The rivalry is back.
After five years of waiting, Guyer and Ryan will square off in Week 2 of the upcoming 2020 season. Guyer coach John Walsh and Ryan coach Dave Henigan confirmed Tuesday afternoon that they have agreed to the nondistrict matchup, putting an end to a weeklong search that saw Ryan leave the UIL realignment meeting on Feb. 3 needing only one game to complete its 10-game schedule.
The two Denton ISD programs haven’t played each other since 2015. Overall, they’ve played seven times since 2006, with the Raiders leading the all-time series 4-3.
“There’s great parity there,” Walsh said of the matchup. “I think the city of Denton wants to watch it. I’m tickled pink that we get to do it again.”
Henigan agreed, saying everyone in Denton will be looking forward to this game.
“Both teams played for a state championship last year in their respective classification, so it’s going to be a great environment,” Henigan said. “I have no doubt about that. It’s going to be a lot of fun; everyone is going to enjoy it.”
This is the first time in the storied rivalry that Guyer and Ryan will play as nondistrict opponents. And it took a little bit to make it happen.
Guyer already had Aledo scheduled for Week 2, but Walsh proposed a four-team swap when he heard Ryan was still searching for its own Week 2 game. Henigan left realignment day having scheduled Dallas South Oak Cliff in the season opener followed by Lancaster.
But Lancaster backed out not even an hour later.
Meanwhile, Frisco Lone Star was still looking for a Week 2 game, as well. The Rangers and Ryan tentatively planned to play each other in Week 2, but they ended up in a nine-team district together. By Aledo and Lone Star playing in Week 2, that opened the door for the Wildcats and Raiders to schedule one another.
“We had Aledo in Week 2 since the Aledo game was over last year,” Walsh said. “Coach [Tim] Buchanan and I agreed to that. But after realignment, I heard Ryan was still looking for a Week 2 game. And we always welcome the Guyer and Ryan game.”
Guyer’s nondistrict schedule now includes Hebron in Week 1, Ryan in Week 2, Mansfield Lake Ridge in Week 3 and Humble Atascocita in Week 4.
Ryan has just two nondistrict games because of its massive district schedule. They’ll still face South Oak Cliff in Week 1.
“It’s a tough schedule,” Henigan said. “South Oak Cliff is a talented team, and obviously, Guyer is really good. I think our district is tough. Frisco Independence went three rounds and we played Lone Star in Week 15, and The Colony and Wakeland and the other teams are usually pretty good, too. But we’re pretty good, too. So we’re going to get back to work, get better every day and get ready for next season.”
The last time the Wildcats and Raiders played in 2015, Ryan came away with a 31-28 win to clinch the first of five straight district titles.
In 2014, Guyer beat Ryan 52-7, marking the last time the Raiders lost a regular-season game. Ryan is on a 50-game regular-season winning streak.
Ryan lost to Alvin Shadow Creek in the Class 5A Division I title game last season, while Guyer lost to Austin Westlake the following night in the Class 6A Division II title game.