Ryan coaches have been saying for a while that Garyreon Robinson is a big play waiting to happen. On Thursday, the senior running back, defensive back and speedy return man showed exactly why.
With the Raiders clinging to an 11-point lead, Robinson elected to field the second-half kickoff at Ryan’s 1-yard line. He quickly found a crease down the visitors’ sideline and outran everyone for a 99-yard touchdown. That score ultimately lit a fire under the Raiders, who rolled to a 27-3 win over Frisco Wakeland at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex.
Ryan (4-1, 3-0 District 5-5A Division I) sputtered at times offensively while turning the ball over three times but got 208 rushing yards and two touchdowns from Kalib Hicks and 91 receiving yards and a score by Jordyn Bailey to help put the game on ice.
Wakeland, which came in averaging 53.3 points per game, was held to 257 total yards and a field goal.
“We’ve got a long way to get better, but great teams find a way to win,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said.
Robinson said he was glad to be the one to provide that spark.
“It’s called Middle 55, and it was clogged up the entire game. But I went to the outside, saw the hole and got a great block. As soon as I got that block, I made sure to hit that hole,” Robinson said. “We knew it was still a close game. We needed to come out and make a big play, and that’s what we did. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”
Despite its early struggles, Ryan was never seriously threatened thanks to a suffocating defense. Wakeland running back Jared White was held to 49 rushing yards on 16 carries. Sophomore quarterback Brennan Myer threw for 195 yards and found several holes in the Raider defense while spreading the ball around to seven different receivers. But each time he engineered a Wolverines’ drive into Raider territory, Ryan’s defense turned him and Wakeland away empty-handed.
Following Robinson’s kickoff return, Wakeland drove to the Ryan 11-yard line. The drive stalled with 7:42 left in the third quarter, and Ryan eventually blocked the ensuing field goal try. Ryan also forced a turnover on downs with 8:41 left.
“We played great defense, we ran the ball well at times, and we scored in the kicking game,” Henigan said. “Obviously, you have to clean up turnovers, but Wakeland is a good football team.
“We challenged the defense. If they don’t score, they don’t win. These kids responded.”
Ryan got the scoring started with 8:23 to go in the first quarter when Hicks broke loose for a 20-yard touchdown. With 10:42 left in the half, Khalon Davis found Jordyn Bailey on a short pass near the sideline. Bailey spun on a dime and split two defenders while racing untouched for a 52-yard touchdown.
That score gave Ryan a 14-0 lead. Hicks added his second touchdown with 4:56 left in the game on a 21-yard run.
Ryan, the No. 1 team in Class 5A Division I, has now won three in a row since its Week 2 loss to rival Guyer. The Raiders will travel to Frisco Centennial next Thursday before hosting The Colony on Oct. 7.
“At the end of the day, we know we can do better,” Henigan said. “But against a good football team, we’ll take this one.”