It was a bitter ending to what was an outstanding season for the Ryan Cowboys’ football squad.
Last Friday night at Bob Givens Sports Complex, the Cowboys fell to Burns Flat-Dill City, 58-12, in a first-round playoff game.
While the margin of victory was great, the Eagles were the benefactors of some key plays early in the game that kept the Cowboys on their heels most of the night and finally resulted in the big win.
Ryan finishes its first season under Tony Tomberlin at 7-4, while BFDC improved to 6-5 and moves on to face Pioneer-Pleasant Vale in the second round of the Class B playoffs.
Three key events set the tone for the contest – a 90-yard touchdown run after Ryan fumbled deep in BFDC territory, an 84-yard kickoff return by the Eagles after a Ryan score and a successful onside kick recovery by the Eagles to begin the second half.
All of those plays happened at critical moments in the game and helped the Eagles control the contest.
BFDC also possessed some speed on both offense and defense and it stymied the Cowboys most of the night.
The Eagles took the opening kickoff and moved 61 yards in nine plays to take a 6-0 lead at the 8:02 mark in the first quarter. Tracen Poor got the score on a seven-yard run.
The Cowboys were poised to answer the score as they moved from midfield after recovering an Eagle onside kick attempt to the BFDC nine-yard line. However, on a first and goal, the Cowboys fumbled and John Shorter alertly covered it for BFDC at the 10.
On first down talented running back Isaac Tubbs took the pigskin to the house breaking into the Cowboys’ secondary and racing down the left side for a 90-yard score. The run failed for two points, but instead of a lead or a tie for the Cowboys, the Eagles had a 12-0 advantage with six minutes to play in the initial quarter.
Another failed onside kick attempt set the Cowboys up at their own 49 and Ryan moved right down the field in 11 plays and on a fourth and goal, quarterback Grayson Tomberlin scored from five yards out. The two-point conversion failed, but now Ryan trailed by only 12-6 with 1:26 left in the first quarter.
On the kickoff, the Eagles made another pivotal play in the game as Tubbs took the ball at his own 16-yard line and went 84 yards for the touchdown. Poor ran for the two points and the Eagles had increased the lead to 20-6.
The Cowboys fought back and took care of another onside kick attempt by the Eagles to begin the offensive push at the Cowboy 46. Ryan covered the distance in seven plays with Tomberlin taking it in from 21 yards out for the score.
After a penalty on the conversion attempt, the Cowboys tried a pass for the conversion, but it fell incomplete leaving Ryan with a 20-12 deficit with 10:22 to play in the second quarter.
On the next possession, BFDC looked like they would take control of the game driving deep into Ryan territory, but Tubbs fumbled the ball at the Ryan three after a 15-yard gain and Kalen Weldon got the recovery for the Cowboys.
Ryan moved from its own three to the BFDC 46, but a fumble by the Cowboys, which was covered by Andrew Villerreal, set the Cowboys back at the Ryan 40 and three plays later the Cowboys were forced to punt.
The Eagles got through on the punt and blocked it to give them excellent field position at the Ryan 25 with only 1:25 showing on the clock before the half.
The Eagles worked their way to the Ryan four to get a first down stopping the clock with one second to play. Somehow the Eagles got the play off before the clock ran out and Poor found Robert Rush for a four-yard touchdown pass over the middle with no time left. Luis Margerum ran for the two points and the Eagles held a 28-12 halftime advantage.
Beginning the second half the Eagles tried yet another onside kick and this time the Cowboys mishandled it and BFDC got the recovery at midfield. On the fifth play of the drive, Margerum scored from nine yards to extend the lead to 34-12 at the 10:32 mark of the third period.
From this point, the Cowboys simply could not get much going offensively and the Eagles were able to frequently get into the Cowboy secondary for large gains.
After a failed fake punt attempt the Eagles extended the lead with a five-play, 57-yard drive. Margerum capped the drive with a one-yard plunge and Tubbs ran for the two points to put the margin at 42-12 with 8:35 to play in the third quarter.
The Cowboys were forced to punt on the ensuing possession after failing to pick up a first down and the Eagles took over at the Ryan 45. In only four plays the Eagles got a touchdown as Margerum scored his third rushing touchdown of the nine on a five-yard run. Margerum added the two-point conversion and with 5:38 left in the third quarter the Eagles were ready to end the game early with a 50-12 advantage.
Ryan tried to stay alive in the game but an incomplete fourth-down pass gave the Eagles another possession.
From the BFDC 31, the Eagles took the ball for the game-ending score. It took eight plays with the aid of 20 yards of Ryan penalties for the Eagles to cap the drive. It was a five-yard run by Tubbs for the score and the two-point conversion run by Margerum with 1:04 left in the third quarter that ended the game.
Tubbs finished with 209 yards rushing on only 19 carries. Add in the kickoff return and one pass reception and Tubbs finished the night with 290 all-purpose yards.
In his last game for the Cowboys, Skylar Parkhill finished with 90 yards on 15 carries to lead the Ryan offensive attack that was limited to 195 total yards for the contest.
Game in Figures
First Downs 21 12
Yards Rushing 42-391 33-172
Yards Passing 37 23
Passes 4-5 5-14
Passes Int. By 0 0
Fumbles, Lost 2-1 2-1
Punts 0-0 2-17
Penalties 2-10 6-40
SCORE BY QUARTERS
BFDC 20 8 30 x-58
Ryan 6 6 0 x-12
BFDC – Tracen Poor 7 run (run failed), 8:02
BFDC- Isaac Tubbs 90 run (run failed), 6:00
RYAN – Grayson Tomberlin 5 run (run failed), 1:26
BFDC – Tubbs 84 kickoff return (Poor run), 1:11
RYAN – Tomberlin 21 run (pass failed), 10:22
BFDC – Robert Rush 4 pass from poor (Luis Margerum run), :00
BFDC – Margerum 9 run (run failed), 10:32
BFDC – Margerum 1 run (Tubbs run), 8:35
BFDC – Margerum 5 run (Margerum run), 5:38
BFDC – Tubbs 5 run (Margerum run), 1:04
BFDC: Rushing – Tubbs 19-209, Margerum 10-94, Poor 13-88; Passing – Poor 4-5-37-0; Receiving – Rush 3-40, Tubbs 1- -3.
RYAN: Rushing – Skylar Parkhill 15-90, Tomberlin 15-87, Travis Fristoe 2-9, Team 1- -14; Passes – Tomberlin 5-12-23-0, Parkhill 0-2-0-0; Receiving – Kalen Weldon 3-10, Parkhill 2-13; Tackles – Tomberlin 14, Parkhill 12, Fristoe 12, Justin Williams 9, Andrew Villerreal 7, Walter Snider 7, Weldon 5, Pacen Wiest 4, Gunner Phillips 1, Trey Bryant 1