Lions wear down Gleason
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
With rain falling throughout the game onto an already saturated field, the Lions bulled their way to a victory over Gleason by scoring once in each quarter.
The victory gives Dresden its first winning season since a 7-4 mark in the 2003 campaign.
Even with the win, Dresden (6-4) was denied a spot in the new TSSAA playoff format, the lone team with a winning record in the state to suffer such a fate. Despite the snub, the Lions' season isn't over. Dresden will participate in the Cumberland River Bowl, taking on the host Jackson County Blue Devils (5-5) at 2 on Saturday afternoon in Gainesboro. The most recent Dresden TSSAA playoff outing came in 2004 with a first-round loss, 52-37, to G.W. Carver.
For the third consecutive season, Gleason (6-4) will advance to the first round of the TSSAA Class A playoffs. GHS will visit South Fulton (5-5) with kickoff at 7 on Friday night in a rematch of a Week 5 game that the Dawgs won, 34-21.
Both Dresden and Gleason did fight a common foe in last week's game, the first clash between the two rivals since 2002. The teams and schools combined for a Pink Out, wearing everything from pink socks to pink tape, wrist bands and shoelaces to pink ribbons on their helmets to raise money for and awareness of the fight against cancer.
It didn't take long for much of the pink to buried under a muddy sludge. The Dawg offense struggled to find a rhythm, battling both the footing and the Dresden defenders, including a big night by Lions Jay Wainscott, DJ Ellis and Brandon Elliott. Gleason was held to 97 total yards of offense with Conner Verdell accounting for 54 of that amount.
While everyone else fought for footing, Dresden's Daniel Harris opened the game with a bang, returning the initial kickoff 87 yards to paydirt. Harris blasted through the initial wave of Dawgs and then out-ran those in pursuit. Alex Robinson's kick boosted the DHS lead to 7-0 with just 15 ticks off the clock.
Gleason looked like it might answer, gaining first downs on consecutive runs by Nicky Spain for 16 yards and a 12-yarder by Cody Ezell, However, a fumble in the backfield was recovered by Ellis to squelch the drive.
In Dresden's first march of the second quarter, the Lions utilized Zach Jolley to cover the bulk of the 59 yards to paydirt. Jolley's one-yard spin over the goal line and another Robinson kick doubled the lead to 14-0 with 5:34 left in the first half.
That score stood until 6:43 was left in the third frame. Dale Hutcherson shoveled a pass to Matt Beaty who broke a tackle and raced 30 yards for a TD to put Dresden in control. A low snap on the PAT kick resulted in a failed two-point attempt and kept the score at 20-0.
The Lions added the final score after Gatlin Hatchel intercepted a Verdell pass and returned it to the GHS 2-yard line. After a penalty, Hutcherson found Colin Kanehl for a seven-yard TD toss. Robinson's kick added the game's final point for a 27-0 Dresden win.
Gleason 0 0 0 0—0
Dresden 7 7 6 7—27
DHS — Daniel Harris 83 kickoff return, (Alex Robinson kick), 11:45.
DHS — Zach Jolley 1 run, (Robinson kick), 5:34.
DHS — Matt Beaty 30 pass from Dale Hutcherson, (pass failed), 6:43.
DHS — Colin Kanehl 7 pass from Hutcherson, (Robinson kick), 10:08.
First downs 7 14
Rushes-yards 39-64 35-150
Passing yards 33 57
Comp-Att-Int 2-6-1 4-9-0
Punts 5-28.8 3-35.3
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 2-1
Penalties-Yards 3-20 6-45
Rushing — Gleason, Nicky Spain 13-39, Cody Ezell 9-24, Conner Verdell 7-21, Dalton Teeter 7-(-3), Team 3-(-17); Dresden, Zach Jolley 15-64, Dale Hutcherson 10-45, Daniel Janes 4-34, Isaac Butler 4-10, Team 2-(-3).
Passing — Gleason, Verdell 2-6-1 33; Dresden, Hutcherson 4-9-0 57.
Receiving — Gleason, Ezell 1-26, Teeter 1-7; Dresden, Matt Beaty 1-30, Butler 1-18, Colin Kanehl 1-7, Dillon Matlock 1-2.
Records — Gleason 6-4 (1-4 District 13-A), Dresden 6-4 (3-2 District 13-A).
Next Game — Gleason will visit South Fulton in the first round of the TSSAA playoffs with kickoff at 7 on Friday night, while Dresden will play Jackson County in the Cumberland River Bowl at 2 on Saturday afternoon in Gainesboro.