Late rally gives Dawson a 38-32 win over Clear Springs

PEARLAND DAWSON — One thing that has characterized the Dawson Eagles this season is that they play together as a team and they don't give up -- no matter how much time is left in the game. The coaches and players love each other and know that team is far more important than each individual player.

The Eagles wanted to set the tone of the game from the beginning as they scored on their first three possessions of the first half.

Dawson took the opening kickoff to their own 28 and five-plays later, quarterback Ja'Den Steward scored on a 1-yard run for a 7-0 lead following the PAT by Carter Brown with 9:47 left in the opening quarter.

Clear Springs matched Dawson's scoring drive though it took them longer to cross the goal line as they started at their own 32 and scored on 68-yard, 14-play drive capped off with a 4-yard scoring pass from QB Garrett Rooker to tight end Jacob Wingard making the score 7-6 following the missed PAT with 2:56 left in the first period.

On Dawson's second possession, they went 75-yards in six-plays to score on a 1-yard touchdown by quarterback Myles Kitt-Denton to make the score 14-6 as Brown nailed his second PAT with 1:32 left in the first quarter.

The key play in the drive was a 46-yard run by Kitt-Denton from his own 46 to the Clear Springs eight-yard line.

The Eagles defense forced a three-and-out for the Chargers and set up their offense again at their own 20.

Dawson goes on an 80-yard, eight-play drive to score once again, this time on a Kitt-Denton to Stewart pass and run covering 20-yards for the touchdown making the score 21-6 with 10:21 left in the second quarter.

There were two key plays in the drive as Kitt-Denton hit Alex Boudreaux for an 18-yard completion to the Eagles 32 and a Kitt-Denton pass to Hayden Curry covering 21-yards to the Chargers 31.

But the Chargers were not going away as they scored on a 53-yard, 11-play drive capped off by a 1-yard run by Rooker. The PAT was good and the score at halftime was 21-13.

The Chargers came out in the second half with a renewed energy and forced Dawson to punt on their opening possession.

Clear Springs scores on two straight possessions when Ky Woods scored on a 67-yard scoring jaunt with 10:40 left in the third and Rooker hit Isaiah Bibb on a 40-yard scoring strike. The two-point conversion and PAT were both good and the Chargers had a 26-21 advantage with 6:36 left in the third period.

But Dawson regained the lead with 1:20 showing on the clock in the third quarter when Stewart scored on a 9-yard run. The PAT gave the Eagles a 27-26 lead. The two-point conversion came up short.

With 11:49 left in the final period, Clear Springs takes the lead again. Facing fourth down and one at the Dawson 47, Woods slices through a small hole into the secondary and races to the goal line giving the Chargers a 32-27 lead.

The Eagles used their next possession to drive from their own 13 to the Clear Springs 19 where they settled for a 35-yard field goal by Brown to close the gap to 32-30 with 7:05 left in the game.

After forcing the Chargers to punt on their next possession, the never-say-die Eagles started at their own 23 with 5:27 left in the game. The Eagles put together a 77-yard, 11-play drive capped off by a 13-yard score by Wooden. Kitt-Denton then hit Alex Boudreaux on a fade route in the corner of the end zone for two points making the final score 38-32.

Clear Springs did have one final attempt to score, but Dawson came up big in the final 1:17 of the game to close out the Chargers.

"I think it just shows the heart our kids have," said Dawson head coach Mike Allison. "Coach (Craig) Dailey and his staff made some adjustments at halftime that - plain and simple - were a lot better than ours.

"They have a great program and we have all kinds of respect for them, but our staff is pretty danged good, too."

Kitt-Denton sparked the offense as he was 10-of-16 passing for 131 yards and one TD while rushing for 167 yards on 15 carries and one score.

Wooden had six carries for 75 yards and a TD while Stewart had 19 totes for 79 yards and one score.

Stewart also had 69 yards receiving on five catches and one score while Curry had two grabs for 39 yards.

Dawson advances to the Class 6A Region III area round where they will meet defending state champion North Shore on Friday, November 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the Pasadena Veterans Memorial Stadium.