Dawson gets back on the winning track 47-23

PEARLAND — Losing the 2015 football season opener caused Dawson head coach Eric Wells and his coaching staff to get the Eagles to refocus when they hosted the Magnolia West Mustangs.

It was a close first half as the Eagles led 13-6 going into the dressing room at intermission.

Magnolia West opened up the scoring with a 4-yard run by Aaron Thomas to lead 6-0 after the PAT was no good with 2:27 left in the first quarter.

The Eagles wasted little time to answer as running back Saevion Johnson got loose on a 41-yard scoring jaunt to tie up the game with 1:25 remaining in the opening period. Dawson missed the PAT leaving the game tied at 6-6.

That's the way the first half would remain until Drake Rainer scored on a 1-yard dive with only 2:00 left in the first half. The PAT by Marek Biczynski hit the mark giving Dawson the 13-6 advantage at halftime.

Dawson took control of the game in the third quarter by outscoring the visitors 20-3.

The Eagles scored first in the second half on a 2-yard run by Johnson to cap off a 65-yard drive giving Dawson a 20-6 lead. A key play was a 34-yard pass from quarterback Zach Smith to Brailon Mouton.

Magnolia West closed the gap with a 24-yard field goal by Nathen Wiley making the score 20-9.

But Dawson answered with a 9-play, 77-yard scoring drive with Kaleb White sweeping the right side for a 7-yard touchdown run. The PAT missed the mark again and the Eagles were in front 26-9.

The Mustangs fumbled following the kickoff and Dawson's Patrick Howell fell on the ball at the Magnolia West four-yard line.

Dawson made it hard on themselves as they suffered two penalties and a quarterback sack placing them at their opponents 25-yard line.

However, Smith rolled out and found Mouton in the end zone. The senior wide receiver made a sensational leaping catch over the defender to come down with the ball for the score to give the Eagles a 33-9 advantage with 2:21 left in the third.

Dawson increased the lead to 40-9 when Darrius Smith scored on a 40-yard run to make the score 40-9 early in the final period.

It took Magnolia West only 11 seconds to answer as Chase Gibbons caught a 68-yard pass from Tyler Francer on a busted defensive coverage making the score 40-16.

Jacoby Carr scored on an 8-yard run for Dawson with 7:11 remaining for a 47-16 lead.

The Mustangs, who were playing against the Dawson reserves in the fourth, scored one more time with less than two minutes in the game on a 54-yard scoring pass to post the 47-23 final score.

"It was good to see us rebound from a poor outing," Wells said. "That's a dang-good football team we beat, and they'll probably go two or three rounds in the playoffs.

"When we held them, and then scored in the third period, and they scored again pretty quickly, I thought that turned it in our favor."

Dawson put up 530 total yards with 21 first downs compared to 410 and 15 for Magnolia West.

QB Zach Smith had a good outing hitting 14-of-20 passing for 213 yards and one score with no interceptions.

Johnson was the leading ball carrier of the game with 17 totes for 169 yards and one score.

Smith had eight carries for 85 yards and one TD.

Mouton caught five passes for 65 yards and one TD. White had four grabs for 66 yards, Drake Rainer had three catches for 49 yards, and Niko Thomas had two grabs for 33 yards.

Dawson (1-1) will open up District 22-6A action on Friday, September 11 against the Alvin Yellowjackets (1-1) at Alvin Memorial Stadium at 7:00 p.m.