By Jim Steele
Time was running out and Dresden was facing a fourth-down situation from the Union City 8-yard-line with the score tied at 28.
The Lions marched out their German import, Paul Betzou, for a 25-yard field goal from the left hash. With :06 left, he put his foot into it. Das ist gut! For those not that well-versed in German, the kick was good, and Dresden earned a huge 31-28 victory over regional rival Union City.
The victory vaults Dresden to 7-0 and undefeated in the region.
Dresden head coach Keith Hodge was concerned with the ball placement on the left hash because Betzou sometimes hooks his kicks. But this time, he booted straight through.
“I don’t think he was sure what was on the line, but he came through,” Hodge said.
The two teams teetered back and forth all night. The Lions opened with a 15-play drive, ending in 3-yard TD plunge by Tristan Jett. Union City answered to tie the game when the Dresden rang the bell again. This time, Jett raced 64 yards to paydirt, and the Lions led 14-7.
In the second frame Schilcht heaved a 58-yard pass to Nick Turnbow for six points. At the half, the two teams were deadlocked at 21. In the second half, Dresden burned up almost the entire third frame with a 17-yard drive, ending in a 1-yard plunge from Jett. Union City only snapped the ball three times in the third. The Lions led 28-21.
“We like to go fast, but when you can execute a drive like that, but it’s hard to do,” Hodge said.
Hodge said this game was a titanic struggle.
“It was tough, back and forth, both teams just played their guts out,” Hodge said. “It was a tough win no doubt about it. You knew you had to battle to the end.”
Jett had a huge night, carrying 16 times for 131 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Cameron Schlicht was 14-20 for 220 yards passing and a touchdown. Turnbow had 126 yards on seven catches to lead the Lion receivers.
Defensively, Jett got it done on the other side of scrimmage, racking up 12 total tackles. Reese Bell had an interception and Will Kibbler had 10 total tackles.
Hodge also had praise for his offensive line.
“The offensive line is doing a great job of keeping Schilcht upright. But we work on that every day,” said the coach. “When you can pass, you open your run game. We have to try to get better.”
The Lions will visit an improved South Fulton team for another regional showdown Friday night. South Fulton defeated Greenfield 47-23 last week.