Dawson holds on for 28-24 win over Alief Taylor

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Dawson WR Noah Rhodes catches a short screen pass against the Alief Taylor Lions.

The Eagles edged Taylor 28-24 to remain undefeated in district action with a 2-0 mark. Dawson will host the Strake Jesuit Crusaders on Friday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Pearland ISD Stadium.

(Photo by Nathan Jones)

Dawson began the real season with a district win over the Hastings Bears 45-7 to finally get in the win column for the 2023 football season after a 0-3 non-district start.

Of the three Alief schools, Taylor seems to have the stronger football program as they opened up league action last week with a 57-36 district win over Alvin.

The Eagles entered the game with a 1-3 record but two of their losses were by a single point to Hightower and Tomball.

"I am very proud of the kids and coaches for the win," said Dawson head coach Mike Allison. "Taylor is a very talented team and their coaches did a good job preparing them for the game.

"For us, it seemed to be a tale of two halves. We were a little flat in the first half. There were a few factors that I feel caused that, but at the end of the day, it is my responsibility to get the kids ready, so that is on me.

"I believe that our coaches did a great job of making adjustments at halftime, and found ways to put our players in position to be successful."

Dawson received the opening kickoff but ran three plays and punted on fourth down.

Taylor set up their offense on their own 34. The Lions went on a 12-play, 66-yard scoring march capped off with a 7-yard touchdown for a 7-0 lead early in the first quarter.

The Eagles were able to answer with a 7-play, 60-yard scoring drive with QB Gage Green handing off the ball to RB Bryce Burgess who scores on a 16-yard dash to tie up the game 7-7 following the PAT by Ayden Treadaway.

"Bryce Burgess did a great job running the ball all night," said coach Allison. "It was made possible by the O-line (Josh Lewis, Benji Vasquez, and Jaden Rodriguez who had a good night blocking), and our fullback Reese Lehmann."

Taylor closed out the first quarter with a 4-yard scoring run to pull ahead 13-7 while missing the PAT.

Dawson responded with a 6-play, 54-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a 6-yard scoring run by Bryce Burgess. Aaron Jensen hit the PAT giving the Eagles a 14-13 lead with 11:04 left in the second quarter.

With under a minute remaining in the first half, Taylor scored again on a 11-yard touchdown run. The 2-point conversion was good and the Lions took a 21-14 lead into the dressing room at the half.

The Lions scoring drive went 86-yards in eight plays.

Taylor scored first in the second half when the Lions kicked a 23-yard field goal to increase the lead to 24-14.

The Eagles came roaring back as Greene hit Braylon Howard on a short pass at the Dawson 19 and Howard turned on the jets for an 86-yard scoring jaunt to close the gap to 24-21 following the PAT by Treadaway.

With less than a minute remaining in the third quarter, Bryce Burgess got loose on a 75-yard scoring run to give the Eagles a 28-24 lead after Jensen nailed the PAT.

Neither team scored in the final period although Taylor did score but the touchdown didn't count due to a penalty by the Lions.

"Braylon Howard made some big receptions when we needed it, and Gage Greene put the ball where it needed to be," Allison said. "Tony Roberson III did well all night, but really showed his strength on the last drive when we needed to put the game away."

Dawson struggled in the first half but made some adjustments at halftime and the Eagles were a much different team in the second half.

"The first half, the defense struggled to get Taylor off the field," Allison said. "They came together in the second half to hold them to three points after giving up 21 in the first half.

"Hudson Windsor, Jordan Harrison, and Max Menendez were all over the field.

"Bryson Burgess made a huge play, intercepting the ball in the endzone in the fourth quarter, which led to our offense's last drive to run out the clock.

"Aaron Jensen and Ayden Treadaway did well in the kicking game and Chase Davis had some good returns to set up our offense with good field position a couple of times."

QB Gage Greene was 7-of-18 passing for 189 yards and one TD.

RB Bryce Burgess had 14 carries for 143 yards and three touchdowns and WR Braylon Howard had four catches for 123 yards and one score covering 86 yards. WR Noah Rhodes had two grabs for 46 yards and Reese Lehmann snagged one pass for 20 yards.

Dawson improves to 2-3 overall and 2-0 in district. The Eagles will host the Strake Jesuit Crusaders on Friday, October 6 at 7:00 p.m. at Pearland ISD Stadium.