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Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Ringo avoids Belichick treatment with successful gamble


Plano East coach Johnny Ringo knows what happens when a gamble doesn't work out.

He's seen what New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has gone through since his risky fourth-down attempt failed against the Colts on Sunday.

Fortunately for Ringo, East (7-3) came through. After scoring a touchdown in overtime against Irving MacArthur to put the Panthers within an extra point of tying the game and sending it to a second overtime, Ringo elected to go for two and the win.

RB Brandon Lewis, who scored on a 16-yard run, caught a pass from QB Ryan Foster on the conversion, extending Plano East's season and saving Ringo some grief, albeit on a considerably smaller scale than Belichick.

"We had people that were thrilled and patting us on the back, but when we were lining up to go for it, they didn't agree with that decision at all," Ringo said.

Playing conservatively isn't Ringo's style. He has a history of rolling the dice in sticky situations at East.

In the context of the game against MacArthur (6-5), the gamble looks more like a calculated risk. The Cardinals jumped on East early and held a 16-3 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Panthers had no answer for MacArthur RB James Sims, who had 183 yards and three touchdowns in the game, including one in overtime.

East found its game in the fourth quarter though and managed to send it into overtime with a field goal on a drive that started at its own 2-yard line with a little more than 2 minutes remaining.

MacArthur scored in overtime almost immediately, lending credence to the thought that East would have a tough time stopping the Cardinals no matter how many overtimes it sent the game into.

"It was a game we probably had no business being in," Ringo said. "We were suddenly in it again and had a chance to win it. I felt good about where we were."

East gets a better matchup in its Class 5A Division I Region I area round game against Coppell (10-1) at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Cowboys Stadium.

While Coppell is certainly a formidable foe, the Panthers have had success shutting down spread offenses this season, but hadn't seen a run-first offense like MacArthur's all year.

"We didn't see much of what Mac did this year," Ringo said. "You don't get to be 10-1 without being a good football team, but I think we match up better with Coppell just because we've seen this type of offense more consistently."