Dawson uses strong second half to defeat Dickinson 35-19


PEARLAND DAWSON — The first half ended with a Dickinson interception for a 32-yard score giving the Gators a 10-7 lead at intermission after Dawson had controlled most of the opening two quarters for a 7-3 advantage.

With 1:36 left in the second quarter, Dickinson's Edward Ford grabbed an errant throw from Dawson sophomore quarterback Colin Johnson to turn it into a pick-6 and a Dickinson 10-7 lead at halftime.

“At halftime I told the guys that they just had to continue to believe,” Dawson head coach Mike Allison said. “We had a couple of things that didn’t go our way, but we were only down by three. We told them to continue to believe in each other and good things will happen. Fortunately for us, that’s exactly what happened.”

Dawson came out in the second half using their one-two running combination of senior running backs Ja'Den Stewart and Torrence Burgess, Jr. to out score the visitors 28-9 to claim the 35-19 Class 6A Region III Div. I bi-district victory.

Dickinson scored on a 23-yard field goal to open the second half giving the Gators a 13-7 lead with 7:27 left in the third quarter.

The Eagles scored on their first possession of the second half when Stewart ran into a defensive pile and then powered his way through the mass of bodies to break free on a sensational 56-yard scoring jaunt with 7:16 left in the third quarter. Carter Brown added the PAT giving Dawson a 14-13 advantage.

After a Dickinson three-and-out, Burgess reeled off a long run of his own, breaking a tackle for a 45-yard scamper to extend the lead to 21-13 less than three minutes later.

Dickinson battled back as Jathan Caldwell caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Graham Ledbetter to cut the lead to 21-19 late in the third quarter.

But Burgess gave the Eagles some cushion, finishing off a touchdown drive with runs of 12, 29, 2 and 7 yards for a 28-19 lead at the start of the fourth following the PAT by Brown.

Dawson would put the nail in the coffin with 1:31 left in the game when Ruel Hampton scored on a 2-yard plunge. Brown put the finishing touches with the PAT and the final score was posted 35-19.

“Coach [Ryan] Silvertooth and the offensive staff did a great job of making adjustments at halftime,” Allison said. “We knew it was going to be difficult. Dickinson is a tough team.

“The offensive line did a great job, and Ja’Den and [Burgess] believe in their offensive line. That’s a couple of special kids. We’re going to ride them until we can’t.”

Johnson was 8-of-14 passing for 85 yards and one INT.

Stewart had 17 carries for 155 yards and two scores while Burgess had 17 totes for 132 yards and two TDs.

Raynard Allen was the leading receiver with three grabs for 63 yards.

Dawson (10-0) will face the current two-time 6A Div. I state champion North Shore Mustangs on Thursday, December 17 at Challenger-Columbia Stadium in League City at 7:00 p.m.