Dawson wins thriller over Strake Jesuit

PEARLAND DAWSON — It was a hard-nosed, smash-mouth football game with limited frills and fancy play calling, but in the end -- the Dawson Eagles came out victorious over the Strake Jesuit Crusaders 21-17 in the District 23-6A opener for both teams.

Dawson improves to 3-1 on the season and 1-0 in league play while Strake Jesuit dropped to 2-2 overall and 0-1 in district.

The Eagles will host cross-town cousin Pearland Oilers on Friday, October 4 for the annual PearBowl at The Rig at 7:00 p.m. A sell-out crowd is expected with a few pre-game surprise activities for the fans.

There were playoff implications for both teams in the season opener as Dawson was a pre-season fourth place pick in district while Strake Jesuit was a pre-season second-place selection.

The win by Dawson proves that games are won on the field and not by pre-season polls. The Eagles certainly took a positive step in the right direction to make sure they extend their season in the playoffs.

Strake Jesuit got the opening kickoff and proceeded to take 10:46 off the first quarter clock to score on a 86-yard, 18-play drive that was capped off by a 2-yard score by Dylan Campbell. The PAT was good for a 7-0 lead with 1:26 left in the opening frame.

It didn't take as long, but the Eagles put their offense in gear and went on a 68-yard, 8-play scoring drive topped off by a 10-yard run by Ja'Den Stewart. The PAT by Carter Brown tied up the game at 7-7 with 11:15 remaining in the second quarter.

The two teams traded punt and they Strake Jesuit took possession on their own 45 with 3:21 left in the first half.

The Crusaders used up the remaining time of the first half and kicked a 27-yard field goal as time expired to take a 10-7 lead into the dressing room at intermission.

The Eagles came out on fire to begin the second half and proceeded to score on a 52-yard crowd-pleasing run by quarterback Myles Kitt-Denton to cap off a 4-play, 72-yard drive with 10:42 still left in the third quarter for a 14-10 lead following the PAT by Brown.

The Crusaders went on another extended drive beginning at their own 20-yard line. It took 15-plays to find the end zone on a 2-yard dive by Alex May with 2:45 left in the third. The PAT found the mark and Strake Jesuit regained the lead 17-14.

The smash-mouth contest continued and the Eagles answered the bell as they went on an 11-play, 70-yard drive with Stewart scoring on an 8-yard sweep. Brown hit the PAT for a 21-17 Dawson lead with 10:07 left in the final stanza.

After the Dawson defense forced a punt by the Crusaders, the Eagles set up their offense on their own 18 with 7:09 left in the game.

Facing fourth-and-six from their 22, the Eagles went into punt formation. To the surprise of everyone, Dawson head coach Mike Allison did the unexpected and called on Brown to fire a fourth-down pass to wide receiver Blake Smith who made an incredible catch for a first down with only inches to spare.

The Eagles retained possession of the ball at their own 29 with 5:27 left in the game and proceeded to drive down to the Crusaders 29 while eating up the rest of the time on the clock to preserve a 21-17 hard-fought district win.

Quarterback Myles Kitt-Denton continues his outstanding play this season as he was 6-of-10 passing for 68 yards in this run oriented contest. He led the Eagles on the ground with 120 yards on nine carries with one touchdown.

Ja'Den Stewart had 17 totes for 81 yards and two scores.

Bobby Wooden had four catches for 35 yards while Blake Smith had one catch for seven yards that gave the Eagles the critical first down to keep their game-ending drive alive. Jacob Brinkman had one grab for 16 yards and Alex Boudreaux had one catch for 17 yards.

Dawson will host the Pearland Oilers on Friday, October 4 at 7:00 p.m. at The Rig in the annual PearBowl. The game will be a sell out.