Clear Falls ends season for Dawson 35-14

DAWSON — Dawson faced the Clear Falls Knights in the Class 6A Region III Div II bi-district round where they came up short 35-14 to end their 2022 football season with a 6-5 record.

Clear Falls proved to be too much for Dawson as the District 24-6A co-champions used a suffocating defense to hold the Eagles scoreless in the first half while the Knights were able to generate enough offense to win the game.

Clear Falls scored once in each quarter in the first half when Marquis Tarver scored on a 6-yard run that put the Knights up 7-0 with 6:18 left in the opening period.

The Knights went on a 10-play, 72-yard drive that was capped off by a 3-yard scoring plunge by Tarver to make the score 14-0 with 6:41 before intermission.

The key play in the second scoring drive was highlighted by Dylan Proctor's 26-yard pass reception on a third-and-15 at the Knights' 49. Three plays later came Tarver's touchdown.

Dawson received the second half kickoff, but a swirling wind and an arching kickoff that danced in the wind gave Clear Falls the unlikely onside kick recovery at the Eagles 41.

It took only five plays for the Knights to score as Tarver raced across the goal line on his longest score of the game covering 29-yards with 10:15 left in the third period giving Clear Falls a 21-0 lead.

Dawson was forced to punt on their first possession of the second half but pinned the Eagles on their own 7.

The Knights ran three plays and punted giving the Eagles good field position on the Clear Falls 26.

Bryce Burgess carried the ball three straight times and crossed the goal line on an 11-yard run on this third carry for the score with 6:38 left in the third quarter. Ayden Treadaway booted the PAT and the Eagles closed the gap to 21-7.

The excitement the Eagles felt lasted all of 18 seconds as Max Williams took the ensuing kickoff, faked a reverse and found a wall of blockers to set sail on a 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that gave the Knights a 28-7 lead with 6:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Dawson scored their final touchdown of the game when QB Colin Johnson crossed the goal line on a 1-yard plunge and Treadaway added the PAT to make the score 28-14.

Clear Falls sealed the game with a 27-yard scoring pass from Landon Vessil to Bryson Russell with 1:40 remaining in the game to post the 35-14 final score.

The Knights defense played a key role in the win as they recorded four sacks and forced Johnson to throw a pair of interceptions. The Eagle offense was averaging 30 points per game.

Johnson was 7-of-29 passing for 46 yards and two INTs while picking up 12 yards on 10 totes and one TD.

Bryce Burgess had 21 carries for 123 yards and one score and caught three passes for 10 yards.

Jaeden McCleskey had one catch for 16 yards and Josh Gillis-Harry had one grab for 15 yards.

Dawson finished with 181 total yards while Clear Falls had 320 total yards.

Clear Falls (9-2) advances to the area round to face C.E. King (7-4).