Early errors only delay Dresden’s victory trip
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2011 6:12 am
An inadvertent whistle that cost Dresden a touchdown early in Friday night’s game at Union City could have been a bad sign of things to come.
As it turned out, however, the referee’s error only delayed the inevitable.
Dresden scored later as part of a weird first-quarter sequence and then put up four more touchdowns after that in a 35-20 win over the Golden Tornadoes at War Memorial Stadium.
The Lions, ranked seventh in the latest Associated Press Class 2A poll, improved to 5-1 overall. UC, meanwhile, continued its season struggles in falling to 2-4, all four losses coming to ranked teams.
Dresden head coach Scott Hewett, for one, knows that every win will count for his Lions as the team will likely need to rely on overall record to get into the playoffs as its only loss came to district rival McKenzie.
“It keeps us rolling along,” Hewett said of Friday’s win. “We’ll probably be in a deal where (a playoff berth) will be based on our record again, for something like the third year in a row. We let one get away from us against McKenzie, but that’s life.”
Union City jumped out to a 7-0 lead just three plays into the game, and it looked as if the home team would get some breaks early on when quarterback Gatlin Hatchel’s 24-yard TD run was called back on whistle that came too soon.
Hatchel then had a pass picked off by Jamie Pirtle to apparently end the Lions’ opening drive.
Pirtle fumbled back possession on the return, however, and then Dresden used a pass interference call on a failed fourth-down pass into the end zone to keep the drive alive. Now given a third life, Dresden finally scored on a six-yard Gatlin run at 2:58, finishing off an odd 17-play series.
Hatchel had a solid game despite two interceptions, completing 8-of-16 passes for 151 yards and rushing for 62 yards on 18 carries.
He was part of a good running game that Union City simply could not stop.
Devan Raymer, used his small size (5-7, 165) to his advantage by running behind linemen and then squeezing through numerous ill-fated tackle attempts by the Twister defenders to gain 112 yards on just 10 carries.
“Raymer came in and did a really good job,” Hewett said. “I don’t know if it was a case of them not seeing him with him getting down low. He’s kind of a waterbug just like Colin (Kanehl), and he can move right and left quickly. He ate some clock up and got some big gains for us when we needed them.”
The Lions finished with 401 total yards, 250 on the ground. Dresden picked up 19 first downs and punted just once.
Kanehl, who finished with 57 yards on just four rushing attempts, showed his maneuverability on a 27-yard TD run at 2:30 of the second quarter. Dresden’s lead lasted only 14 seconds, though, as UC’s Khiry Lewis brought back the ensuing kickoff 91 yards to tie the game at 14-all.
Dresden put up points in the third quarter that UC could not match, however, as Hatchel scored on 21-yard run at 3:50 and Eric VanDyke ran in from nine yards out just over two minutes later following a UC fumble, one of four lost by the Tornadoes.
That second scoring drive was kept alive on fake punt, where Kanehl took off for a 34-yard gain.
“He did that all on his own,” Hewett said. “We give him the green light. He’s a senior and a smart kid.”
UC appeared to get back in the game on a Keylon Hyde one-yard TD plunge at 9:45 of the fourth, but Dresden answered as Hatchel threw a 29-yard TD pass to Colter Swafford at 6:28.
Union City’s frustrating night ended with a TD run called back and a lost fumble just short of the end zone in the final seconds. Published in The WCP 9.27.11