Empire scored 40 unanswered points last Friday night against the Ryan Cowboys to record a 58-8 District B-4 victory on the Bulldogs’ home field.

The Cowboys trailed only 18-8 heading into the intermission, but the Bulldogs struck for some long-distance scoring runs in the second half to doom the Cowboys.

Ryan is now 3-3 on the year (including the forfeit from Temple) and is 0-1 in district play. The Cowboys will try to rebound from the big loss by taking on Waurika tonight (Thursday) at Bob Givens Sports Complex. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Cowboys who are still battling injuries and inexperience stayed with the Bulldogs throughout the first half, but Ryan struggled offensively to move the ball with any consistency throughout the contest.

Midway through the first quarter the Cowboys’ Grayson Tomberlin launched a 52-yard punt to put Empire on the move at the Bulldog 29. It took only five plays for the Bulldogs to drive for the initial score of the night.

The drive ended with a 51-yard scamper by Empire quarterback Mitchell Monteith. The Cowboys stopped the two-point conversion, but Empire was on top, 6-0, with 4:31 to play in the first quarter.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

Late in the first quarter the Bulldogs took over after an unsuccessful fake punt the by the Cowboys inside Ryan territory at the 45 yard line.

The Cowboy defense stiffened but the Bulldogs kept plugging away even though it took Empire 12 plays to cover the 55 yards. Peyton Booth scored from four yards out after reversing the field to find an opening. The try for two failed, but Empire now owned a 12-0 lead with 9:49 left in the second quarter.

Ryan picked up only its second first down of the game on the next drive, but the Cowboy offense stalled at the Empire 39 and turned the ball over on downs.

After an incomplete pass, Booth took a pitch and raced 61 yards for the touchdown. The try for two failed, but Empire now held an 18-0 advantage with 4:47 left in the first half.

The Cowboys answered with their only scoring drive of the night. Ryan took the ball from its own 34 and in 13 plays picked up the score. Tomberlin found Andrew Villerreal wide open on the left side and Villerreal took the pass and waltzed into the end zone for the touchdown. Villerreal ran for the two-point conversion and the lead had been trimmed to 18-8 with just 41 seconds before halftime.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

The Bulldogs scored on their first three possessions of the second half with the third scored coming with 11:14 left in the game that gave Empire a 40-8 lead.

The Cowboys continued to struggle offensively and Empire took advantage of a Ryan fumble midway through the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs took possession at the Ryan 39 yard-line and on the first play Booth went the distance to increase the lead to 46-8 with 6:22 left in the game.

The Cowboys failed to convert a fourth down on the next possession and handed the Bulldogs the ball at the Ryan 43. It took Empire just four plays with Booth carrying the ball three times including a 33-yard run. The third rushing play resulted in a six-yard run for the touchdown by Booth and with 4:13 left the Bulldogs were in front, 52-8.

On the next possession the Cowboys’ drive ended with an interception and Empire took over at the Bulldog 35 yard line with just 1:57 remaining in the game. Two plays netted eight yards and instead of running out the clock, the Bulldogs’ Monteith took the ball and broke into the Ryan secondary for a 57-yard scoring run that ended the game on the mercy rule with only 41 seconds left in the game.

COWBOY CORRAL: These two schools have met on the gridiron only six times since Empire started football in the 1974 season….The Bulldogs and Cowboys played four times before Ryan dropped to eight-man football….Ryan still leads the short series, 4-2….The 50-point margin of victory is the largest of the six-game series breaking the old mark of 46 points set in the 1977 game won by Empire, 64-18….The 58 points is the second most points scored by Empire in the series….Ryan tied for the fewest points in a game against Empire…The Cowboys scored only scored eight points in a 1976 win over the Bulldogs, 8-6….The 490 yards rushing by the Bulldogs is the fourth most by an opponent in school history…The other three totals are 684 against Grandfield in 1997, 535 against Grandfield in 2001 and 496 against Ringling in a 1947 contest….Ryan dominated the time of possession with a seven-minute advantage, but Empire scored twice on short, one-play drives….Ryan went one of seven on fourth-down tries, while Empire was four of six in fourth-down conversions.

Game in Figures

                                    RHS           EHS

First Downs                  11              17

Yards Rushing            46-99        42-490

Yards Passing                51              130

Passes                           3-14          10-17

Passes Int. By                 0                1

Fumbles, Lost               3-1            1-0

Punts                           3-31.7         0-0

Penalties                       5-45        11-105

                  SCORE BY QUARTERS

Ryan         0                8                0                0—8

Empire     6                12              16              24—58

                  FIRST QUARTER

EMPIRE – Mitchell Monteith 51 run (pass failed), 4:31

                  SECOND QUARTER

EMPIRE – Peyton Booth 4 run (run failed), 9:49

EMPIRE – Booth 61 run (pass failed), 4:47

RYAN – Andrew Villerreal 14 pass from Grayson Tomberlin (Villerreal run), :41.5

                  THIRD QUARTER

EMPIRE – Booth 6 run (kick failed), 11:14

EMPIRE – Booth 39 run (kick failed), 6:22

EMPIRE – Booth 6 run (run failed), 4:13

EMPIRE – Monteith 57 run (no try), :41.5


RYAN: Rushing – Andrew Villerreal 19-58, Grayson Tomberlin 20-24, Caleb Perrin 7-17; Passing – Tomberlin 3-12-51-0; Villerreal 0-2-0-1; Receiving – Villerreal 2-39, Skyler Wickware 1-2; Tackles – Tomberlin 13, Gunner Phillips 10, Trey Bryant 10, Villerreal 8, Walter Snider 6; Parker Carey 4, Jonathan Clark 4, Wickware 3, Perrin 2. EMPIRE: Rushing – Peyton Booth 29-331; Mitchell Monteith 7-136, Logan Whitten 3-19; #85 3-4; Passing – Monteith 9-16-122-0; Booth 1-1-8-0; Receiving – Daniel Alvarez 4-90, Mcray Weber 5-32, #85 1-8;