Broncos fall late


Cy Ward looks for running room during Friday's game against Brewer. Denton started slow and never recovered losing 45-13.

Entering the season with a new coach and high expectations, the Denton Broncos have exceeded most projections picking up three wins in their first six games.

The past two weeks the team has dropped contests to Brewer and this past week to Azle. The 31-0 loss to the Hornets was a lot closer than the score indicated as the team trailed just 10-0 heading into the fourth quarter.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Denton offense would stall on two drives before Azle kicked a field goal and scored on a 16-yard touchdown pass with a minute left in the first half.

Down 10-0 going into the second half and getting the ball first, the Broncos would again be stopped. The defense would return the favor, but the Hornets scored three times in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach.

Head coach Kevin Atkinson, while disappointed, says that the final score didn’t fully indicate his defense’s performance.

“We did a great job up front,” Atkinson said. “The defensive line did a great job; our linebackers did a great job. We did a great job stopping the run all night, just stopping the pass – well, we didn’t do a good job doing that.”

Five snaps were fumbled and recovered for huge losses, four coming in the second half.

“Classic example of beating ourselves,” Atkinson said. “The biggest thing that I said before we even left Denton was, ‘let’s not even focus on beating the Azle Hornets; let’s not beat ourselves. And if we don’t beat ourselves, we’ll be happy with the outcome,’ but that’s what we did: we made crucial mistakes at crucial times.”

Denton had far fewer penalties than in past games this year, only getting flagged three times the entire game.

“We controlled ourselves and didn’t have a lot of foolish penalties that extended drives,” Atkinson said. “You’ve got to find something to build on, and that’s something we’re going to build on.”

The Broncos fall to 3-5 and will face the 6-2 Wichita Falls Rider Raiders. Rider is coming off of a 21-10 loss to undefeated-in-district-play Guyer, who leads District 5-4A.