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Every yard counted to Thomas Stone’s Ray Dotson.
Dotson found small, medium and large chunks of yardage all game long in Friday night’s SMAC football contest versus host Lackey.
Behind a huge push from the Cougars’ offensive line, Dotson carried the football 26 times for 217 yards and helped secure a 27-12 victory with his two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
It was the second straight win for the Cougars (2-4, 2-3 SMAC) and head coach Paul Friel, accomplishing that feat for the first time in seven years.
“We have a brand new offense and I think we are starting to put it together,” Friel said. “It was a cat and mouse game tonight. It was very close at the start of the fourth quarter and Ray made some big runs for us. He is our leader and he stepped up tonight. This is a growing process and we had momentum coming from our homecoming [14-9] win [last week] over Northern. We are going to take it one game at a time.”
Dotson, who rushed 16 times for 110 yards in the first half, helped lead a Stone rushing attack that accumulated 347 yards on 47 carries and controlled time of possession, wearing down the Chargers defense.
“The offensive line opened up some big holes for our backs,” Dotson said. “On a couple of my runs, I knew I was gone once I got to the secondary.”
Dotson longest run of the game was a 68-yard run on the first play from scrimmage in the contest. That long run would help set up junior quarterback Kieron Morsell’s two-yard touchdown run to give Stone the early 6-0 lead. Morsell also was a catalyst in the running game with 78 yards on 13 carries.
Lackey sophomore running back Eriq Fadahunsi cut the Cougars lead to 13-12 just 16 seconds in to the fourth quarter with a 36-yard touchdown run. However, Dotson responded five minutes later on the ensuing drive with a 10-yard plunge in the end zone to push the lead back up to eight after M.J. Simpson’s extra point.
With less than two minutes left in the game, Dotson broke loose again to the outside and jaunted 25 yards for the touchdown to cap off the scoring.
Late in the second quarter, Morsell busted through the seam of the defense with a one-yard touchdown run to give the Cougars a 13-6 lead.
“We did what our coach told us in the game plan and we just executed,” Morsell said. “Our defense really made some big plays in the fourth quarter to get our offense back on the field.”
On its next possession, Lackey marched all the way to the Stone 20-yard line on six plays. But on the seventh play, the drive was halted after Lackey junior quarterback Lacey McMillian-Kenney threw a pass that was picked off by senior cornerback Malik Simms with 1 minute 7 seconds left until halftime. Stone would hold the eventual 13-6 halftime lead.
McMillian-Kenney was also productive in Lackey’s ground game, rushing for 65 yards on nine carries. He completed 4 of 12 passes for 32 yards. Backup quarterback Gary McCloud completed 2 of 4 passes for 15 yards.
“It’s the same old story every time, we just don’t take advantage of our opportunities,” Lackey head coach John Lush said. “No. 1 [Morsell] and No. 7 [Dotson] are very good players. Both of them have speed and are very athletic. We got to keep going when we make mistakes, it seems like we just deflate at times during the game. It’s a long game, we have to keep playing.”
Stone sophomore linebacker Chad Walker was tied with sophomore Ryan Sharp for a team-high eight tackles. Walker and outside linebacker Corey Jones had one sack each. Jones also rushed for 39 yards on six carries.
Lackey senior Antonio Galloway caught two balls for 41 yards. Junior outside linebacker Delondo Boyd led the Chargers with 12 tackles and had the team’s only sack.
Lackey was forced to punt four times and turned the football over twice in Friday's loss.
Stone will travel to La Plata for its next contest at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, while Lackey will take on host Westlake at 7 p.m. Friday.
Westlake shuts out La Plata
Westlake won its third straight contest with a 43-0 victory over visiting La Plata.
It was the third shutout of the season for the Wolverines (4-2, 4-1), who have scored over 40 points in all of those wins.
“We plan to play aggressive football all the time on both sides,” Westlake head coach Marlon Curtis said. “We have a lot of talent and we are starting to come together. We want to have great production every game.”
Senior Bruce Tyler scored three touchdowns in the contest on a fumble recovery, a reception and a kick return.
Junior quarterback Antwaine Carter, senior running back Taquan Hopkins, and junior Booker Napoleon added a rushing touchdown each in the win.
Defensively, senior Roderick Caine led the Wolverines with 13 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks, while senior Dashaun Cummings had 12 tackles and 3 1/2 sacks. Senior Marquel Lee added nine tackles on Friday.
In preparing for Lackey, Curtis added, “From being a former player in SMAC, regardless of records, Lackey is going to be ready to play, so we have to match that intensity.”
La Plata fell to 1-5, 0-5 SMAC after Friday's loss.
Eagles down Braves
Going into Friday night losers of two consecutive football games, North Point wanted to get back on the winning track and that it did with a 43-6 victory over the visiting Chopticon Braves.
Conductor of the train to get back on the winning track was running back Marquel Dickerson who totaled 105 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 10 attempts.
Amir Carter and Alijah Robinson also added rushing touchdowns for North Point and Denzel Hill added a receiving score, that from Brandon Battle.
The Eagles jumped out to a 30-0 lead going into halftime and cruised to the victory, snapping the two-game losing streak and improving to 4-2 overall.
With the victory, North Point also got over the .500 mark in SMAC play, going to 3-2.
The Eagles will look to stay on the winning track Friday night when it travels to take on McDonough at 7 p.m.
Chopticon (1-5, 1-3) will host Northern at 6 p.m. Friday.
Staff writer James A. McCray III contributed to this report.
Thomas Stone 27, Lackey 12
Stone 6 7 0 14
Lackey 6 0 0 6
TS Morsell 2 run (kick failed), 1:29
L McMillian-Kenney 13 run (kick failed), 11:02
TS Morsell 1 run (Simpson kick), 7:01
L Fadahunsi 36 run (kick failed), :16
TS Dotson 10 run (Simpson kick), 4:40
TS Dotson 25 run (Simpson kick), 10:26
TS (15 first downs, 43-347 rushing, 3 passing, 2-2 fumbles, 5-25 penalties)
L (8 first downs, 29-172 rushing, 47 passing, 1-0 fumbles,7-45 penalties)
Top individual performers
Rushing TS: Dotson 26-217, Morsell 11-77, Jones 6-39; L: Fadahunsi 11-91, McMillian-Kenney 9-65
Passing TS: Morsell 2-3-0 3; L: McMillian-Kenney 4-12-1 32, McCloud 2-4-0 15
Receiving TS: Delcambre 1-10; L: Galloway 2-41