Dresden denies ’Dogs shot at upset outcome
Posted: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 12:00 pm
By RANDY CAVIN
Gleason had a chance to steal one from Dresden Friday night but let it slip away in the second half as the Lions stayed undefeated with a 23-14 win on the road at Gleason.
The outmanned Bulldogs, with injuries mounting up, let a 14-0 second-quarter lead get away as the Lions scored 23 unanswered points. The tell-tale deciding factor in the game happened in the third quarter. Dresden mounted a 7:52 drive to open up the second half and went 60 yards in 16 plays.
Gleason was only able to run three offensive plays in the third quarter before punting the ball. Dresden had full control of the third quarter with 20 offensive plays. Devan Raymer ran the ball 16 of those 20 plays and also has a 32-yard punt return. The Lions amassed 87 yards, all on the ground, to the Bulldogs’ four yards. The score was tied 14-all at the end of the third quarter.
“Dresden came out and put together close to an eight-minute drive and then we went three-and-out,” Gleason head coach Noah Lampkins said about the third quarter. “We never found an offensive rhythm in the second half. When you have got three plays in the third quarter, it is hard to get anything going.”
“Hats off to Dresden. They came into that second half, turned the volume up on us a little bit and we did not have an answer for it. We kind of bounced back a little bit in the fourth quarter, though, and were able to move the ball a little bit better.”
The injuries have Lampkins quite concerned, especially with Gleason having such a small roster. The biggest loss is the season-ending surgery to senior linebacker Blake Taylor. He had reconstructive surgery on his ACL in his right knee on Thursday, but he still made it to game for Senior Night.
“He had sent me some messages throughout the day saying he was going to try his best to be there if he could manage the pain,” Lampkins said about Taylor. “He toughed it out and was there for his team and went out there for Senior Night.”
Lampkins lost his starting center, Avery Orr, on Tuesday during practice with a knee injury. Daniel Solano and Alec Zills went down with knee injuries in Friday night’s game against the Lions.
The Bulldogs came out of the gate and were not intimidated by the powerhouse Lions. Quarterback, Tanner Trevathan hit a wide open Will Clark down the left sideline for a 48-yard gain on the second play of the game. Chase Ezell ran it in from three yards out two plays later to give Gleason the early lead.
It was Gleason’s defense that had the Lions stymied for most of the first half. Dresden head coach Keith Hodge was impressed with Gleason’s game plan.
“They had a good game plan for us,” Hodge said. “They did some things different on defense that caused problems for us. We made our adjustments where we needed to make them, though. It was like we were a different football team in the second half.”
The Lions mounted a 12-play drive in the first quarter, but it stalled at the Gleason 27-yard line after Raymer’s incomplete pass into the end zone on a fourth-and-five play. Gleason took over and went the 73 yards in 15 plays. Clark took the ball from four yards out to stun Dresden with a 14-0 lead with 9:41 to play in the half.
After Dresden and Gleason exchanged possessions, the Lions took over on the Gleason 47 after a punt. Colter Swafford took the handoff on the first play from scrimmage and out-ran the Gleason defense for the 47-yard touchdown. Gleason went into the halftime break clinging to a 14-7 lead.
After the Lions tied the game in the third quarter and held the Bulldogs on a three-and-out, Dresden took the punt return on Gleason’s 28 and scored on Raymer’s one-yard plunge six plays later 27 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The Lions held the Bulldogs on three downs one again to force a punt at the Gleason 24-yard-line. The snap sailed over Clark’s head and, instead of trying to field the ball, Clark kicked it into the end zone. Dresden declined the illegal kicking penalty and took the safety to put them up 23-14 with 9:47 to play in the game.
Torres Washington of Dresden fumbled the ball two plays later after the free kick and Reese Montgomery recovered the ball at the 50. Gleason took to the air to move the ball downfield with Trevathan hitting Clark for 13 yards, Williams for nine and Ezell for 17 yards. Gleason got it down to the five, but Dresden held on fourth down when Trevathan’s pass to Clark fell incomplete in the end zone.
Gleason had one more chance when it held Dresden on four downs, but Austin Daniel of the Lions intercepted a Trevathan pass two plays later to seal the deal on the game and preserve Dresden’s undefeated season.
“We caused some problems for them and caused some turnovers and did what we are supposed to do — like we should have done in the first half,” Hodge said about his team’s second half effort. “In the second half, we made our adjustments, came out and played some good football.”
Dresden will have this week off as the Lions prepare for a showdown with Huntingdon in a game that will decide the District 13A champion. Huntingdon also has an open date this Friday. Dresden is 4-0 in the district while Huntingdon’s only district defeat came at the hands of West Carroll.
Hodge said after the game that his team needed a close game like the one Gleason just gave them to open their eyes just a little bit.
“I told them all week long there is no football team that is hand you the W’s,” Hodge said. “You have got to out-work people. You have got to be more physical than them. You have to do things right.”
Gleason is now 4-4 on the season and 0-4 in the district.
The Bulldogs are still very much in the playoff picture with two games left on the schedule. Gleason travels to Scotts Hill on Friday and closes out the regular season at Bruceton. Published in The WCP 10.16.12