SUNNYVALE DEVIN STERLING

Devin Sterling rushed for one of five touchdowns the Sunnyvale ground game put up in their 52-24 win over Roosevelt on Friday.

If anybody was wondering how Sunnyvale would transition to a higher classification, the Raiders have done everything in their power to answer those questions.

Sunnyvale improved to 7-0 overall and 3-0 in 5-4A Division II last week with a 52-24 victory over Roosevelt.

The Raiders actually trailed early on Friday, but it did not last long, as they scored the next 45 points to take control.

Quarterback Tripp McAda had another big game, rushing for 80 yards and three touchdowns, with Devin Sterling and Emmanuel Arinze adding scores on the ground.

McAda also completed 8-of-12 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown pass to Brian Perry Jr., who also led the team in rushing with 10 carries for 109 yards.

Sterling (12 tackles), Ethan Akins (11 tackles) and Cole Flanery (10 tackles, interception) led the defensive effort.

Sunnyvale will try to maintain its winning ways when it meets Lincoln on the road at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The 5-4A Division II playoff race is a logjam, but the Raiders are not part of that group. As the lone team at 3-0, they are already playoff-bound and the focus these next two weeks are to keep winning and protect that No. 1 seed.

Caddo Mills is the only other team with a winning district record at 2-1, followed by a four-team pile-up at 1-2 with Roosevelt, Nevada Community, Farmersville and Lincoln.

While seeding is important, the bi-district round is going to be tough regardless of how the standings shake out.

Sunnyvale is the only team out of 5-4A Division II ranked in the Texas High School Coaches Association Division II Region II poll, where they check in tied for fourth.

This district’s first-round opponents in 6-4A Division II includes defending state champion and regional No. 1 Texarkana Pleasant Grove (7-2), co-No. 4 Pittsburg (5-3), No. 6 Texarkana Liberty-Eylau (2-6) and No. 8 Gilmer (4-5). While those records are not flashy, those teams are battle-tested and have each enjoyed their share of recent success in the playoffs.

For continued coverage on the local sports scene, follow Devin Hasson on Twitter: @DevinHasson

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