Photo: Marty Allison/DicksonSportsMedia
DICKSON, TN – Dickson County returned home on Thursday to face the Lawrence County Wildcats, and fell 6-3 in a game that was eerily reminiscent of last season’s contest.
In 2017, a winless Dickson County team went on the road to play 2-6 Lawrence County, and the Cougars fought their way to a 29-16 victory for their lone win of the season. On Thursday night however, the roles were reversed, and Lawrence County notched its first win of 2018 while handing Dickson County its fifth straight loss to drop the Cougars to 3-6 on the season.
“We talked about it during the week, that time last year we were sitting in the same boat,” said Dickson County head coach Randy Murphree, “they fought us tooth and nail last year, but we were in the same boat, just flip flopped for this year.
“They were excited, they played hard, and they had a great gameplan against us.”
In a game that was marred by penalties and turnovers, it took over a quarter and a half for either team to strike first, and it was Lawrence County who did so on a 6-yard dart in the end zone thrown by freshman Alex Carr to sophomore wide receiver Logan Clinard. The 2-point conversion was no good, and the Wildcats took a 6-0 lead with 5:47 left in the second quarter.
The Cougars were able to respond, however, putting together a 46-yard drive that took 4 minutes and 35 seconds off the clock, and kicker Jett Carter’s 33-yard field goal cut the lead in half before the break, bringing the score to 6-3.
The home team received the second half kickoff, and marched 51 yards down to the Lawrence County 9-yard line behind quarterback Gage Pontremoli and running back Darian Burns. As soon as it looked like Dickson County was going to take the lead, Pontremoli threw his fourth interception of the season as junior Derrick Young picked off a pass in the back of the end zone.
“In this type of game, you have to start counting the number of possessions that you are going to have, according to what offense they are running” said Murphree, “they get in their box formation and they’re just able to grind it out and eat up a lot of clock, you need to start looking saying how many more possessions am I going to have?”
Pontremoli finished 9 for 18 passing with 99 yards and an interception, while Darian Burns rushed 13 times for 55 yards.
The Dickson County defense did its part in the second half Thursday night, holding the Wildcats to 0 points. Senior Conner Stewart led the Cougars with 11 tackles, and junior defensive lineman Trevonn Rybka wreaked havoc in the Lawrence County backfield all night, finishing with 10 tackles, 3 TFLs, and a sack. Rybka was the Manhattan Trophies Player of the Game.
“It was probably one of our best defensive games we played all year” said Rybka, “we played together, we cared, we focused up.”
The Cougars put together another nice drive to bridge the gap between the third and fourth quarter, settling for a Jett Carter 43-yard field goal attempt with 11 minutes remaining, but it was blocked by Lawrence County, and the Wildcats would take over and grind out the rest of the game to win 6-3.
“It stings everyone” said Murphree, “it’s very disappointing because you definitely felt like this was one that we should get.”
Dickson County wraps up the 2018 season next Friday at home as it celebrates senior night against region opponent Franklin.