Jr. Dawgs rally late past Dresden
By Sara Reid — Special to the Weakley County Press
The junior Dawgs started on offense and with steady ground gains from Blake Taylor, Austin Perry and Will Clark managed to keep the ball the entire first quarter and began the second frame of play on the Dresden 4-yard line. Clark picked up 3 yards to start the quarter and Taylor snuck the ball into the end zone for the score. The conversion fell short, but Gleason held a 6-0 lead with 7:34 left before halftime.
In its first turn on offense, Dresden’s Lions went to Logan Thomas who picked up short yardage on the ground, but the Gleason defense surged on fourth down and Chris Bentley sacked quarterback Davis Moran in the backfield.
Back on offense, the Dawgs soon faced fourth-and-long and Taylor’s pass fell short of its mark to give the ball back to the Lions.
Dresden went to Matt Mathis to start the drive and he picked up 2 tough yards. Thomas gained 15 yards and a first down on a carry, but Mathis was pushed back a yard on his next run. On second-and-long, Moran found Devan Raymer on a pass down the middle for 31 yards. Thomas picked up 2 yards and on second down at the Gleason 18-yard line, Moran found Ryne Vinson in the end zone with no time left on the clock. Thomas ran in the conversion and Dresden took an 8-6 edge into the half.
In the third quarter, Dresden was forced into a quick three-and-out, but Gleason also failed to pick up a first down on its next series. Punting the ball away on their next offensive series, the Lions regained possession when Gleason fumbled the punt. Failing to make a first down, however, the Lions turned the ball back over to Gleason to start the final quarter of play.
Gleason progressed down to the Lion 17, but Perry fumbled the ball back to Dresden. At their own 16-yard line, the Lions quickly turned the ball back over when a Thomas pass was intercepted by Chase Ezell.
Taylor carried the ball for 10 yards, Perry gained 5 and Clark picked up 10 yards on three straight Dawg carries. Perry gained 10 yards on first down, but Gleason was pushed back by a holding penalty. At the 17-yard line, a Taylor pass found Perry in the end zone through heavy traffic. The conversion failed, but with 23.9 seconds left in the game, Gleason took a 12-8 lead and held on for the win.