WYLIE - In the first ever Thursday night game at Wylie ISD Stadium, the unbeaten Denton Ryan Raiders (3-0) rolled past the home standing Wylie East Raiders 43-20. Sophomore quarterback Spencer Sanders was the catalyst for an explosive Ryan passing game throwing for 294 yards and five touchdowns. The Ryan defense was equally up to the task holding Wylie RB Eno Benjamin to 33 yards on 18 carries and scoring a defensive touchdown which extinguished a possible Wylie East rally late in the third.
The game started out as a defensive struggle as neither team could muster any offense with both teams punting on their first two drives. The scoreless struggle was busted as Sanders hooked up with senior WR Rodney Gladney for a 27 yard touchdown and a 7-0 Ryan lead. Gladney was the team’s leading receiver hauling in six passes for 142 yards and two scores.
Sophomore WR Gabriel Douglas would extend the lead to 15-0 for Ryan as he hauled in a 21 yard touchdown pass from Sanders and Ryan added the two point conversion on the swinging gate for the fifteen point margin. The lead ballooned to 22-0 two possessions later as Gladney took a short screen from Sanders, broke a tackle then made a move in the secondary and he had nothing but open field in front of him for a 75 yard catch and run and a 22-0 lead for the Ryan Raiders.
Wylie East would break through late in the second quarter as Jared Wyatt hauled in a 17 yard touchdown pass from Braden Shewmake to cut the lead to 22-7 with 42 seconds left in the half. That would prove to be too much time for Ryan as the Raiders on the ensuing kickoff moved right down the field and Sanders tossed his fourth touchdown pass another 21 yard toss to Gabriel as time expired in the first half to give Denton Ryan a 29-7 lead at the half.
The first drive of the second half for Ryan ended much the way the first half ended as RHS marched right down the field scoring on a 41 yard touchdown pass from Sanders to sophomore WR Chritauskie Dove giving Denton Ryan a 36-7 lead. Wylie East would quickly answer on the ensuing kickoff as Benjamin would go 95 yards to cut the lead to 36-14.
The game settled down into a defensive struggle for the rest of the third quarter, but late in the third quarter Wylie East appeared to be poised to cut the lead to just two scores as they had moved near the red zone. However, a botched option pitch was scooped up by Ryan DB Tamar Butts who sprinted 76 yards the other way for the score and a convincing 43-14 Denton Ryan lead. Wylie East would add a late touchdown run by Nehemiah Reason for the final margin of 43-20 as the PAT was missed.