Dawson falls to Alief Taylor 34-21

PEARLAND — With all the offensive weapons that Dawson has, it is hard to believe that another team could shut them down and come away with a 34-21 win, but that is exactly what Alief Taylor did sending the quest for the District 23-6A championship into a one-game showdown.

That showdown will be Dawson facing Alief Hastings on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. at Crump Stadium as both teams now are tied at 5-1 in league play with the winner emerging with the district trophy.

Two of Dawson's scores came courtesy of the defense as the Eagles returned two interceptions for touchdowns. That means that the offense was able to score only one time.

The Eagles struck first with the first pick-six as JaColby Shelton picked off Taylor quarterback Charlie McFarland for a 35-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead following a Claire Jeffress PAT with 10:40 left in the opening period.

But the lead only lasted 15 seconds as Taylor answered with an Eric Prier 85-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to even up the game with less than two minutes gone in the first quarter.

After Dawson was unable to move the ball on offense, Taylor scored again at the 6:24 mark of the first quarter when Prier gathered in a touchdown pass covering 36-yards giving the Lions a 14-7 lead.

Dawson went three and out and Taylor was back on offense at the Dawson 29.

Lightening struck twice as Dawson's Shelton once again picked off McFarland and returned the pick-six 71-yards to tie up the game at 14-14 with 4:03 still left in the opening stanza.

That's when things dried up for Dawson on offense as the Lions outscored the Eagles 13-0 before intermission for a 27-14 halftime cushion.

Taylor scored two field goals covering 34 and 20 yards with the latter coming with only :02 seconds before the end of the first quarter.

The Lions also scored a touchdown that was sandwiched between the two field goals when Shea Whiting caught an 18-yard scoring strike from McFarland for the 13-point halftime margin.

It appeared that the Eagles were going to make a comeback effort as they scored on their first possession of the second half when running back Darrius Smith scored on a 21-yard run to cut the lead to 27-21 with 11:06 left in the third quarter.

With 4:03 left in the third, Taylor answered with a 17-yard run by Cavous Griffin for a score. The PAT was good and the lead was at 34-21.

That would be the last scoring of the game and Taylor would get a big District 23-6A win.

Dawson was only able to get 153 total yards on offense. The passing game was very anemic as the Eagles were only 3-of-13 passing for 22 yards with one interception.

On the other side of the ball, Taylor had 416 total yards including 184 on the ground and 232 in the air.

The loss was the first for Dawson in 23-6A action and the Eagles will now play for the district title on Friday, Nov. 10 at 7:00 p.m. against Alief Hastings at Crump Stadium. The Bears have only one loss in district and that was to Pearland.