By Greg Ford
A few weeks back, the Raiders needed a win against Wylie, and they got it.
Since then, they haven’t lost a district contest and now find themselves tied for district lead.
Their latest victory came last Friday evening at Wylie Stadium, where the Raiders ran through Royse City 53-14 to improve to 4-1 in 13-4A and are now deadlocked with Denison atop the 13-4A standings.
East lost the district opener to the Yellowjackets, which gives the latter a leg up in the standings should they finish the season tied for the lead.
East plowed its way to victory last Friday behind the legs of two underclassmen, sophomore Aubrey White and freshman Eno Benjamin, neither of whom were in the backfield when the season started.
White, who saw his first extensive action less than a month ago, ran for 178 yards on 17 carries, while scoring two touchdowns. Benjamin, who burst on to the scene in the win at Greenville, rushed for 157 yards on 14 attempts, and he scored three times.
That made life easier for senior quarterback Garrett McCain, who finished 15-of-19 for 232 yards passing and two touchdowns, with both throws going to Jared Wyatt (seven receptions for 147 yards).
Benjamin’s first touchdown came in the opening stanza on a 7-yard scamper, which was followed by White’s 11-yard run a short time later that made it 13-0 Raiders. Royse City closed the gap to 13-7 before the end of the quarter with a 16-yard pass from Courtlin Vance to Jake Glisch, but East then scored three times in the second period for a 34-7 halftime lead.
McCain and Wyatt hooked up from 88 yards for a 20-7 lead, and then Benjamin motored in from 13 yards to make it 27-7. Wyatt and McCain closed out the scoring with a 29-yard pass late in the quarter.
Royse City opened the second half with a 20-yard pass from Chance Selby to Bryce Wempa, but that would be it for the Bulldogs.
White later scored on a 37-yard run, and then Benjamin went in from three yards out for a 46-14 advantage after three periods.
Eric Lopez added the final touches with a 7-yard scoring run in the fourth period.
Notes: Defensively, the Raiders held Royse City to 219 total yards, and they sacked Bulldog signal callers four times. Recording those sacks were Isaiah Butler, Henry Dues, Darius Davenport and Jacob Zaborsky. Dues also was credited with a team-high six tackles.
Wylie East’s JV subdued Royse City 36-28 behind Nnamdi Amadi’s four rushing touchdowns, and another from Justyn McKeal.
Kolby Williams completed passes to Justin Bailey and Troy Bradley. The defensive standouts were Jarius Smith, Ivan Hamm and Jordan Smiley.
The Raider freshman Blue clobbered Royse City 44-6, as they scored on their first six possessions of the contest. The defense also stood out, not allowing a first down until the fourth quarter.
Corey Eggins scored three times twice on runs and on a 9-yard reception.