From the outset, the 50th meeting between Rider and Wichita Falls High School was a mismatch.
The Raiders came with a complete effort on offense, defense and special teams, rolling into the playoffs with a 49-0 rout at Memorial Stadium.
Rider (8-2, 6-1) earned second place in District 5-4A and will take on Fort Worth Dunbar in the Region I-4A bi-district playoff round on Friday at Clark Field.
But the Raiders had prepared this week for their rivalry game by taking it as any other game, according to coach Jim Garfield.
Rider had a 20-0 lead after one quarter and exploded for three more touchdowns in the third quarter before completely emptying its bench.
"We talked about treating it like another game, and I think so many times as a coaching staff, we really blow the game up," Garfield said. "This was a week that we took it like any other week.
"It was a great crowd. I'm pleased with how our kids handled the rivalry and kept it in a frame of mind where it was just another game."
Quarterbacks Davon Allison and Chase London took turns leading the offense. For London, it was a nice return after being injured three weeks ago against Azle. He completed 6 of 8 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown.
"That got us ready to make a good run at the playoffs," Garfield said of the quarterback situation, as the team has won five of six since J.T. Barrett went down. "I think Chase is 100 percent. We wanted to knock the rust off a little bit. Davon has been steady ever since he's been put in that position."
Domanic Thrasher scored the first two touchdowns and had 15 or more yards on three of his first 10 carries. He finished early with 96 yards and three touchdowns. Carlos Fleeks took game-high honors with 107 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
"They did a very good job of running the football, and they're a top-10 team in the state for a reason," WFHS defensive coordinator Marcus Shavers said. "I felt like our kids played hard, but we struggled tackling. But credit to them, they are a really strong team, and I look for them to go far in the playoffs."
Rider finished with 410 total yards, including 308 on the ground. But it was the defense that set the tone right off the bat with a quick three-and-out. Then the special teams set up the first score with Caleb Levell's blocked punt.
Rider took over at the WFHS 16-yard line and needed just two offensive plays to dent the scoreboard on a 7-yard run by Thrasher out of the single-wing formation the Coyotes used so well decades ago.
Later in the first quarter, the Raiders turned an interception by Amani Colbert into a 1-yard touchdown run by Thrasher.
On the Raiders' final snap of the first quarter, it was the offense with a big play. Fleeks had an escort by his blockers to the corner, then he used his speed to sprint down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown run and a 20-0 lead.
The Raiders' passing game produced their fourth score, as London fired a perfect pass on a post route to Jered Hasty for a 30-yard touchdown and a 27-0 lead that carried into halftime.
WFHS (2-8, 0-7), which had 146 yards in the game. saw its best scoring chance end with a missed field goal.
The Coyotes' reverse plays involving Mikal Penn had the most success. There was a 40-yard underthrown pass to Bubba Mathis, who circled back to make a big play, and Penn had three runs for 41 yards. Robert Williams gained 50 yards rushing on 16 tries.
The Raiders picked off Coyotes quarterback Zack Murphy three times and had four interceptions in all. Fred Williams had two of them to go with one each by Fleeks and Colbert. That gives the team 16 picks in the regular season.
Sam Scribner had a fumble recovery for the Raiders, then scored the lead block on D.J. Arnold's 4-yard touchdown in the third quarter.
Fleeks and Thrasher also scored 6-yard touchdowns out of the single-wing in the third quarter.
Rider went 1 for 2 on two-point conversions. Linebacker Bradley Goldstein couldn't complete his passing attempt in the first half, but Fleeks scored on a run for two in the second half.
Rider extended its lead in the 50-game series to 29-18-3.
In the only District 5-4A game that had a bearing on the playoffs, the Lake Dallas Falcons beat Azle, 21-13. That put Lake Dallas into the Division II bracket with Rider, while Azle will go into the Division I bracket with champion Denton Guyer.
WFHS 0 0 0 0 — 0
Rider 20 7 22 0—49
R — Domanic Thrasher 7 run (Luis Trejo kick), 10:30
R — Domanic Thrasher 1 run (Luis Trejo kick), 2:18
R — Carlos Fleeks 68 run (pass failed), 0:23
R — Jered Hasty 30 pass from Chase London (Luis Trejo kick), 2:40
R — Domanic Thrasher 6 run (Carlos Fleeks run), 9:46
R — D.J. Arnold 2 run (Luis Trejo kick), 6:30
R — Carlos Fleeks 6 run (Trejo kick), 3:15
First downs 7 19
Rushes-yards 28-74 51-308
Passing 72 102
Comp-Att-Int 8-22-4 7-11-1
Punts-Avg. 7-27 3-21
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yds. 10-93 7-60
RUSHING — WFHS, Robert Williams 15-50, Mikal Penn 3-41, Zack Murphy 2- 12, Deshaun Young 5-9, Eric Butler 1-9, Korie Robinson 1-1, Team 1-6. Rider, Davon Allison 10-40, Carlos Fleeks 6-107, Domanic Thrasher 18-96, D.J. Arnold 2-3, Chedy Joseph 6-24, Josh Price 4-22, John Hatch 1 -3, Cristian Barron 2-5, Johnny Diaz 4-14.
PASSING — WFHS, Zack Murphy 3-9-16-3, Mikal Penn 1-2-40-0, Deshaun Young 2-9-6-1, Eric Butler 2-2-10-0. Rider, Davon Allison 1-3-14-1, Chase London 6-8-88-0.
RECEIVING — WFHS, Orryn Clark 3-18, Bubba Mathis 2-45, Adam Stowe 1-4, Mikal Penn 2-5. Rider, Davon Allison 2-49, John Hatch 2-13, Jered Hasty 1-30, Domanic Thrasher 1 — 3, Brylan McCoy 1-14.