Dresden defense helps Lions snap recent skid
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
Turnovers have played a key role in all Dresden's games. In their losses, the Lions are a combined minus-10 in turnover margin, while Dresden is plus-nine total in its four victories.
The turnover statistic was critical in the outcome of Dresden's latest win. Despite sloppy field conditions, the Lion offense took care of the ball, losing it just once via a fumble. DHS quarterback Dale Hutcherson did not throw an interception.
The DHS defense had two huge defensive stands in the first half to set the tone. The Lions came up with two fourth-down stops deep in DHS territory.
After the Lions punted to end the game's opening drive, West Carroll started at its own 9-yard line. A 31-yard pitch to Travis Myles and a 43-yard toss sweep to Bracey Myles were the big gains as West Carroll pushed deep into Dresden territory. The Bracey Myles run set up the War Eagles with a first-and-goal from the DHS 5-yard line.
That's where the Lions' defense took a stand. Fullback Colby Cooper was stopped for no gain on first down. Travis Myles was dropped for a three-yard loss by Tyler McPeak before Cody Nelson thew an incompletion on third down. On fourth-and-goal from the 8, Bracey Myles took another pitch to the left, but was hauled down a yard short of the goal line by Lion sophomore D.J. Ellis to end the drive.
Taking over with their backs against their own goal line, Dresden dropped Hutcherson back into shotgun formation in the end zone on first down. With a QB draw called, Hutcherson fumbled the snap and fell on it in the end zone for a safety to put West Carroll in front 2-0 with 4:32 left in the first quarter.
With the Lions kicking the ball back to them, West Carroll began its second drive at the DHS 44. A 13-yard run by Nelson was followed by two runs totalling nine yards by Cooper to set up third-and-one at the 22. Cooper was stopped for no gain by Jay Wainscott on third down. West Carroll opted to go for it on fourth down, but Travis Myles fumbled the ball and was stopped short of the first down marker.
Neither offense managed more than one first down in a drive until late in the second quarter. The Lions started at the 50-yard line and mixed runs by Isaac Butler and Zach Jolley to keep the War Eagles back on their heels. Facing a third-and-eight from the 18-yard line, Jolley took a handoff on a draw, shot through a hole in the left side and raced across the goal line for a 6-2 Dresden lead. Alex Robinson's kick bumped the lead to 7-2 with 1:36 remaining in the first half.
McPeak intercepted a Nelson pass on the last play of the half to send Dresden into the locker room leading 7-2.
West Carroll's Nelson fumbled a snap on the first third-down play of the second half, bringing out the War Eagle punt team. Wainscott broke through and partially blocked the punt to give the Lions excellent field position at the WC 34 for their first third-quarter possession.
Jolley was held up for a one-yard loss on first down, before twice gaining five yards to set up fourth-and-one at the 24. A Lion false start flag pushed the ball back to the 29 for the fourth-down snap. From there, Hutcherson found Colin Kanehl open behind the WC defense for a 29-yard touchdown strike. Robinson was again accurate with the kick for a 14-2 lead with 7:17 left in the third.
The War Eagles then turned the ball over to end their next four drives.
West Carroll finally broke through late in the fourth quarter. Nelson completed 3-of-6 passes on the drive for 60 total yards before running the final five yards to paydirt. The Eagle QB then found Bracey Myles open in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion to cut the DHS lead four, 14-10, with 57 ticks left in the game.
The Lions recovered West Carroll's onside kick attempt and ran out the clock to take the 14-10 win.
West Carroll-Dresden, Stats
West Carroll 2 0 0 8—10
Dresden 0 7 7 0—14
WCHS — Tackle in end zone, 4:32.
DHS — Zach Jolley 18 run, (Alex Robinson kick), 1:36.
DHS — Colin Kanehl 29 pass from Dale Hutcherson, (Robinson kick), 7:17.
WCHS — Cody Nelson 5 run, (Bracey Myles pass from Nelson), 00:57.
First downs 16 12
Rushes-yards 41-239 42-178
Passing yards 80 56
Comp-Att-Int 4-16-3 5-13-0
Punts 2-13.5 5-32
Fumbles-Lost 8-3 2-1
Penalties-Yards 5-55 11-110
Rushing — West Carroll, Bracey Myles 8-107, Colby Cooper 13-50, Cody Nelson 11-47, Travis Myles 7-39, Team 2-(-4); Dresden, Zach Jolley 22-112, Isaac Butler 12-45, Dale Hutcherson 8-21.
Passing — West Carroll, Nelson 4-16-3 80; Dresden, Hutcherson 5-13-0 56.
Receiving — West Carroll, B. Myles 1-36, Andrew Wainscott 2-28, Brandon Newman 1-16; Dresden, Colin Kanehl 2-33, Matt Beaty 1-18, Butler 2-5.
Records — West Carroll 5-3 (1-3 District 13-A), Dresden 5-4 (2-2 District 13-A).
Next Game — West Carroll will host Adamsville at 7:30 on Friday night, while Dresden has a week off before hosting Gleason at 7:30 on Oct. 30.