 total yards and a phenomenal 70 touchdowns-54 TDs passing and 16 rushing. His stats:

  • 5 games over 300 yards passing
  • 7 games with 3 passing touchdowns
  • 4 games with 4 passing touchdowns
  • 3 games with 5 passing touchdowns
  • Scored 6 touchdowns vs Lancaster
  • Scored 7 touchdowns vs Coronado
  • Scored 6 touchdowns vs Wichita Falls


Sanders led the Raiders to yet another deep playoff run, averaging 50 points per game in their bracket:

  • Defeated Fort Worth Brewer 42-17
  • Defeated Birdville 49-6
  • Defeated Monterey 49-28                                      
  • Defeated Coronado 69-49
  • Lost to Highland Park 45-35 (State Quarterfinals)


Sanders was named the Texas Gatorade Player of the Year.

The scholarship offers were pouring in for Spencer. In the end, he chose the Oklahoma State Cowboysover 16 other schools, including Colorado, Kansas, Kansas State, Missouri, North Carolina, North Texas, Texas Tech, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Penn State, SMU, South Carolina, TCU,

Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma, and Oregon.


Sitting and Learning in Stillwater

Sanders took a redshirt in 2018, and used the time wisely to learn the offense and coaching staff and be the best quarterback and leader he could be when his named was called.

It paid off. In 2019, Sanders passed for 2065 yards, 16 TDs and 11 INTs. He also added 628 yards on the ground and 2 rushing touchdowns. Those numbers were good enough to be recognized as the Big 12 Freshman of the Year. 

In the COVID-19 stricken 2020 season, Sanders still managed to put up some solid numbers:

  • 2007 yards passing
  • 14 TDs
  • 8 INTs
  • 269 rushing yards
  • 2 TDs
  • MVP of the Cheez-it Bowl

Battle-tested and more mature, Sanders prepares for his junior season with the Cowboys, and the summer workouts and fall camp that comes with it.

He is still the same person they signed out of high school. He loves to hunt and fish and work on the family farm. He is humble and hard-working leader of men with good Christian values, exactly the kind of person you want to lead your team on the field.

He is the ultimate team player.




Material for this article sourced from:











Featured image credit: theoklahoman.com


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