Ryan tackling

Ryan defenders tackle Frisco Lone Star wide receiver Jake Bogdon (2) at Allen ISD’s Eagle Stadium on Saturday.

ALLEN — Ryan coach Dave Henigan was presented with the option of playing Frisco Lone Star on Friday, with the goal of having a full week of practice leading up to the state title game should they win.

Henigan balked at the notion, saying he preferred an extra day to prepare for the No. 1 team in Class 5A Division I.

Who knows if playing Saturday versus Friday ended up being that big of a difference-maker, but Ryan looked more than ready on both sides of the ball as it slowly picked Lone Star apart while also making star receiver Marvin Mims a nonfactor in a 35-7 win at Eagle Stadium in a 5A Division I state semifinal.

Ryan (15-0) lost its previous three trips to the fifth round. Now the Raiders will play in their sixth state title game and first since 2010 at 7 p.m. Friday at AT&T Stadium against Alvin Shadow Creek.

“We talked at length about what type of mindset you have to have to win these types of games, and you talk about being locked in at our team meeting this morning. ... I could tell right away [how these kids felt],” Henigan said. “We are going to enjoy the heck out of this today and tonight.

“Today is about this game. These are hard to come by, and we should know from the past three years.”

The Raiders’ victory played out much like every game has for them all season. After jumping out to a 14-0 lead at halftime, Ryan scored 21 straight points in the second half before Lone Star notched its first score in the closing minute. Defensively, Ryan forced four turnovers, including three interceptions.

Mims, who owns the state and national records for receiving yards in a season and also set the career record for receiving yards in Texas during the game, finished with 10 catches for 127 yards.

Most of those yards came in the second half, long after Ryan had imposed its will.

Emani Bailey rushed for 146 yards and two touchdowns for Ryan, which also got a surgical performance from junior quarterback Seth Henigan. Seth Henigan, who has an offer from Houston, spread the ball around at will while completing 14 of his 18 passes for 151 yards and one touchdown.

Ja’Tavion Sanders hauled in five of those catches for 92 yards.

“People were going to doubt us because of what happened the last three years. But we wiped the slate clean and hit the reset button,” Bailey said. “We were going to shock everyone.”

Ryan’s ability to jump out on Lone Star early was more about patience than forcing the issue. The first score — a 20-yard catch by Billy Bowman Jr. — didn’t come until the first play of the second quarter and capped a 12-play, 75-yard drive. After forcing a punt, Ryan methodically marched right back down the field on a 10-play, 75-yard drive, scoring with a 1-yard toss play to Bailey.

In contrast, Ryan got the ball to start the second half and scored in four plays to take a 21-0 lead. Bowman added a 19-yard interception return 1:14 later to push the lead to four scores.

“It all started with our coaches. They put us in a position to win; watching film was key,” Bowman said. “I love [our defense]. They come to work every single day, and we have such a great bond. We said no one believes in us, and we’ve got to go prove it and kill their will. We did that.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 469-360-3611 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

Recommended for you