A year ago, the Denton High Broncos used a victory over Sherman to ignite a five-game winning streak that resulted in a second-place finish in District 5-5A.

After losing their district opener to state-ranked Denton Ryan for the second year in a row, the Broncos are in even bigger need of a spark as they visit Bearcat Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday. Where last year’s 35-14 loss to Ryan was the lone blemish on a 9-1 regular season for the Broncos, last week’s 42-13 setback was the third loss in a row for Denton (2-3, 0-1) under first-year head coach Billy Miller.

While the Broncos may be on a downward trend, Sherman head coach J. D. Martinez said Denton is still a formidable opponent.

“Their defense is big, strong and fast and they run very well to the ball,” Martinez said. “They do a really good job of playing hard.

“Offensively, they’re pretty good. They have a sophomore quarterback (Landry Kinne) who runs around pretty fast. He’s quick, kind of a heads-up type of player. If he finds himself in a bad situation, he’s able to get rid of the ball. We’ll have our work cut out for us, but our defense has been tackling a lot better and we’ll rise to the challenge.”

Denton comes in averaging 292.2 total yards (144.4 rushing, 147.8 passing) and 18.4 points per game. In addition to Kinne (59-108-3 739, 4 TDs passing; 63-165, 2 TDs rushing), another sophomore — former Bearcat Xylohn Posey — has led the Broncos’ rushing attack. Posey has rushed for 462 yards and six touchdowns on 65 carries in four games, almost matching his 2016 totals at Sherman (72-485, 7 TDs). Posey did not play last week after being injured in s 37-7 loss to Keller Timber Creek.

Wide receivers Isaiah Wofford (18-297, 1 TD) and Cortez Cardenas (16-202, 1 TD) have been Kinne’s main targets.

Martinez said Denton’s offensive scheme has shown no elements the Bearcats haven’t seen before.

“When you get into Week 6, you’ve pretty much seen it all,” he said. “They’re not going to be running the Wing-T or anything like that. Their offense is very similar to ours with two backs and going four wides. We’re just going to have to play really good football.”

Defensively, the Broncos have allowed 361.6 total yards (186.2 rushing, 175.4 passing) and 28.6 points per game. More than half Denton’s 143 points allowed have come in the last two games.

“They run a lot of four-down line fronts,” Martinez said. “They used to base out of an odd, but they look like more of a split, 4-2-5, and they run it pretty well. We’re going to have to block those four down linemen and give our quarterback time to throw.”