Denton Ryan faces stiff test in Waco Midway

DENTON RYAN (12-0) vs. WACO MIDWAY (9-2)

1 p.m. Friday at Mansfield’s Vernon Newsom Stadium

What: Class 4A Division I Region 1 semifinals game

When we saw them last: Opponents haven’t been able to seriously challenge Denton Ryan all year, and the playoffs have yet to be an exception. Ryan blasted Amarillo Caprock, 43-21, in bi-district and El Paso Andress, 38-14, last week. Ryan gave up seven first-half points in the two games combined. Waco Midway is riding an impressive six-game winning streak, the last four of which have been wins over Stephenville (51-20), Killeen (33-19), Burleson (35-13) and Boswell (42-7).

2010 result: In a defensive stalemate in which the two teams barely combined for 300 total yards, Ryan defensive back Jonny Paramore broke the game open in the fourth quarter with a 65-yard interception returned for a touchdown to give the Raiders a 19-10 win.

What’s at stake: The winner will face the winner of the area game between Wichita Falls Rider (9-3) and Killeen (8-4) in the 4A DI Region 1 finals.

Key matchup: Ryan’s front six may be the most talent defensive front in the state on any level, but it’s going to get one of its toughest tests of the year in running back B.J. Kelly and Midway’s running game. Last year Ryan held Kelly to just 56 yards.

Players to watch: Ryan’s Jordan Richmond is a four-year starter at linebacker, but he’s seen an increased workload at running back since starter Jerrick Harvey went down with a knee injury. Midway has unusual situation at quarterback -- it rotates three players. That’s been the arrangement since the second half of the regular season. Jordan Darling gets most of the work but Deandre Ford and Kramer Robertson also throw the ball for Miday.

Prediction: Waco Midway 14, Denton Ryan 13.