Most times, when a team completes just one pass for negative yardage in the Area round of the UIL high school football playoffs it spells disaster and an exit from the postseason. In this instance, however, it just spelled A-r-g-y-l-e.
The Argyle Eagles (12-0, 4-0) had more than 500 yards on the ground in the first three quarters and led 55-7 over Melissa (9-3, 3-1) going into the final period in the Class 3A Division II area playoff on a cold, wet Nov. 22 night at B.W. Durham Stadium in Prosper.
Argyle was led by junior running back Nick Ralston, who set school records for most yards rushing in a game (365) and most touchdowns scored (5). Argyle’s unstoppable rushing attack and relentless defense showed why it was ranked No. 1 in the state as it was able to take down the two-time defending 12-3A district champion Cardinals.
It was the second consecutive year that Melissa was eliminated by the Eagles.
Melissa started the game with a short kickoff that took a generous Cardinal bounce, pinning the Eagles at their 1 yard line. However, Argyle was able to march down the field and get to the Melissa 10 yard line before the Cardinals were able to slow the roll. The drive resulted in a field goal as Argyle took an early lead.
The Cardinals were able to drive deep into Argyle territory on their ensuing drive but shot themselves in the foot with two penalties from which they were not able to recover. Melissa turned the ball over on downs, and two plays later Ralston burst through the line and ran for 67 yards before being brought down. He scored on the next play to put the Eagles up by 10.
Melissa’s Marcus Ellis responded with a 46-yard run on the next possession to set up a first-and-goal at the 3 yard line. He scored on the next play to get the Cardinals on the board and cut the lead to three.
Unfortunately for the Cardinals, Argyle scored 45 unanswered points over the second and third quarters to put the game out of reach.
In the fourth quarter, Tyler West connected with Jackson Webb for scores from 24 and 7 yards. Byron Beard had a seven-yard scoring run for Melissa.
The Eagles had two rushers with more than 100 yards on the ground. Ian Sadler finished the game with 12 carries for 125 yards. He has committed to Texas Tech. Argyle also had two field goals by Cole Hedlund, to bring his career total to 53. Hedlund is the nation’s all-time leading field goal kicker.
Senior Ellis led Melissa’s rushing attack with 126 yards in the game. Junior Taylor McGehee added 66 yards of rushing.