Topeka, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City High School football team found themselves in a big hole at halftime Friday night in their first round 6A playoff game with Washburn Rural. Then like he did against Wichita South, junior quarterback Dawson Williams engineered a comeback from 20-3 down only to fall just short in a 27-15 loss.
First Half Highlights
The loss ended the Red Demons season at 5-4, while 6-3 Washburn Rural goes on to the second round and a rematch with Manhattan.
The Junior Blues sophomore quarterback Jordan White was in control of the game during the first half. His 67 yard run five minutes into the game made it a 6-0 lead for the Junior Blues who were playing their first home playoff game in 24 years.
After a Dodge City drive fizzled out with 51 second left in the first quarter, Carlos Fernandez nailed a 36 yard field goal to bring Dodge City within 6-3.
Washburn Rural would then take advantage of two big runs one to end the first quarter and another on the first play of the second to lengthen their lead to 13-3. Quarterback Jordan White’s 31 yard run set up senior Hunter Browning’s 49 yard scoring run on the first play of the second quarter.
Dodge had three turnovers on the night and the one they had with 3:15 before halftime was huge. A high snap went over punter Ryan Armstrong’s head. He retreated back to the Demon 25 to cover up the ball, but the short field allowed the Junior Blues to get a three yard touchdown run from White, his ninth rushing touchdown of the year.
Second Half Highlights
Dodge City also had some first play magic of their own. Dawson Williams rushed for a 78 yard touchdown on the first play from scrimmage in the second half. That was his longest play of the season surpassing his 75 yard touchdown run in Great Bend and 74 at Hays. Ironically all three of those big touchdown runs were on the road. Even with a missed extra point the score cut the Washburn Rural lead down to 20-9.
Williams next rushing touchdown which tied the score record for rushing tds in a single season was set up with a strip of Junior Blues quarterback Jordan White deep in their own territory from DC linebacker Carlos Rojas and a pickup from freshman linebacker Jashon Taylor who covered the ball at the Washburn Rural 8. The resulting three yard td run from Williams was his 26th of the year and even with a second missed extra point the Junior Blues lead was down to 20-15.
Dodge City had their best drive of the night beginning with 6:36 left in the third from their own 37. The possession spilled into the fourth quarter where the last of the three Demon turnovers turned out to be the costliest as Williams fumbled just two yards from the goal line one minute into the fourth quarter. A touchdown would have give the Red Demons their first lead.
The Junior Blues then marched down the field going six minutes and taking 98 yards ending in Hunter Browning’s second rushing touchdown of the night from 1 with 5:33 to go and pushed the lead back to two touchdowns at 27-15.
Dodge City had a drive at the end of the game that were able to get them to within striking distance, but on a play where Williams pass was intercepted inside the Junior Blues 5 by Tyler Cummings a Demon offense player hit the ball from the behind and popped it loose. The ball was then caught out of mid-air by Demon wide receiver Sam Unruh and was ruled a touchdown.
After the officials conferred they said Dodge had ben guilty of a hold and place the ball back at the Junior Blues 39. The drive ended with 1:03 left when Williams pass to the end zone on 4 and and 10 from the 15 was batted away and well short of his intended receiver. Washburn Rural ran out the clock in sealing up their 12 point win.
On the night unofficially Dawson Williams for Dodge City rushed 33 times for 168 yards and finished 44 yards short of tying the single season rushing mark at the school of 1,728. He was 5-16 passing for 29 yards.
Tylor Garcia rushed 11 times for 102 yards and had a 100+ yard game in seven of the nine contests he played in his senior year at Dodge ending with 874 yards on the year.
Washburn Rural quarterback Jordan White rushed 19 times for 143 yards and 2 tds, but was only 3-7 passing for 48 yards. Hunter Browning had 22 carries for 108 yards and he scored two touchdowns.
On the night Dodge City converted only three times on 15 attempts at 3rd down, but was 4 of 6 on 4th down. The Junior Blues were much more successful going 6-11 on third down.
Dodge City Coach Dave Foster Post-game Comments