Rider Drops Heartbreaker in Game of the Week

Denton Ryan's Alex De La Torre runs back his late interception
Denton Ryan's Alex De La Torre runs back his late interception

The Rider Raiders fought the #2 Denton Ryan Raiders tooth and nail for 48 minutes Thursday night at Memorial Stadium, but the visitors came up with one more big play than the home team, in a 20-17 Ryan win.

In our Dr Pepper Game of the Week, the visiting Raiders built a 17-0 lead, most of it in a short span from the end of the first quarter to the start of the second, where they got a 72-yard touchdown run by Jerrick Harvey, then a fumbled kickoff led to another Ryan score.

But Rider didn't go away.

J.T. Barrett found Brandon Williams for a 49-yard touchdown off a great play-action fake midway through the second quarter, and the bands hit the field with Ryan leading 17-7.

Rider's defense came out strong in the second half, forcing a Ryan punt, then Rider drove the field for an Anthony Wagner touchdown that cut the Ryan lead to 17-14.

Cal Johnson added a field goal for the Raiders to tie things late in the third quarter.

Rider stopped Denton Ryan on a 4th-and-goal at the 1-yard line in the fourth quarter, then with about 90 seconds to play, new North Texas signee Dylan McDorman blocked a Mark Orozco field goal attempt that would have given Ryan the lead.

But with Rider driving down for a potential winning field goal of their own, Texas commit Alex De La Torre picked off a J.T. Barrett pass in the flat, returning it down to the Rider 29 yard line.

After Ryan ran down the clock, Orozco made good on his second chance, hitting a 41-yard field goal to give Ryan the final margin.

We'll have more highlights from the game, and post-game reaction from Rider head coach Jim Garfield, on the Friday Night High School Football Update!