Lions not bothered by slow beginning

Lions not bothered by slow beginning

Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 12:00 pm

By MARY JEAN HALL
Special to The Press
Despite a very rough opening drive, Dresden rallied together to tame Bruceton 17-7 Friday in Dresden.
Dresden is now 5-0 for the season, while Bruceton has dropped to 1-4.
It was a very slow start for Dresden since almost every one of the snaps in the opening drive were bad.
“It all started with a bad snap, and that’s been plaguing us all year long,” Dresden head coach Keith Hodge said. “When you have bad snaps, nothing good ever happens because the ball is going backwards. It’s just something that keeps happening every game that we’ve got to quit. If we don’t have that bad snap, I’ve got a feeling that the rest of the game is going to be fine.”
The bad snap during the first series caused a fumble and a turnover on downs, putting the Tigers into scoring position.
Bruceton took over the ball at the Lions’ 10-yard line. Four plays later, junior quarterback Collin Roberts completed a quick, two-yard pass to senior tight end Blake Santiago to get the Tigers on the board first. 
“We still could’ve punted it, but we didn’t,” Hodge said. “We didn’t tackle down there, and we gave them their only score. You can’t have bad snaps in football or bad stuff is going to happen.”
Dresden lost a fumble during the next drive, and the Tigers took over in Lion territory. The defense stepped up and was able to keep Bruceton from reaching the red zone. Late in the first quarter, junior defensive back Colter Swafford intercepted the ball at the Bruceton 30. Although that drive ended with a turnover on downs with 1:24 left in the first quarter, Dresden got on the board as senior running back Devan Raymer ran into the end zone for a three-yard touchdown.
The score remained tied at the half.
“We changed a few blocking things up front, but not a whole lot,” Hodge said. “We felt like Bruceton held the ball pretty good on offense. They ate up some clock and didn’t give us many possessions, but our defense after that first score played really well. We stuck to what we did because we knew we could block it and we knew if we got the snaps, we’d be fine.”
Colin Roberts, the junior quarterback for Bruceton, kept the Lions on their toes. Roberts kept the ball for 14 carries throughout the game for a total of 44 yards. Dresden adjusted to the quarterback keeping as the night progressed.
“We were running upfield and not squeezing our gaps down,” Hodge said. “When you do that, you run right by guys who can sneak right through there and you never see the ball. During the second half, we kind of changed some things and figured to not leave so many gaps and just play base to make them drive.”
The Dresden defense kept Bruceton from scoring for the rest of the game, and the offense stepped up to take the lead.
With 6:05 on the clock in the third quarter, Raymer threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Swafford. After Ben Kendall’s PAT, Dresden finally had the lead over Bruceton 14-7.
It didn’t stop there.
During the next drive, the Lions worked their way down to the eight-yard line. On 4th-and-goal, sophomore Nathan Gibbs made the field goal to increase the lead to 17-7 with 4:14 left in the quarter.
The Tigers were unable to answer during the last quarter drive, and Dresden ran out the clock to end the game with a win 17-7 over Bruceton.
Hodge is looking forward to next week, but is hoping to not repeat the same mistakes that were made during the game.
“We have to play better football,” Hodge said. “We had some turnovers tonight, and it’s hard to beat good teams when you turn the ball over like that, and Union City is just too good to be making turnovers.
“If we don’t turn the ball over, I think it’ll be a really good, hard-fought game. If we keep turning the ball over, we’ll go home with a loss. It comes down to good snaps, not turning the ball over.” Published in The WCP 9.18.12

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