-Upstart Greyhounds hold on 28-27

By Brett Barnes

The Dixie Greyhound two-headed monster of #11 Luke Bowling and #24 Ryan Jordan struck
again just 32 seconds after halftime with a two play 80-yard drive. Bowling ran for 35-yards on a
quarterback keep, and Parker willed himself into the end zone from 45-yards away. When Zack
Washington kicked the extra point, for the first time, Dixie had a two score lead in the football game at
28-14, and looked as if they would run away with the football game.

They had scored with ease most of the evening in many different ways: 2-yard run by Bowling 7-
0, Wide receiver reverse pass from Greg Leonard to Logan Watts 14-6, Jordan from 15-yards 21-14, and
now this score right after the half had finally given them some breathing room with the two touchdown
lead.

M-U knew this would be a dogfight, and had great respect for these Greyhounds. “Ryan Jordan
might be the best back we face all year,” quipped head coach Bret Pearce. “We knew they could put up
points.”

Now, with backs against the wall, M-U showed true grit and determination. The Bulldog two-
headed monster of #2 David Karns and #41 Tyler Brown answered the Dixie touchdown with a drive of
65 yards in 1:12. Karns scampered 52-yards to the 9-yd line, and Brown punched it in from there. With
10:07 left in the 3rd quarter, it was a one score game again at 28-21.

The real question now was could the Bulldog defense slow down this Dixie offense? Not only
did they slow them down, they stopped them cold. After Dixie’s last touchdown, the M-U defense gave
up a grand total of 24 yards the rest of the game. Dixie never even crossed midfield again and had to
punt five times.

So M-U had five opportunities to tie or take the lead in the football game. “We just needed to
limit mistakes with no turnovers, wear them down and win it late,” Coach Pearce concluded.

It just didn’t happen. For the first time all season mistakes and turnovers plagued M-U. The
first opportunity ended at the Dixie 40-yard line when London Cowan was sacked and stripped of the
football.

The second opportunity ended right after it started when Karns fielded a punt raced up the
sidelines for major yards, but was stripped of the football and fumbled at the Dixie 43-yard line.

The third opportunity was the best opportunity. A beautiful 8-play drive ended with Brown’s
second touchdown of the half this time from 5 yards away to make the score 28-27. Nick Fields came on
to tie the game, but the combination of low snap and busted protection allowed Dixie to block the extra
point and stay ahead 28-27.

The fourth opportunity ended when Fields’ 48-yard field goal attempt missed wide left.

Now with just 1:42 seconds left in the football game, M-U had one last chance starting at the
43-yard line. Cowan hit Alex King with a tight end pass for 32 yards. King fought his way to the sideline,
and with clock stopped it was first and ten at the Dixie25-yard line. Karns took a pitch, headed left, and
scampered 8 yards out of bounds at the Dixie 17-yard line. Then the penalties reared their ugly head.
Two false starts surrounded a run of no gain, pushing the football back to the 27-yard line. With time
for two plays and no timeouts left, Tyler Brown rushed for 6 yards, and the special teams unit sprinted
onto the field and setup for a game winning 38-yard field goal. Dixie called timeout.

The snap was high and when finally placed on the tee, the kick was easily blocked. The fifth
opportunity gone… Final score: Dixie 28 M-U 27

M-U continues its season with their final home game next Friday Night (Senior Night) against
new rival Waynesville. A league title and playoff berth still possible with a win, and both will in all
likelihood be gone with a loss. Game time 7:30.

 

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