Non-district schedule to set tone for Dawson's season

PEARLAND DAWSON — The way a team begins their season often determines how they finish. However, there are some rare occasions that that isn't true as the Houston Texans proved last season when they lost their first three games and then reeled off nine straight wins.

Dawson head coach Mike Allison begins his second season at the helm of the Eagles football program. He certainly wants to see his team get off on the winning path that will lead to positive momentum entering District 23-6A action.

The Eagles began the 2018 season 2-1 as they got wins over Oak Ridge (34-21) and Summer Creek (34-14), but came up short against Dickinson (34-6). They will face the same teams to begin the 2019 football campaign.

Oak Ridge War Eagles
Friday, August 30 - 7:00 p.m. - The Rig
Oak Ridge was 5-5 overall and 4-4 in district last season and came up short of the post-season. The War Eagles have five offensive and three defensive starters returning with 15 lettermen.

In last year's game, Dawson held a slim 27-21 lead with less than two minutes left in the game when they scored to secure the 34-21 victory which was the first for coach Allison.

“My main thing was, win or lose, I just wanted to see if the kids could be unselfish and play well against a team that was going to have some big kids and be well-coached,” Allison reflected. “The kids did that, and that’s what I was most proud of. Coach (Ryan) Silvertooth and coach (Tre) Grimes did a great job of putting in the game plan.

“It was kind of a challenging week because we were dodging lightning and having to work in the gym. It wasn’t a normal week of practice.”

Oak Ridge will be much improved this year as their quarterback Kavon Townsend (6-1, 190, 4.6) returns to lead a potent offense.

RB Alton McCaskill (6-1, 200, 4.5) also returns lead the ground attack as both players have speed and power and can score from any place on the field.

Defensively, the War Eagles are led by a pair of very talented linebackers in Ros Martinez (6-0, 225, 4.7) and KC Ossai (6-0, 2-5, 4.6) who have strength and speed to get to the ball.

Other players for Oak Ridge include OL Austin Harris (6-4, 290), OL Justin Boudreaux (5-11, 250), LB Jaylon Wyatt (5-11, 195, 4.7), LB Adam Herschmann (6-0, 185, 4.6), DB/WR Dexter Green, and RB Jahron Jones.

Prediction: Dawson 24 - Oak Ridge 21

Humble Summer Creek Bulldogs
Friday, September 6 - 7:00 p.m. - The Rig

Dawson beat a good Summer Creek team last year 34-14, but the Bulldogs went on to post a 9-4 record overall and 7-1 in district. They also advanced in the post-season to the 6A Div. II semifinals.

For the second straight week, the Eagles defense is going to be tested with an even better quarterback as Bryan Bush (5-7, 165, 4.5) was brought up to the varsity from the JV team after the first two weeks of the season. He threw for 1,985 yards and 30 TDs while rushing for 1,375 and 18 TDs. With cat-like quickness and speed, he was named the District 22-6A MVP. Dawson didn't face Bush last season since he was still on the JV team.

The Bulldogs are a pre-season pick to finish second in their district behind Atascocita who went 11-2 last season. There are five offensive and four defensive starters returning with 22 lettermen.

Bush will get plenty of help with two speedsters at wide receiver in junior Elijah Bean (6-5, 190, 4.5) and Drevion Grant.

The running game will be by committee with three ball carriers in Torrie Curry, Sam Williams, and Andre Holliday.

Summer Creek will also put an aggressive defense on the field led by LB Anthony Hall (5-11, 200, 4.6) who had 121 tackles last season with 37 for loss and 12 sacks. DB DeVion Hargrove had three INTs as both were named All-District.

Other players to watch include DB Sean King (5-10, 170, 4.5), DL Ethan Schwartzman (6-1, 180, 4.6), OL Kelvin Banks (6-5, 270), WR Dontae Harrison, DL Justin Smith, OL Konnyr Musick, and OL Micah Berry.

Prediction: Summer Creek 28 - Dawson 17

Dickinson Gators
Friday, September 13 - Sam Vitanza Stadium - 7:00 p.m.

The Dickinson Gators have proven over the past several years that they are a well-coached team with outstanding athletes who possess speed and aggressive play on offense and defense.

Dawson fell to the Gators last year 34-6 in a game that was a lop-sided contest. The Gators also whipped Pearland 49-21 in the opening round of the playoffs in 2018. Dickinson lost to 6A Div. I state champion North Shore in the area round last season.

Dickinson is a pre-season pick to win the District 24-6A crown and they have incredible speed and talent on both sides of the ball. The Gators have four offensive and eight defensive starters returning with 22 lettermen.

While Dickinson may have younger players on offense, they have one of the most dynamic and versatile quarterbacks in All-Stater Mike Welch (6-0, 185, 4.6) who led the Gators to a 10-2 mark last season. Welch threw for 2,614 yards and 30 TDs while rushing for 907 yards and 20 scores.

Add WR Darryl Harris (6-3, 205, 4.6) to the offense and you have one of most prolific receivers in the Houston area. Harris had 982 yards receiving last year with 13 TDs.

DL/TE junior Canon Boone (6-4, 235, 5.0) provides a big target for Welch while also being a force on defense.

The ground attack will also be dangerous with sophomore Donovan Bradley (5-10, 165, 4.5) and Dailon Farmer leading the way.

Defensively, the Gators will be led by an aggressive defensive line led by DL Victor (6-1, 305, 5.0) who had 50 tackles, 11 TFL, and 4 sacks while DL Derrick Martin (5-10, 285, 4.9) had 45 tackles, 8 TFL, and 6 sacks. Both will demand double teams.

Players to watch include: DB DJ Warnell (6-2, 185, 4.6), DE Keith Cooper (6-4, 205, 4.9), DB Paul Smith, DB Savien Arnett, DB Anthony Wickware, OL Marcus White, and WR Kai German.

Prediction: Dickinson 35 - Dawson 10