ARGYLE — On a night when the Melissa Cardinals could’ve used a fast start — facing the No. 1 Class 4A team in Texas on the road — things couldn’t have started much worse. Two first-quarter fumbles by the Cards and a blocked punt led directly to 21 Argyle points and by the end of one quarter at cool, damp Eagles Stadium on Friday, Melissa trailed, 28-0.
Undefeated Argyle rolled on to a 70-48 victory, its 36th-consecutive win at home and the team’s sixth-straight game with 60 or more points on the board. The Eagles’ point total this night was five short of their all-time record.
It was a tough slog for the Cards (5-3, 3-1), though they would rally for a time to trail 35-21 and go on to post over 560 yards of offense. Melissa quarterback Brendon Lewis rushed for 200 yards, including 53- and 54-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter. Braeden Smith came on late for Melissa, roaming for 120 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries. Xylon Posey had a 39-yard TD run for the Cards to open the second half.
Argyle’s defense mostly shut down Melissa’s deep-ball threat, allowing one completion of 30 yards or more and no TDs.
Argyle quarterback Bo Hogeboom threw for 225 yards and five touchdowns while running back
Luke Ferris rushed for five TDs enroute to 201 yards on the ground. Cole Kirkpatrick led Eagle receivers with four catches for a game-high 132 yards and a touchdown.
The Eagles (8-0, 4-0) lost top rusher Tito Byce to a leg injury in the first quarter. On the same play that Byce went down - as Argyle drove for its first score - Melissa safety Dillon Youngblood was helped off the field with what was later described as a possible high ankle sprain and did not return.
Youngblood had stopped Argyle’s first possession with an interception on a deep ball down the right side. But the Cards turned it back over three plays later when the ball slipped out of Lewis’ hand as he attempted a throw to the left flat. Starting from near midfield, Argyle needed 10 plays to collect its inaugural points – a 12-yard Hogeboom-to-Grant Chaney strike.
Another Melissa fumble and a blocked punt quickly followed.
“You can’t spot a very good team 21 points and that’s what we did,” Cards head coach Matt Nally said. “Our defense came out and got a turnover and we turn it right back over to them. When you have four turnovers and a blocked kick against a team like that you just can’t be successful.
“When we finally figured out, ‘Hey, man, we can kind of play with these jokers, we came out of our shell a little bit and got after it. But we missed way too many tackles and what they do offensively is tough. We feel like we’re going to play them again in the playoffs. … I’m excited about the rematch. We have to learn from this and move on.”
“We do a really good job of running the ball,” Argyle head coach Todd Rodgers said, “but we have really dynamic receivers and a quarterback that can get them the ball. We just take what the defense gives us and we’ve been real fortunate.”
As for Ferris’ big night after Byce’s exit, “It’s really not rocket science,” Rodgers said. “He does a good job and our offensive line is just doing a fabulous job blocking for him. We were able to run him between the tackles and we were able to run him outside the tackles. He’s just a really good back.”
After Lewis led Melissa back to within 35-21 midway through the second quarter the Eagles’ would pile on two more TDs before halftime, reclaiming their 28-point cushion.
Lewis left the game late in third quarter after the Eagles’ Braiden Rexroat picked off a screen pass over the middle and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown and a 70-28 lead. Parker Taylor came on to lead two late Melissa touchdown drives, including one score he took in himself from one yard out.
“He wasn’t injured,” Nally said of Lewis. “It goes back to Parker Taylor needs game reps. And they were getting kind of chippy. They got chippy with Xylon late in the game and Xylon did a great job of holding his composure. We had a kid come off the sideline – that was the call on us. The first flag was on them, then the second flag was on us.
“When that happened and things were kind of getting heated and what-not … we’ve got bigger and better things in our future. And we’re going to shine in the playoffs.”
The Cards host Sanger (1-7, 0-4) on Friday and close out the regular season at North Lamar (1-7, 1-3) on Nov. 8.
Melissa 0 21 13 14 - 48
Argyle 28 21 21 0 - 70
A – Grant Chaney 12 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts kick), 7:58
A – Luke Ferris 2 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 6:19
A – Luke Ferris 2 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 4:44
A – Luke Ferris 25 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 0:48
M – Brendon Lewis 53 run (Luke Hansen kick), 11:11
A – Cole Kirkpatrick 9 from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts), 9:41
M – Brendon Lewis 54 run (Luke Hansen kick), 8:54
M – Ja-Bray Young 3 run (Luke Hansen kick), 6:14
A – Luke Ferris 1 run (Hunter Roberts kick), 4:16
A – Jasper Lott 2 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts kick), 0:00
M – Xylon Posey 39 run (Luke Hansen kick), 11:10
A – Luke Ferris 1 pass from Bo Hogeboom (Hunter Roberts kick), 8:40
A – Braiden Rexroat 19 interception return (Hunter Roberts kick), 4:27
M – Braeden Smith 28 run (kick failed), 1:40
M – Braeden Smith 22 run (Trey Johnson pass from Parker Taylor), 9:23
M – Parker Taylor 1 run (run failed), 1:06
Stats Melissa Argyle
First downs 23 24
Rushes-yards 51-481 46-246
Passing yards 82 225
C-A-I 6-19-1 13-25-1
Punts-average 1-30 3-34.6
Penalties-yards 8-82 4-40
Fumbles-lost 4-3 0-0
Rushing – Melissa: Brendon Lewis 14-200, Braeden Smith 9-120, Ashton Mitchell-Johnson 6-56, Xylon Posey 7-45, Parker Taylor 4-31, Ja’Bray Young 11-29 . Argyle: Luke Ferris 31-201, Know Scoggins 7-32, Tito Byce 4-13, Trevor Duck 4-0.
Passing – Melissa: Brendon Lewis 4-12-1-64. Argyle: Bo Hogeboom 13-25-1-225.
Receiving – Melissa: Chase Mapps 2-42, Taylor Burton 2-20, Colton Wittwer 1-13, George Lada 1-5, Xylon Posey 1-2. Argyle: Cole Kirkpatrick 4-132, Jasper Lott 5-33, Luke Ferris 2-36, Grant Chaney 1-12, Alex Gonzalez 1-12.