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DMS penalties, turnovers costly in loss to McKenzie

DMS penalties, turnovers costly in loss to McKenzie
DMS penalties, turnovers costly in loss to McKenzie | Dresden Middle School Lions, football Quincey McDonald, McKenzie

Not so fast — Dresden Middle School Lion Quincey McDonald (left) leaps into position in front of a McKenzie ball carrier and forces him to change his direction during Dresden’s tough 8-6 loss to the host Rebels on Thursday night. Photo by Sara
When Tyree Owens picked off a pass made through heavy traffic at his squad’s 25-yard line, a contest that could have belonged to anyone from the start sealed itself as a victory for McKenzie.
The opening game of the season between the middle school Rebels and visiting Dresden Middle School Lions showcased the defense of both teams and also the mistakes of each offense with first-game jitters leading the way. Neither team managed to reach the end zone in the first half, but the junior Rebels scored early in the fourth quarter on a quarterback sneak. The conversion put them up 8-0, but Dresden answered quickly with a long touchdown run from Quincey McDonald. Tyler Hutcherson was stopped on the conversion, however, and that made the difference as DMS eventually fell 8-6.
The Lions opened the game on offense on their own 42. Joey Smith was stalled in the backfield for a two-yard loss. Hutcherson threw incomplete downfield before Dillon Jolley gained back the two yards, but the Lions quickly had to punt.
McKenzie fared only slightly better in its first series as Jansen Davis netted a first down on a slant pass, but the Dresden D clamped down and the tackling of Jolley forced a punt.
Back on offense, Smith broke open for a 22-yard ground gain and McDonald swept left for five. Jolley ran the final 22 yards for a touchdown, but the score was negated on a holding penalty. A second flag pushed the Lions back five for a false start and the next play saw the visitors fumble the snap back to the Rebels.
With possession to start the second quarter, McKenzie picked up a first down on short ground gains, but fumbled the ball back to the Lions on a fourth-and-long situation.
Each squad turned the ball over on downs and the first half ended when Mitchell Lunn picked off a Hutcherson pass.
The Rebels appeared to be headed for the end zone to start the third quarter, but a 36-yard touchdown run was wiped out with a block in the back penalty. McKenzie stayed on offense for the majority of the quarter, but could put nothing together and an incomplete pass on fourth-and-long gave the ball back to the Lions to end the third frame.
Pushed back on a holding penalty to open the fourth, the Lions fumbled the ball away deep in their own territory and the home team took over needing to gain only nine yards to get on the board. With a one-yard quarterback sneak, Davis picked up the points and DeMarkeese Nolen added the conversion.
On the Lions’ first play from their own 25, Jolley ran 75 yards and out of his shoe to go untouched for the score, but again it was cancelled on a penalty — this time for a false-start flag. McDonald countered with a 24-yard gain and when Jolley found nowhere to go up the middle, McDonald ran 55 yards through the defense and into the end zone. With 3:32 left, Hutcherson was stopped on the sneak for the conversion try and MMS held the 8-6 edge.
The home team fumbled the ball away in Lion territory, however, and Dresden suddenly discovered new life. Jolley picked up 13 yards on two carries, but McDonald couldn’t turn the corner on a sweep and lost five. With 37.7 seconds left on the board, Hutcherson’s pass fell into the hands of Owens and the Rebels escaped with the W.
Dresden was led by McDonald with 73 yards and a trip to the end zone. Defensively, Jolley and Alex Warren recorded five tackles each.

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