National Spotlight Sees Denton Ryan Hand Denton A 42-13 Loss In District 5-5A Opener

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Photo: Joseph Nguyen/

DENTON – With the national spotlight on them, AP No. 3 Denton Ryan (5-0, 1-0) provided a quality performance in the GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase’s stop in Texas as they defeated cross town and District 5-5A rival Denton High (2-3, 0-1) 42-13 inside C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.

Off the strength of a highly talented offense and stout defense, Ryan was able to pull away in the second half and pitch a second half shutout to garner their fifth win of the season and check another objective off their season goal list.

It only took 38 seconds and 2 plays into the game for Denton Ryan’s potent offense to showcase their talents on national television as Denton Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders threw a touch pass to receiver Chritauskie Dove from 36-yards out that put Ryan up 7-0 in the fierce Battle of the Volt game.

Denton Ryan wide reiciever Chritauskie Dove (88) catches a touchdown in the first quarter against Denton High. (Joseph Nguyen/

“[It was the same] message it always is, we got to get better every single day. We got to worry about us. It’s not about our opponent,” said Denton Ryan head coach Dave Henigan in regards to the message to his team heading into Thursday night’s matchup.

With Denton being issued the challenge early, quarterback Landry Kinne gathered his team and led the Broncos right down the field as Denton conducted a 10-play, 64-yard scoring drive highlighted by Kinne rushing for 34 yards and scoring from 14 yards out that had Denton only down 7-6 with 6:40 left to play in the first quarter.

Denton Ryan outgained Denton in total offense at the half with Ryan putting up 326 total yards compared to Denton’s 171 yards. Despite Denton Ryan being tagged with eight penalties in the first half and 10 total on the night, the Ryan offense was able to show their prowess. The next score for Ryan came off the legs of Spencer Sanders as he side-stepped to his left but then utilized the entire right side of the field to stretch the defense and score from 4 yards out and increase the score to 14-6 with 54 seconds left in the first quarter.

“It’s good and bad. The good thing is that you can play a lot better and score a lot more points. The bad thing is we got to clean that up cause we can play way better than that,” said Henigan about his team’s performance even with 10 team penalties.

Denton refused to go away and fought neck-and-neck with them well into the first half. Denton’s third drive from scrimmage resulted in Denton pulling within a point of Denton Ryan at 14-13 with Landry Kinne getting his second rushing touchdown of the night from a yard out after connecting with wide receiver Isaiah Wofford for 40-yards two plays earlier.

That would be the closest the game would be the rest of the night however as Denton Ryan rattled off 28 unanswered points and handled the game till the end.

Denton Ryan receiver Gabriel Douglas (2) fends off a tackle from Denton High cornerback Marcellus Lockley (13). (Joseph Nguyen/

Sanders finished his night 20-25 with 293 passing yards and three passing touchdowns with one to three different receivers in Gabriel Douglas, Jamarion Robertson and Chritauskie Dove. Douglas led all receivers with 112 yards on 6 receptions with his touchdown coming at the 1:05 mark in the 3rd quarter from 28-yards out to have the score read 35-13.

Dove’s score following an 18-yard rush on 3rd & 1 from Tra Smith was the score that practically drained Denton’s aspirations of keeping the game within reach as those two plays sealed Denton’s inevitable fate.

Both Emani Bailey and Tra Smith rushed for touchdowns with Bailey rushing for 78 yards and Smith running for 56 yards. Sanders also added a rushing touchdown on 36 yards rushing.

It was quite the night for Ryan as Denton’s valiant effort was overpowered by the depth of talent at the Raiders disposal as Ryan continues to build upon the early successes they have had as the first month of the season comes to an end.

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