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Football: Lewisville comes up short against Ryan
LEWISVILLE - Friday night's game was an all-too-familiar site for Lewisville head football coach Gregg Miller.
A sluggish start, a roaring comeback and then a late defensive letdown to surrender a lead.
Friday night's 28-24 loss to Denton Ryan was the latest such scenario. Only this one puts Lewisville in a must-win situation going forward.
The Farmers dropped to 1-7, 0-3 in District 5-5A with the loss, meaning any chance of making the playoffs -- the top four teams in the six-team district qualify -- hinges on wins against Hebron next week and Coppell in the season finale. Ryan moves to 4-3, 2-1.
"Those are two of the best teams around," Miller said. "We're not throwing in the towel, but we just created another mountain that we have to climb. But we're not going to lay down."
Hebron (5-3, 2-1) is the second-place team in the district, and Coppell (8-0, 3-0) is in first place.
A tall order, but not impossible. Flower Mound played both teams close, and Lewisville was seconds away from beating Flower Mound two weeks ago.
But Miller knows several things have to change first. For one, starting running back Deandre Brown must be healthy. The senior back suffered an injury with 2:28 left in the third quarter and left the game Friday. Miller said he will be examined Saturday to determine if X-rays are needed.
Miller said the Farmers must also reverse their trend of letting go of a lead late in the game as it did Friday.
Clinging to a 24-21 fourth-quarter lead, thanks to a 35-yard field goal from junior kicker Tluang Hmung, Lewisville watched Ryan march 73 yards for the winning touchdown. Junior running back Tyrone Williams scored on a three-yard touchdown run with 3:07 left in the game. He ran nine times for 41 yards in that drive.
But the big play came near midfield when Ryan was facing a fourth-and-six situation. Cole Carpenter lined up to punt but ended up lofting a 19-yard pass to senior wide receiver Daniel Telaneus to continue the drive.
"We knew it was coming," Miller said. "We had it locked down. In fact, our defense didn't even leave the field. But when their guy got past us, he was gone."
Lewisville had one last chance to win, and a 12-yard run from senior running back Ahkeel Guy and a 10-yard pass from junior quarterback Matt McDougal to sophomore wide receiver Cameron Creal made it look promising.
But a dropped pass and a high throw ended the drive.
Things didn't start out well for Lewisville, either. The Farmers fumbled the ball on their second play of the game, and junior lineman Alex Funches recovered it in the end zone for a touchdown.
Ryan made it 14-0 midway through the first quarter when junior quarterback Mitchell Bridges ran in a short touchdown.
But then, things turned in Lewisville's favor. The Farmers rode the legs of Brown, who scored a short touchdown to put his team on the board.
In the second quarter, the Farmers stopped Ryan at the Lewisville 1-yard line. The Farmers eventually punted, and when a Ryan defender got a hand on it, Lewisville was able to recover.
The Farmers went on to score a touchdown on a 92-yard sprint from Brown. He finished the game with 225 yards on 20 carries.
Lewisville took a 21-14 lead on McDougal's 4-yard pass to senior wide receiver Fredrick Campbell with 36 left in the first half. Creel helped set up the score on a far-stretching 13-yard catch two plays earlier.
Lewisville didn't score in the third quarter, and the offense cooled down after Brown's injury.
"That allowed them to tee off on us," Miller said. "When a team loses its starting running back, the other team really gets after you when they see you have your second back in there."
Ryan, on the other hand, did score in the third quarter when Williams found the end zone on a 5-yard run to tie the game, 21-21.
Williams finished the game with 133 yards on 23 carries. Bridges and junior running back A.J. Anderson combined for 86 yards. Bridges, too, suffered an injury in the third quarter. But senior Kevin Ray filled in nicely, finishing the touchdown drive with three completions. He was 5-for-8 in the game with 63 yards and no interceptions.
Besides Brown's big game, McDougal also led the Farmers with eight completions on 17 attempts for 88 yards and no interceptions.
Creel caught five passes for 59 yards.