Homecoming Friday vs. Gibson Co.
By RON PARK
This past Friday night’s home game against Perry County was the first region contest of the season for the Dresden High School Lions, and they passed that test with flying colors as they shut down the Vikings 56-0 to maintain their undefeated status.
The Lions will be celebrating homecoming this Friday night with pregame festivities, including the presentation of the homecoming court and queen, starting at 6:30 p.m. The game, a non-region match with Gibson County, will start at 7 p.m.
Against Perry County, the Lions put up 26 points in the first quarter alone and arrived at the half with a towering 49-0 advantage. Dresden added seven more in the third quarter, and the fourth quarter zipped by scoreless for both teams.
“It was a great feeling to be home and be 1-0 in region play,” said Dresden head coach Keith Hodge. “Overall field position was the key to the game. We kept the field flipped in our favor most of the night, which allowed us to put points on the board, especially early.”
Junior Tristan Jett chalked up the first touchdown of the game when he ran it in from 26 yards out, shrugging off several Viking defenders in the process, during Dresden’s first offensive possession.
Next up was senior quarterback Tatum Oliver on a 42-yard keeper halfway into the first quarter – Oliver’s first of four touchdowns during the game.
About a minute later, senior Jaylyn Mitchell picked up a Viking fumble and ran it around 20 yards for six.
Jett was back in the end zone with two minutes left in the first on a 17-yard carry. That happened one play after senior Raymond Johnson returned a Perry County punt all the way, only to have it called back on a penalty.
Oliver kicked off the second quarter score-fest with a 15-yard keeper at the 8:15 mark, and junior Nick Turnbow added two when he faked it in for the conversion after receiving the snap for the extra point kick.
Two minutes later, Oliver scored number three from 13 yards out, and Turnbow did it again for two – though this time it looked like more an improvisational response to a mishandled snap than part of a plan.
Oliver capped off his offensive assault with a 21-yard carry with three minutes left in the first half.
The second half was relatively brief with a continuous clock and shortened eight-minute quarters.
Junior Micah Wingate scored the final touchdown of the night on a 50-yard breakaway run with about four minutes left in the third quarter.
Senior Mark Maddox delivered four extra points on six attempts.
Dresden’s defense kept Perry County’s offense thoroughly contained, forcing six punts and one turnover on downs.
“Defense played well again and flew to the ball. We didn’t give up big plays and got off the field on third downs,” said Hodge. “We had too many miscues on extra points, and that can really hurt us as we go forward. We’ll continue to work hard through that. Great team effort but we lost our technique too much throughout the game. Both of those go hand and hand.”
Regarding Gibson County, Hodge said they will need to watch out for the Pioneers’ speed on both offense and defense.
“Gibson County is a very explosive team,” said Hodge. “They have two of the fastest, if not the fastest, duo we’ll see this year in the backfield. So far teams have struggled containing them. On defense they bring a lot of pressure and have good team speed there too. Field position will be huge again this week for both sides of the ball.”