KELLER — Ryan senior Emani Bailey couldn’t find many open lanes with the run game in last week’s blowout win over Mesquite Poteet. He had no trouble on Friday churning out yards, and it came at just the right time for the Raiders.
On a night when Ryan, the No. 2 team in Class 5A Division I, turned the ball over five times and amassed just 241 total yards, Bailey rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown while the defense pitched a shutout and added a score of its own in a 24-0 win over Keller Fossil Ridge at Keller ISD Athletic Complex.
Bailey now has three touchdowns in two games. He scored two receiving touchdowns last week in the 52-6 win. He more than doubled his production in the run game this week while scoring his first rushing touchdown of the season.
“We have a million things to fix, but the line did their job up front sticking and punching,” said Bailey, who came in with 67 rushing yards on 10 carries. “They gave me perfect looks to get out there and run. Playing good Class 6A teams like that, you need the mentality of not giving up, even with the turnovers. You have to come back stronger and push until the end.”
Ryan (2-0) did all its scoring in the first half and was given chance after chance to put the game even further out of reach. Fossil Ridge (0-2) was inept in almost every facet while managing 144 yards and turning the ball over four times.
Three of those four turnovers came on special teams miscues — all in the first half.
But Ryan tossed two interceptions and fumbled three times throughout the night.
“Our defense played lights out and kept us in the game,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. “We probably played as bad as we could possibly play on offense. We ran the ball well, but we just turned the ball over and never could get into a rhythm. We have a lot of clean up there, but we’re not going to take winning for granted.
“Hopefully this shows we can win by scoring a lot some weeks, playing good defense in others, or a combination of both.”
Despite Ryan’s struggles, it never lost control of the game.
The first of Fossil Ridge’s miscues came with the Panthers trailing 3-0 in the closing seconds of the first quarter. On the play, Fossil Ridge’s punter bobbled the snap and fumbled it. He was immediately swarmed by a host of Raider defenders, and a race for the loose football ensued. The ball rolled all the way to the Ridge 2-yard line before it was scooped up by Ryan’s Austin Jordan, who scored on the play and gave Ryan a comfortable 10-0 lead as time expired in the frame.
Fossil Ridge then muffed the ensuing kickoff, giving the ball back to Ryan at the Panthers’ 16-yard line. Two plays later, Seth Henigan found Texas commit Billy Bowman Jr. wide open over the middle of the field for a 16-yard touchdown.
Ryan closed the first half with a four-play drive capped by a 38-yard touchdown run from Bailey.
Bailey had 101 of his yards by halftime.
Ryan is now 6-3 in the all-time series with Fossil Ridge.
“We’ll always take wins. We love winning, but we know we have a long season ahead of us,” Bailey said.
Denton Ryan 24, Keller Fossil Ridge 0
Keller F. Ridge
DR — Riley Nuzzo 38 FG
DR — Austin Jordan 2 fumble return (Riley Nuzzo kick)
DR — Billy Bowman Jr. 16 pass from Seth Henigan (Riley Nuzzo kick)
DR — Emani Bailey 38 run (Riley Nuzzo kick)
Rushing — DR: Emani Bailey 16-155, Keori Hicks 5-3, Devin Ramirez 1-3, Tra Smith 1--1, Seth Henigan 2--8, FR: Colione Evans 22-64, Elijah Jennings 1--1, Austin Stohlman 19--22, Team Stat 1--25.
Passing — DR: Seth Henigan 13-27-2-89, FR: Austin Stohlman 11-26-1-97, Daniel Cobbs 1-1-0-31.
Receiving — DR: Billy Bowman Jr. 6-57, Keori Hicks 4-19, Emani Bailey 2-8, Ja’Tavion Sanders 1-5, FR: Daniel Cobbs 2-49, Russell Wilkerson 3-32, Jalen Brown 4-25, Jalen Elam 2-14, Colione Evans 1-8.