DMS edges Panthers in OT
Sara Reid — Special to the Weakley County Pres
It took an extra session, but the Dresden Middle School Lions earned a 12-6 win over the Martin Middle School Panthers Thursday night in Martin.
The Lions put a touchdown on the board just seconds before the end of the first half on a 15-yard halfback-pass from Ben Kendall to Daniel Austin. Quarterback Swafford’s two-point conversion try was halted by the Panther line, but the Lions held a 6-0 lead at the end of a first half that saw only 62 yards of total offense produced by both teams.
As defense continued to set the tone in the second half, the Panthers put a touchdown on the board with only 1:16 left in regulation on a pass play from Beau Kelly to Ty Brown. Martin’s conversion attempt also failed and overtime was needed. In the extra period, Swafford found Caldwell in the end zone to seal the win for the visitors.
The Lions had possession to start the contest and had short gains by Kendall and Dillon Jolley. Facing a fourth-and-six, Jolley’s run gained nothing and Dresden turned the ball over on downs.
At the Lion 42, the Panthers’ Kelly had gains of four and 10 yards and a big 21-yard pickup. The Lion defense roared for a two-yard loss, a sack for a one-yard loss and Daniel and Caldwell teamed up to sack Kelly for a 12-yard loss. On fourth-and-long, Swafford snatched Kelly’s pass and the Lions ended the opening quarter with a one-yard loss at the Dresden two.
Starting the second quarter at the Dresden one, Swafford took a QB sneak 73 yards. Soon after on fourth down, the Lions needed seven yards and got about six and a half out of Caldwell forcing them to turn the ball over on downs.
Martin took over on its own 3 and picked up four yards on a Kelly run and two yards on a carry by Johnson. Jenus Hussey was pushed back for a loss of four and Martin was forced to punt. Dresden and Martin exchanged punts and the Lions took over at the Martin 12. Swafford picked up two yards. A lateral from Kendall to Swafford gained nothing and after the Lions were flagged with an illegal procedure call, Swafford misfired on a pass and Dresden faced fourth-and-long. Going to the halfback pass, the Lions found the end zone on a connection from Kendall to Austin with 3.1 seconds left in the first half. The conversion failed, but the Lions took a 6-0 lead into the break.
In the third, Dresden forced Martin to punt on its first possession, but Swafford was intercepted by Houston Haag to slow the Lion momentum.
The Panthers closed out the third by gaining steady yardage on the ground, but started the fourth with a Kelly fumble to Austin. The Lions fumbled the ball back to Martin and on first down from the Martin 13, Kelly found Ty Brown on an 87-yard touchdown pass. The conversion failed and time expired with the score tied, 6-6.
The Panthers had the ball first in the OT at the Lion 10-yard line and, on second-and-long, Kelly’s pass was intercepted.
The Lions lost eight yards on a Swafford fumble and recovery and were slapped with an illegal procedure penalty. Regaining some of the yardage on a pass from Swafford to Brock Dilday, Dresden then found the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Swafford to Caldwell to end the game with a 12-6 win for the Lions.
Dresden will next face Medina and Martin will host Northeast. Both games kick off at 6:30 on Thursday night.