MIDLAND — Rider ran a double reverse pass for a 52-yard touchdown on the first play of the night.
Neither offense ever really went in reverse again for the remainder of the game as the Raiders managed the daily double of a playoff school-record 64 points all while allowing a 334-yard rushing performance by El Paso Burges' Aaron Jones.
The numbers were dizzying but Rider coach Jim Garfield, a defensive coach by heart, could love one number and that was when the clock went to all zeros with his team on top, 64-35.
"I'm happy with the win, I'm not happy with the score, but I'm happy with the win," Garfield said after his team allowed 520 rushing yards and advanced.
The double reverse trickery on the opening play ended with the ball being pitched to Davon Allison, who lined up at receiver. Allison lofted a long ball to a wide open Cody Taylor, who patiently waited and turned his first career catch into six points.
Rider (11-2) used its swinging gate for a two-point conversion for Domanic Thrasher. That was one of six times that Thrasher ended up in the end zone as he rushed for 208 yards and four touchdowns and also scored two conversions.
It's a good thing Thrasher is used to sharing the spotlight, first with injured star quarterback J.T. Barrett and recently with Carlos Fleeks, who came on a week ago to lead Rider to victory in the fourth quarter.
This time his 208-yard night came at the same time that Aaron Jones was baffling the Rider defense with 23 carries for 334 yards and touchdowns of 80 and 50 yards.
"Oh, man he was good. He was a good back," said Thrasher, who upped his own team-leading total to 22 touchdowns.
Thrasher did something that Jones didn't do — score in every quarter. Thrasher broke a 42-yard TD run in the first quarter to make it 21-0; scored on a 2-yard plunge in the second; broke a near carbon copy of his first one for 43 yards in the third;
and capped off the banner night with a 51-yarder for the only score of the fourth quarter.
"I just stayed to the game plan this week," Thrasher said. "Our line made some good holes and I just burst them. It was a big momentum boost at the beginning of the game.
"I got the defense to flow one way and I cut back. My knee's not hurting, and my hand's not hurting. I'm ready for us to go make history."
The history that Thrasher and linebacker Bradley Goldstein talked about reaching is a win in the Region I-4A final next Saturday against Frenship, which beat Waco 45-28 on Saturday.
The Region I-4A final is set for 2 p.m. at Memorial Stadium after Rider lost the coin flip and traveled a year ago.
The Raiders broke the school record for points in a playoff game, beating by a Luis Trejo PAT kick the 63 they'd scored in 2004 against Stephenville. It was the 11th time Rider has broken the 40-point mark. In this one they did that before halftime.
But on the other side the Joneses were pretty spectacular for El Paso Burges (10-3). In particular it was Aaron Jones, who is being offered a scholarship by the University of Texas-El Paso and looked at by other schools.
Quarterback Alvin Jones added 116 yards on 13 carries, including a 66-yard touchdown for Burges.
Against Rider, which he called the best defense he'd faced, he saw a dozen of his 23 carries go for 10 or more yards.
"I just told my team I wasn't going to let them down," Aaron Jones said. "I wanted to put them on my back."
Goldstein, an inside linebacker and Rider's leading tackler on the year, was impressed but not totally happy with the 35 on that scoreboard, either.
"That back was the real deal," Goldstein said. "He was hard to tackle and was really physical.
"I'm pretty mad about the score still. He was hard to tackle; he would not go down.
"Our offense did really good, but they never should have put that many points on us. That quick start really helped us. We're going to the fifth round. We're going to make history!"
Rider also did some damage passing as Chase London completed 5-of-12 passes, all big ones, for 178 yards. He had a 39-yard touchdown on a slant to Josh Price and a 48-yard TD on the sideline to Brylan McCoy, who scored for a second straight week.
"You can't spot the No. 8 team in the state 21 points," Burges coach Marcus Graham said. "Very few teams are going to overcome that. Their offensive line was big. They just engulfed us."
The Raiders finished with 586 yards of offense, losing the chance at 600 with a couple of kneel downs to end it.
Sixty-four points was enough to set a school record and keep the Joneses playing catch-up all night.
And it was enough to give Rider another chance at making it to the fifth round. It'll be the third straight appearance in the Region I-4A final. And it's at home.
Tickets for the game against Frenship are $4 (students) and $8 (adults) at Rider High School and $10 at the gate.
El Paso Burges 6 9 20 0—35
Rider 21 22 14 7—64
R — Cody Taylor 52 pass from Davon Allison (Domanic Thrasher run), 11:40
R — Josh Price 39 pass from Chase London (Luis Trejo kick), 8:47
R — Domanic Thrasher 42 run (pass failed), 7:48
EPB — Michael Rasor 1 run (kick failed), 0:39
EPB — Aaron Jones 80 run (run failed), 10:02
EPB — Daniel Hernandez 44 FG, 2:53
R — Domanic Thrasher 2 run (Domanic Thrasher run), 1:14
R — Carlos Fleeks 4 run (Luis Trejo kick), 0:54
EPB — Alvin Jones 66 run (kick failed), 11:38
R — Domanic Thrasher 43 run (Luis Trejo kick), 10L40
R — Brylan McCoy 48 pass from Chase London (Luis Trejo kick), 2:48
EPB — Michael Rasor 9 run (run failed), 2:48
EPB — Aaron Jones 50 run (Aaron Jones pass from Alvin Jones), 0:31
R — Domanic Thrasher 51 run (Luis Trejo kick), 11:50
First downs 22 22
Rushes-yards 56-520 38-312
Passing 9 274
Comp-Att-Int 2-7-1 9-19-1
Punts-Avg. 1-24 1-34
Fumbles-Lost 3-2 1-0
Penalties-Yds. 7-60 5-38
RUSHING — El Paso Burges, Aaron Jones 23-334, Alvin Jones 13-116, Michael Rasor 20-70. Rider, Domanic Thrasher 12-208, Carlos Fleeks 13-86, Davon Allison 2-17, Chase London 1-6, Quartez Carter 1 — 3, D.J. Arnold 1-7, Chedy Joseph 2-7, Tariq Vasher 2-10, Christian Barron 1 — 2, TEAM 3 — 26.
PASSING — El Paso Burges, Alvin Jones 2-7-9-1. Rider, Chase London 5-12-178-0, Davon Allison 1-2-52-1, Tariq Vasher 2-3-44-0, Johnny Diaz 1-2-0-0.
RECEIVING — El Paso Burges, Michael Rasor 1-4, Aaron Jones 1-5. Rider, Davon Allison 2-72, John Hatch 1-19, Josh Price 2-39, Brylan McCoy 1-48, Cody Taylor 1-52, Josh Hatch 1-31, Hunter Robertson 1-13.