The table was set for the biggest game in the Houston area and maybe in the state as No. 7 state-ranked Texas City and No. 9 state-ranked Dawson faced one another in a District 24-4A showdown with the winner becoming the team to beat for the league crown. Both teams entered the battle with identical 4-0 marks and 1-0 in the district standings.
The opening first quarter proved to be what most expected. Texas City took the first jab as Armanti Foreman broke through the Dawson defense and raced 51-yards for the touchdown and a quick 7-0 lead at the 10:20 mark of the opening period.
That would be it for the rest of the quarter as neither team could get on the scoreboard.
Dawson tied up the game when quarterback Ross Wicklund hit Tony Upchurch for a 3-yard scoring toss. Tyler Day added the PAT to knot up the contest 7-7.
It didn’t take long for the Eagles to take the lead as Brett Winnegan scored on a 10-yard scamper giving Dawson a 14-7 advantage at the 7:18 second quarter mark.
But that would be it for the Eagles as they imploded against a more powerful Texas City squad who may have one of their best teams in the history of the school.
The much touted Foreman twins, Armanti and D’Onta, made their presence known on both sides of the ball as the Stingarees dismantled the Eagles in the most lopsided district loss that Dawson has ever suffered in her young history.
Texas City erased the 14-7 early deficit and outscored the Eagles 37-0 the rest of the way to post the 44-14 win.
Armanti scored three times on runs of 51 and 31 yards while picking off a pass on defense and returning it for a pick-six covering 37-yards. It was his third interception of the game.
Twin D’Onta scored on a 15-yard pass from QB Andrew Allen and added another score on a 2-yard plunge.
The Stings continued to shred the Dawson defense as Donald Lynch scored on a 63-yard burst for another score.
With 5:38 left in the game, Texas City put the final nail in the coffin with a 37-yard field goal by Aaron Klaes.
Dawson’s offense was held to only 207 total yards with running back Brett Winnegan finishing the game with 147 yards on 23 carries and one score.
The Texas City defense made it a priority to make sure that LSU commit Tony Upchurch wasn’t a factor in the game as they held him to only three catches for 21 yards and one TD.
The Stings also grounded the Dawson air attack as QB Ross Wicklund was only 7-of-25 passing for one score with almost half of his passes being intercepted by Armanti Foreman who grabbed three with one being returned for a touchdown.
For Dawson, this isn’t the end of their season. It is a learning tool to improve and to know what they need to do in order to close out the rest of the season without a loss and to be determined to make a deep run in the playoffs.
The good news is that the Eagles won’t have to face Texas City in the playoffs as they will go to Division II while Dawson will be in the Division I bracket.
“We played hard with them, but things just didn’t go our way,” Dawson head coach Eric Wells said. “I wish I could turn the clock back, but we have to find a way to get our swagger back and get back on the grind. We still have a lot of football to play this year – and we don’t have to play Texas City ever again.”
Dawson can get back on the winning track as they will host Goose Creek Memorial on Friday, October 11 at The Rig at 7:00 p.m.