In between the Gatorade bath, the countless handshakes, the pats on the back, the hugs and the high-fives, Dexter football coach Phil Jacobs got a second – maybe two – to step back and take it all in. He stood at around the 45-yard line and watched the insanity of victory unfold before his eyes.
The Dreadnaughts – players, coaches, students, teachers, fans – were all on the field celebrating their impressive 36-22 win last Friday night over visiting Ypsilanti. The victory was Dexter football’s first varsity win since 2013, strangely enough against Adrian, coached by Jacobs.
It was certainly a proud moment and the second-year coach’s smile showed that all the hard work and effort was worth it to get to this moment.
“This is huge,” said Jacobs looking around at the crazy celebration going on all around him. “It’s huge for the community, for the program, the coaches and especially the kids. Our community is starving for this. I’m so happy we can give this to them in our home opener.”
The Dreadnaughts showed plenty of good signs in the opening-season loss at Chelsea but took their play to another level against Ypsilanti.
“We really improved defensively,” Jacobs said. “Our defensive coaching staff led by coach (George) Michos had a great game plan coming in and the players executed it. We didn’t give up any big balls over top like we did last week. The emphasis this week was to not give up the big pass and we stopped them.”
On the other side of the ball, the offense racked up plenty of yards and enough points to secure the win.
“We put the ball in when we had to,” Jacobs said. “We left some points off the board for sure and that was a little frustrating. The number one thing we have to work on is our red zone offense. We moved the ball right down the field several times and ended up sputtering out and leaving points off the board. That gets frustrating.”
While one win was great for the community and put an end to a long losing streak, this is not the end but a beginning for the Dexter football program. And the Dreadnaughts are not looking to next year for big things, they are looking to this weekend for big things.
The Dreadnaughts face Huron on Friday night in an SEC crossover at Huron. The River Rats last won a football game on Aug. 29, 2014 but a lot has changed since the start of the season for both teams. The River Rats are an improved team and could very easily be coming into this week at 2-0 instead of 0-2. It’s a team clearly headed in the right direction.
Dexter is focused on Dexter and playing one game at a time. But they will not only be taking a victory into Ann Arbor but a lot of confidence as well – winning has a way of doing that.
“Last week’s loss was a tough pill to swallow losing to our rival but the kids did a good job of putting that behind them and focusing on Ypsilanti,” Jacobs said. “Now we have to do the same thing. Work on things in practice, get better and be ready for Huron.
“We got a lot better between our game with Chelsea and Ypsilanti. We still have some things we need to get better at but we’re headed in the right direction.”
Headed in the right direction on the field and in the standings.