Raiders positive going into I-4A final

Andy Newberry
Patrick johnston/times-record news
Rider senior safety D.J. Arnold has a team-leading five interceptions. He also 58 tackles and has scored four touchdowns.

Patrick johnston/times-record news Rider senior safety D.J. Arnold has a team-leading five interceptions. He also 58 tackles and has scored four touchdowns.

D.J. Arnold's seven interceptions are a school record.

D.J. Arnold's seven interceptions are a school record.

Rider junior Bradley Goldstein had 15 tackles Saturday to increase his team-leading total to 154.

Rider junior Bradley Goldstein had 15 tackles Saturday to increase his team-leading total to 154.

Rider's Cody Taylor opened the Region I-4A semifinal on Saturday with a 52-yard touchdown reception, his first varsity catch.

Rider's Cody Taylor opened the Region I-4A semifinal on Saturday with a 52-yard touchdown reception, his first varsity catch.

The Rider Raiders know it takes a lot of work to get here. This is their third straight appearance in the Region I-4A finals.

But Rider (11-2) still doesn't know what a state semifinal looks like, going 0-5 in this round over the past eight seasons. That's the history that is in front of them as they prepare to take on Frenship (12-1) at 2 p.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The last time a city team played at home in this round was in 2000 when Wichita Falls High School beat Southlake Carroll, 41-21. That was also the last time a city team made the state semifinals.

Rider has played Frenship in a regional final, back in 2006. The Tigers won that meeting at Lubbock's Jones Stadium, 20-17.

The Raiders also fell in the regional finals in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2011.

Rider coach Jim Garfield is positive about this opportunity. He believes his team has done a good job of "trying to be 1-0 each week."

"It's something these kids are battling for," Garfield said. "The excitement of being in this round three years in a row. The seniors have been through this the other two years and they're ready to charge through the door.

"Our kids are taking care of the right here, right now. Make sure they focus in on the film and Wednesday and Thursday are big work days."

Everything about last week was far from routine — except for a third-round victory — as they traveled to Midland the day before the game, played El Paso Burges before a mostly empty stadium and then arrived home in the middle of the night. This week they'll be eating and sleeping at home.

"We'll try to stay routine with what they do in their life," Garfield said. "These kids have a life outside of football. They have to do well in pre-Cal, make sure the girlfriend is happy and keep up with chores."

One thing Garfield was sure the players won't be doing is looking at last year's game with Frenship, a 42-14 bi-district win for Rider.

"Definitely throw that out, this has all the makings of a great high school football game with a lot of excitement," Garfield said. "We want to be 1-0 at the end of the week. Just make sure you go 1-0 on Saturday afternoon."

They're hoping to have a lot of fans there cheering for that very thing. Because 1-0 this time will be unchartered territory.

■ ■ ■

DEFENSE, DEFENSE!

Bradley Goldstein made a team-high 15 tackles last week, along with a sack, to increase his season-leading tackle total to 154.

Fred Williams was second with 11 tackles and D.J. Arnold had nine.

El Paso Burges tried just seven passes but it was enough for Brylan McCoy to make his first interception and run the team total to 20. The school record is 23 by the 1974 team.

Rider recovered four fumbles, including gaining extra possessions by recovering two squib kicks. Cody Ribble, Luis Trejo, Josh Price and Quartez Carter had the recoveries. Trey Parker and Arnold had hits to force fumbles.

On a night where it was tough to stop Burges from gaining yards, playing take-away proved to be a good strategy once again.

Rider has come up with two or more take-aways in every game this season.

■ ■ ■

Tickets: The pre-sale tickets for Saturday's game are $4 for students and $8 for adults at Rider High School. All tickets will be $10 at the gate.

Getting picky: Arnold has the season record for interceptions with seven, passing teammate Mason Stone, who had six in 2010.

300 club: Stopping the run will be another focus this week as the Raiders will see D'Maujeric Tucker of Frenship who is coming off a 386-yard game against Waco. Rider allowed a 334-yard game to Burges' Aaron Jones.

More firsts: Rider's Cody Taylor scored his first touchdown, making him the 15th player to find the end zone. It came on a 52-yard double reverse pass from Davon Allison, which was the first TD pass from Allison. Allison had scored his first TDs against Fort Worth Dunbar. Goldstein has been close many times before but Rider's leading tackler got his first sack of the year on Saturday. Freshman quarterback T.J. Vasher completed his first two passes and Josh Hatch and Hunter Robertson made their first catches.

© 2012 Times Record News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 3

goldandredraiderfan writes:

ONE FAMILY ONE TEAM!!!

wow writes:

Can this team make school history as the first team to ever make it past the quarterfinals? Coach Gar certainly has them believing in themselves!

Melkor writes:

They still have two games to win before they make any headway that way. S.O.S.

I hear Bill Green is not happy at Permian. Bet he would love to take over the program at Old High!

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Season leaders

Passing:

1. Ben Davis, Graham (2,690Yds, 28TDs)
2. Chase London, Rider (2,389Yds, 28TDs)
3. Taylor Thomas, Olney (2,303Yds, 11TDs)
4. Zach Barton, Seymour (2,036Yds, 31TDs)


Rushing:

1. D. J. Thomas, Jacksboro (1,488Yds, 20TDs)
2. Cedric Battle, Hirschi (1,323Yds, 19TDs)
3. Michael Bishop, Electra (1,281Yds, 17TDs)
4. Marquis Askew, Burkburnett (1,254Yds, 8TDs)


Receiving:

1. Davon Allison, Rider (1,366Yds, 14TDs)
2. Bryce Reeves, Graham (1,043Yds, 11TDs)
3. Mike Clark, Olney (910Yds, 5TDs)
4. Dalton Jackson, City View (675Yds, 7TDs)
5. Cody Adams, Seymour (670Yds, 8TDs)


>> See complete stats


Tackles:

1. Zack Ballard, Olney (201)
2. Brady Brunson, Burkburnett (152)
3. Corey Luster, Vernon (135)
4. Gage Robinson, Bowie (132)
5. Elijah Hull, Hirschi (125)
6. Marcus Leija, Quanah (122)
7. Tristan Sherman, Holliday (113)
8. Garrett Johnson, Jacksboro (112)
9. Austin Martinez, Quanah (112)


Sacks:

1. Justin Silva, City View (10)
2. Treston Shepherd, Seymour (7)
3. Daytona Politakis, Nocona (7)
4. Kevin Stallcup, Bowie (7)
5. Cody Fletcher, Henrietta (7)
6. Garrett Johnson, Jacksboro (9)
7. Baltazar Castro, Seymour (6)
8. Logan Carter, Henrietta (6)
9. Tristan Willard, Nocona (6)


Interceptions:

1. David Stretcher, Jacksboro (6)
2. Brad Slade, Bowie (5)
3. Jay Ward, Bowie (5)
4. Hagen Hughes, Graham (5)
5. Mikey Feeze, Graham (4)


>> See complete stats


Passing:

1. Mitchell Parsley, Crowell (1,708Yds, 30TDs)
2. Cody McElroy, Notre Dame (1,677Yds, 33TDs)
3. Bryson Oliver, Throckmorton (1,286Yds, 27TDs)
4. Tyler Mays, Newcastle (922Yds, 18TDs)


Rushing:

1. Cody McElroy, Notre Dame (1,579Yds, 35TDs)
2. Trinity Haggard, Throckmorton (1,326Yds, 21TDs)
3. Aaron Baker, W. Christian (1,320Yds, 20TDs)
4. Chris Lewis, Knox City (1,214Yds, 19TDs)


Receiving:

1. William Hogan, Crowell (422Yds, 13TDs)
2. Nathan Wilson, Newcastle (419Yds, 8TDs)
3. Hayden Farquhar, Throckmorton (413Yds, 10TDs)
4. Michael Fantini, Notre Dame (410Yds, 4TDs)
5. Nathan Riley, Throckmorton (369Yds, 8TDs)

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