The 2014 Dickson Middle School football season suffered its share of setbacks. The season opener at home against Charlotte was cancelled due to storms. The new season opener, at Lawrence County High School against E. O. Coffman was moved to the LCHS practice field because the main field was being re-sodded. The game was then moved from Thursday night to Saturday afternoon, because the practice field didn’t have lights.
It was only fitting that it took an extra two drives for the Dragons’ season to really get going on Saturday; their opening drive went ten yards backwards, and the ensuing punt was returned farther than it was kicked. The short field enabled the Panthers to punch it in for a touchdown on a plunge by Baily Coker, and the successful two point conversion on a Tabius Reed run made it 8-0 E. O. Coffman with 4:16 left in the first.
At that moment, the DMS season began.
The Panthers tried an onside kick, but Dickson recovered and chewed up the rest of the opening quarter. A 15-yard touchdown pass from Colton Harris to Cody Pardue and a successful conversion run by Tucker Berry made it 8-8 with just three seconds left in the first. The Dragons would ultimately forge a 28-0 run, blanking the home side for almost exactly half the game. Game MVP Darian Burns would score three touchdowns in a row, on runs of 2 yards and 40 yards 9 seconds apart in the second quarter (with an innocuous, nearly out of bounds squib kick recovered as an onside for DMS in between), and a 60 yard scamper at 4:29 in the third to make it 28-8. He would also convert the two on the second touchdown, while the other two tries were incomplete passes.
Just 18 seconds after Burns’ last score in the third, the Panthers would answer back on a flukey, broken play. A dumpoff pass to Reed bounced high off a hand, and the talented receiver tipped it again and caught it on his third try. The players looking up trying to catch the ball on a tip drill formed a natural wall, and Reed raced 47 yards to make it 28-14. The ensuing try was no good.
Since his starter already had 3 touchdowns and over 158 yards on the ground, DMS head coach Scotty Roberts leaned on other players in the second half, including Sabastin Sweeney. The nimble 8th grader capped off Dickson’s scoring with a one yard plunge with 34 seconds left in the third, after Berry was ruled out of bounds shy of the pylon on a big run on the prior play. Pardue made his second scoring grab of the night as he pulled in the two point try, and the Dragons led 36-14.
E. O. Coffman would waste little time answering back as Andrew Whittaker found the end zone with 5:49 left in regulation, but the try was no good and Dickson led 36-20. The Maroon and White ran the clock down as they drove the ball deep into Panther territory, and the ball went over on downs with 29 seconds left. After two incomplete passes, the home side opted for a simple inside run, and the clock ran out on Dickson’s season and Big South opener.