FRISCO — It was a night that allowed Frisco Lone Star to mark off another goal on their season checklist as Frisco Lone Star downed a young Frisco Reedy program 63-35 — one that was hoping to knock the district giant off its summit but ultimately came up short — Friday at Frisco Memorial Stadium.
Lone Star also earned an outright claim to the 13-5A district title for the third consecutive year.
Spearheaded by a memorable performance by Lone Star quarterback MJ Rivers, Lone Star (8-1, 6-0) headed into the half with a slim yet ever so distant 35-21 lead after responding to a Reedy score that had Reedy biting at the heels of Lone Star following a 3-yard burst up the middle from Reedy running back Justin Gipson that had narrowed Lone Star’s lead to 28-21 with only 1:11 left prior to the end of the half.
Lone Star delivered a blow that left Reedy gasping for air heading into the half after quarterback MJ Rivers found wide receiver Ife Opere downfield for a 50-yard touchdown pass just 38 seconds later after Reedy scored.
“We’re tough to defend with all our weapons and so I think [that score] kind of took some wind out of their sails,” said Frisco Lone Star Head Coach Jeff Rayburn.
That would be the turning point for Lone Star as the pace of the game sped up with Lone Star hastening the tempo behind the beat of MJ Rivers, who finished with four touchdown passes and 347 passing yards while rushing for 119 yards and four rushing touchdowns.
“I just listened to my coaches cause I knew that they would put me in a great position to execute. That’s all I had to do and it led us to victory,” Rivers said.
There was plenty offense to go around in the game with both teams scoring a combined 98 points and tallying 884 yards of total offense and more than validating the price of the ticket for this highly anticipated district matchup between Lone Star and Reedy with Ranger fans ultimately getting the most bang for their buck.
Even with the offensive showcase headlining the matchup, Lone Star’s defense would be the catalyst on the first scoring drive of the night for the offense when defensive back Trey Taylor was able to intercept a pass attempt that was initially tipped by linebacker Nicholas Bolton, then tipped by a Reedy receiver before Taylor was able to nab the tip drill ball and return it to the 4 yard line for his offense.
Lone Star then scored at the 9:40 mark to quickly go up 7-0 in the first quarter when quarterback MJ Rivers, who had five total touchdowns in the first half, pounded the rock in the end zone on a short 4-yard run and helping Lone Star capitalize on the prime position given on behalf of the efforts of their defense.
Reedy (8-1, 5-1) initially struggled out the gate and could not so much as even get a first down as their first three drives ended on an interception and back-to-back three-and-outs that had Reedy looking overwhelmed against the more established and offensively potent Lone Star program.
However the offense soon came to fruition for Reedy who were already facing a 14-0 deficit with 5:45 remaining in the first quarter after MJ Rivers lined up in the shotgun and bounced outside towards his right tackle and found the end zone in identical fashion to his first run as he once again scored from 4 yards out to give Lone Star the two-possession lead.
Reedy followed the score as they began to meticulously chip away at the armor of the Lone Star defense and constructed an 18-play scoring drive that didn’t hand possession back over to Lone Star until the 9:43 mark in the second quarter. Reedy on that drive was finally able to get on the scoreboard when quarterback Josh Foskey tossed up a ball to the back corner of the end zone that had wide receiver Nolan Matthews elevate and come back down with both feet in bounds and possession of the ball.
With a 14-7 score and Lone Star looking to crush the upstart Reedy program, the combo of MJ Rivers and running back Kirby Bennett began to deliver a formidable method of attack and unleash the big play offense of Lone Star.
Rivers tossed a screen pass to Bennett on the left side and Bennett unleashed his move set as he scurried downfield following his lead blockers and had a defender waiting to meet him head on. Bennett with ease then hurdled the defender that sent the crowd into a frenzy, then quickly changed direction towards the right side of the field before a Reedy defender brought him down at the Reedy 41 for an electrifying 35 yard gain.
Rivers then followed the lead of his back the very next play as he scrambled up field for a 26 yard gain and two plays later connected with wide receiver Ife Opere on a 10-yard touchdown pass.
Reedy stayed neck-and-neck with Lone Star in the first half and was able to head into the half down only 35-21 but that would be the high point the rest of the night for Reedy as Lone Star proved that despite the magnificent season Reedy has had in only their second year, Lone Star is still the cream of the crop and ran away with the game in the second half.
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