Football: Tough night – Argyle rolls past Decatur in league opener

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, October 14, 2017
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Out of Reach

OUT OF REACH – Argyle’s Bryson Hudgens gets away from Decatur tacklers Josh Sij (16) and Angel Garza (14) during Argyle’s win Friday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Decatur got the start they were looking for.

A three-and-out on Argyle’s opening drive gave Decatur the ball with an opportunity to take a shot and get on the board first. They did just that, and on the first play from scrimmage, junior quarterback Wilson Hicks barely overthrew his intended receiver on a play-action pass.

Instead of an early touchdown, it was the first of many missed opportunities for Decatur, who fell on the road to Argyle 62-21 Friday night.

“First play of the game we took a shot and missed it,” Decatur coach Mike Fuller said. “We pulled out the kitchen sink at them. We made some plays and just couldn’t sustain [them]. I think if some of those things go our way, we have a better chance.”

Decatur’s next blunder came later in the first quarter after a conversion on a fourth-and-2. Driving in the red zone, Hicks rolled to his right and coughed the ball up, resulting in a 91-yard scoop and score for Argyle (6-0, 1-0).

But Decatur had an answer – its only of the night – when Hicks connected with senior receiver Mario Reyes for a 63-yard touchdown pass. That cut the lead to 14-7, and from there, it was all Argyle.

Argyle scored 45 consecutive points to put the game away and built a 59-7 lead. Using a balanced attack, Argyle utilized both the run and pass to keep Decatur’s defense on its heels.

Argyle senior quarterback Jon Copeland finished the game 15-of-24 for 211 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Meanwhile, on the ground, Argyle compiled 225 rushing yards led by the duo of Don Williams and Noah Lang. They ended the night with 135 and 96 yards, respectively, along with four combined touchdowns.

“They were whipping us up front,” Fuller said. “They played harder than we did, more consistently and executed better.”

Against a stout Argyle defensive front, Decatur struggled to find a rhythm offensively. With virtually no running game, Decatur was forced to air it out, passing 43 times and relying on short bubble screens to keep Argyle at bay.

Despite being under constant duress and getting sacked more than five times, Hicks did not place the blame on his offensive line.

“I thought our O-line protection wise did a pretty good job,” Hicks said. “We knew coming in I wasn’t going to get a whole lot of time. I just have to get rid of the ball quicker.”

For the first eight minutes of the game, Decatur hung right with the No. 3 4A team in the state. It was the next 40 minutes where they were unable to keep up, committing several mistakes that ultimately proved costly.

Decatur got the start they were looking for – just not the ending.

“We just shot ourselves in the foot,” Hicks said. “If anything, in the first quarter we proved we could play with these guys. We just have to learn to not get so down on ourselves when things aren’t going our way.”

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