By DR. DAVID DAVIS
In a game between league-leading Dawson and cellar-dwelling Alief Elsik, the game was supposed to be a blowout for the Eagles.
Instead, the Elsik Rams played like they were in the hunt for a playoff spot as the two teams battled to a 21-14 halftime advantage for Dawson.
In fact, Elsik scored first and last in the opening two quarters when Brian Smith scored on a 23-yard run and James Wadsworth caught a 63-yard scoring bomb with only 2:50 left before intermission.
Sandwiched in between those two scores were three touchdowns by Dawson as Osby Mitchell caught a 25-yard scoring strike from quarterback Zach Smith to tie up the game at 7-7.
The Eagles scored two more times as Lance Charles scored on a 2-yard run and Chase Thibodeaux scored on a2-yard plunge to take a 21-7 lead before the big scoring pass by the Rams before halftime.
At halftime, it was time for a reality check by Dawson head coach Eric Wells.
“I don’t like to go in and rant and rave at halftime,” Wells said, “But I had to, and the guys played the way they should have.”
The stern pep talked resulted in a 33-point blowout in the third quarter giving the Eagles a 51-7 lead at the end of three quarters.
“We played in the third quarter like we should have the whole game,” Wells said. “It was one of those deals where we had a big game last week, and then you try to teach the kids to forget about it…that game was last week.”
Dawson running back Lance Charles set the tone for the second half when he ripped off a 75-yard scoring jaunt on the opening play of the third quarter giving Dawson a 27-14 lead at the 11:47 mark.
Less than a minute later, Dawson turned an Elsik miscue on the kickoff into a 10-yard scoring run by Zach Smith. The PAT was good by Claire Jeffries and the Eagles were up 34-14.
Elsik finally gained possession of the ball in the third quarter with 10:48 showing, but it immediately fumbled and Dawson’s Dominique Taylor recovered the ball at the Ram 21.
Two plays later, Smith connected with Osby Mitchell on a 14-yard scoring strike and a 41-14 lead.
Before the end of the third quarter, Zach Smith hooked up with Niko Thomas on scoring passes covering 5 and 15-yards to up the lead to 54-14.
The final points of the game came early in the fourth quarter when Jeffries booted a 27-yard field goal to post the 57-14 final score.
Wells knows Dawson must be more efficient in the first half next week against the Alief Taylor Lions (8-0) who invade The Rig on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the showdown for the District 23-6A championship. Both teams are 4-0 in the league standings with the winner pulling out the title.
“What we learned is that we can’t come out in any game and play mediocre,” Wells said. “It’s like a playoff game this week.
“We have to play hard for four quarters. We can’t let up from the opening kickoff.”
Smith was 14-of-21 passing for 208 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 50 yards on seven carries and a TD.
Charles rushed for 248 yards on 25 carries and one touchdown.
Mitchell caught seven passes for 109 yards and one score. Thomas had four grabs for 52 yards and two TDs. Mason Pierce had three catches for 49 yards.
Dawson rolled up 587 total yards while holding to Elsik to only 171 total yards.