ROYSE CITY — This time last season, the Royse City Bulldogs were biting their nails and needing the Greenville Lions to beat Ennis so they could advance to the football playoffs.
Greenville lost and the Bulldogs stayed at home. From that point on, the theme for this team was “Unfinished Business.”
Royse City didn’t want to depend on another team to help the Bulldogs advance to the playoffs and last Friday night the Bulldogs charged into the 2019 Texas state high school football playoffs with a convincing 48-10 victory over the Terrell Tigers.
Six different players scored for the Bulldogs, but it was not until after Royse City spotted the Tigers 10 points early in the game.
Royse City fumbled at its own 28-yard line on its second possession. The loose ball switched hands several times before rolling into the end zone and Tiger Khalid Johnson recovered the ball for a touchdown.
Another errant snap on the Bulldogs’ next possession resulted in an 8-yard Royse City punt. Four plays later Tiger kicker Christian Nunez kicked a 33-yard field goal to give Terrell a 10-0 lead. Royse City finally settled down and put together a 57-yard, seven-play drive capped off by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Tyson Oliver to Ketron Jackson. The extra point was good by Anthony Ortiz. The first quarter ended with the Bulldogs trailing 10-7.
Royse City erased the Terrell Tiger lead for good in the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run by the quarterback Oliver, an 18-yard touchdown pass from Oliver to Michael Alphin and a 36-yard field goal by Ortiz.
Leading 24-10 going into the third period, Oliver connected with a 40-yard pass completion to Jackson. Two plays later, senior tailback Payton Petroff scored on a 3-yard run.
Ortiz kicked another 36-yard field goal and sophomore tailback Ahmon Petty-Dozier added a 14-yard touchdown run in the third period to go up 41-10.
The Bulldogs rounded out their scoring with a 29-yard touchdown run by Dylan Garner. Ortiz added the final point of the game to give the Bulldogs the 48-10 victory that sent them into the playoffs for the first time since 2011.
Royse City locked down second place in District 8-5A-II with the victory over Terrell. As the district’s top-two finisher, the Bulldogs owned the right to select their playoff venue. Royse City will host the Lucas Lovejoy Leopards for the bi-district championship this Friday at 7:30.
Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week
Six different players scored for the Bulldogs against Terrell. All of those deserve recognition and at least 11 defensive players shut down Terrell’s offensive efforts. But when it all comes down to it, this was a senior night. A night led by over 30 seniors that made the commitment to complete unfinished business and they did just that. Determination, talent, coaching and complete dedication by the Royse City fan base were all contributors to bringing this team back into the playoff picture. Not since 2007 when the Bulldogs were 11-1 has Royse City registered eight or more wins. The last coach that accomplished that feat was Rodney Webb, now the successful Rockwall head football coach. So on this final week of the regular season, we dedicate the players of the week to the senior class of 2019-2020.
Final Scores This Week
Royse City 48, Terrell 10
North Forney 70, Sulphur Springs 23
Kaufman 42 Forney 28
Ennis 32, Greenville 25
Corsicana — Bye Week
Frisco 35, Lovejoy 17
Frisco Reedy 37, Princeton 20
Denton Braswell 47, Denison 18
McKinney North 63, Mesquite Poteet 21
Lancaster 38, Dallas Woodrow Wilson 3
Highland Park 43, Mansfield Timberview 21
Cedar Hill 28, DeSoto 27
McKinney 10, McKinney Boyd 7
Wylie 29, South Garland 9
Malakoff 84, Kemp 0
Midlothian Heritage 56, Mabank 49
Caddo Mills 56, Lincoln 40
Argyle 30, Celina 13
Sunnyvale 42, Farmersville 20
Bi-District Playoff Games and Predictions
Lovejoy at Royse City — Royse City by 7
Greenville at Frisco — Frisco by 3 (Thursday at The Ford Center)
Corsicana at Denton Braswell — Braswell by 9
Frisco Reedy at Ennis — Ennis by 10
Frisco Wakeland at Highland Park — Highland Park by 12
Kimbell at Aledo — Aledo by 21
Mansfield Legacy at Frisco Lone Star — Lone Star by 17
Gilmer at Farmersville — Gilmer by 14
Nevada Community at Texarkana Pleasant Grove — Pleasant Grove by 18
Pittsburg at Sunnyvale — Sunnyvale by 14
Killeen Harker Heights at Rockwall — Rockwall by 10
Wylie at Prosper — Wylie by 1
Lewisville at Southlake Carroll — Southlake Carroll by 7
Sachse at Allen — Allen by 13
South Grand Prairie at Duncanville — Duncanville by 7
Royse City Bulldogs (8-2) vs. Lovejoy Leopards (7-3) Preview
Royse City will host the bi-district championship game against Lovejoy this Friday at Royse City ISD Stadium. Lovejoy is the third-place finisher out of District 7-5A-II. Frisco and Braswell shared the district title. Lovejoy is a familiar face in recent Bulldog history. The last time these two teams met was on Nov, 10, 2017 when Lovejoy won 28-20 in a last-second victory at Lovejoy. On Nov. 4, 2016 the Bulldogs defeated Lovejoy 31-19 at Royse City.
The Leopards thave outscored their opponents by an average of 35-27. The Bulldogs are averaging outscoring their opponents 33-16. Lovejoy averages 375 total offensive yards per game and allows 399 total yards each game. Royse City is averaging 477 total yards per game and allowing 237.
R.W. Rucker is the quarterback for the Leopards and he has completed 133 of his 222 passing attempts for 1,827 yards and 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also has 138 rushing attempts for 811 yards and nine touchdowns. However, Noah Naldoo has handled the most recent signal caller duties. At press time, it is not known if Rucker is injured or some other reason for the quarterback change against Frisco last Friday night. Reid Westervelt is the team’s leading receiver with 46 receptions for 776 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Tyson Oliver is the Bulldogs’ quarterback and he has completed 123 of 186 passes for 1,509 yards, 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. The Bulldogs’ leading rusher is Ahmon Petty-Dozier with 111 rushing attempt for 938 yards and seven touchdowns in seven games. The Bulldogs’ leading receiver is Ketron Jackson with 38 receptions for 559 yards and five touchdowns.
Noteable victories by Lovejoy were a 34-27 victory over Sulphur Springs, 20-19 win over Frisco Reedy, 28-26 victory over Lake Dallas and 31-24 win over Denison. Their defeats have been to Colleyville Heritage 13-10, Denton Braswell 59-51 and Frisco 35-17.
Lovejoy will be coming out of a very competitive district with Frisco and Denton Braswell being two of the most challenging teams in the area. However, the Bulldogs will be entering this game with their offense beginning to score the points they are capable of scoring. The Bulldog defense has made a name for itself and very few teams in the area have faced a more fierce defensive front. The Bulldogs have waited a long time to be in the playoffs. They are ready.