THE COLONY — With as loaded a roster as the No. 1-ranked Ryan Raiders have this season, it’s easy to shine the spotlight on highly coveted two-way recruits like Billy Bowman Jr. and Ja’Tavion Sanders.
But let’s not forget that when those guys are on offense, they have a pretty good quarterback throwing to them.
Seth Henigan, a Memphis commit who is in his third year as Ryan’s starter, threw for a season-high 332 yards and five touchdowns Friday — three to the combo of Bowman and Sanders — as Ryan cruised to a 49-8 District 5-5A Division I win over The Colony at Tommy Briggs Cougar Stadium.
Henigan has 14 touchdown passes in four district games, including at least four in each of his last three starts.
Ryan (6-0, 4-0 district) has outscored district opponents 199-39.
“Seth has really become one of the biggest leaders on this team,” said Bowman, an Oklahoma commit. “I think that’s mainly because he’s become so much more comfortable at the quarterback position. He’s just more confident, and with him doing that, it’s just brought the team together even more.”
And he knows exactly where to throw the ball. Bowman caught two passes Friday for 122 yards and a touchdown while Sanders, who is committed to Texas, finished with five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns.
Bowman’s receiving touchdown went for 85 yards. He also added an electrifying 82-yard interception return for another score, giving him eight touchdowns over the past three games.
On the night, Henigan completed 10 of his 15 passes and threw touchdown strikes to four different receivers.
“He’s really been sharp, and you can see he’s been in the weight room,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said of his son. “Some of these plays he’s making — that’s strength.”
That strength was on full display late in the second quarter as Seth Henigan couldn’t quite get away from a heavy rush. With a defender dragging him to the ground, he maintained his footing just long enough to look downfield and find a wide-open Sanders for an 18-yard touchdown to give Ryan a 35-0 halftime lead.
“I still have some stuff to clean up; I think I’ve had an interception in each of the last few games,” Seth Henigan said. “But I had no idea about those stats for this game — all credit to my playmakers.”
It was a relatively easy night for the Raiders, who outgained The Colony 484-187 and led by 42 points before the Cougars got on the board with a safety late in the third quarter. By that point, Ryan’s backups were in the game.
The lone bright spot for the Cougars was Kione Roberson, who was relied on early and often against Ryan’s stingy defense. Roberson finished with 81 rushing yards and a touchdown on 25 carries. Roberson got into the end zone with 10:53 left in the game to trim Ryan’s lead to 42-8.
The Raiders responded with another touchdown, a 12-yard pass from backup quarterback Khalon Davis to Jordyn Bailey. It was Bailey’s second score of the game. He also hauled in a 31-yard touchdown pass from Henigan on Ryan’s first drive of the third quarter.
“It’s kind of a tough place to play, so we challenged the kids to start fast,” coach Henigan said. “We came out the first drive and scored, got the ball again and scored and almost got the onside kick after that. There were a lot of big plays, and we were very explosive offensively. Obviously, we scored on defense, too.”