With three games left in the regular season, Ryan and Birdville are the only two unbeaten teams left in District 4-5A Division I.
It’s the sort of matchup fans would love to see this week, especially with the district title on the line. But for now, they’ll have to wait until Week 10 and hope neither team has a letdown between now and then.
The Raiders (7-0, 4-0 district) have every intention of getting there unscathed to have a shot at a fifth straight district title. And that road starts Thursday as they face winless Carrollton R.L. Turner at 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Thursday’s game will be Ryan’s sixth this year at Collins, where they have outscored opponents 271-56.
“We have several goals. Our first is to win the district title, and there’s plenty of work to be done there down the stretch,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. “Grapevine is 5-2 [overall] and Birdville is good. More importantly, we have to keep improving. A lot of things have to happen, but the good teams that keep playing late in the season get better each week.”
On paper, Ryan shouldn’t have many problems winning their 48th straight regular-season game. The Raiders are averaging 51.9 points and nearly 417 yards per game.
Last week, the defense scored twice and Texas pledge Billy Bowman Jr. caught two passes for 103 yards and a touchdown in a 62-6 win over Carrollton Creekview. Ryan scored on seven of its eight drives in that game.
Meanwhile, the Lions come in having scored six points over their last five games and 14 for the season. Turner is averaging 73.7 yards a game and turned the ball over five times in last week’s 84-6 loss to Colleyville Heritage.
Ryan will likely be without running back Ke’ori Hicks, who hurt his ankle last week.
“We’re going to go out there and try to get better each week,” Henigan said. “That’s all you can do.”