By Matthew Bartow / WLD
A little more than a year ago, the thought of Dexter’s football team making the playoffs would have seemed like blind optimism to many. After all, the team was on a 42-game losing streak, and hadn’t even been within two scores of winning in any game since 2015.
Then, Dexter football snapped the losing streak, won six games to qualify for the MHSAA state playoffs for the first time in program history, and took a then-unbeaten South Lyon team to overtime in the playoffs last season.
Dexter head coach Phil Jacobs, who took over the struggling program in 2017, said that success for the program came a year earlier than the staff had previously thought.
“When I took over the program, our staff had targeted year three, where we thought we could be pretty good,” Jacobs said. “We did it a year early last season. That was a special season, and we’ll never forget it.”
Now, the 2019 version of Dexter football, fresh off of its best season in school history, is back, and hungry for more. This year, the possibilities for the team include hosting its first-ever playoff game, winning the SEC White for the program’s first time, and even making a deep run in the playoffs.
Jacobs said, however, that the team isn’t focused on the long-term.
“It’d be tremendous to get it, to go back-to-back seasons [making the playoffs]. But we’re focused on getting better in film tomorrow, on every segment of our practice on Monday. I think we got away from some of the things that we do a good job on [in last week’s 54-19 win over Tecumseh] and we have to get back to basics in practice.”
Dexter will have the opportunity to accomplish one of their season-end goals this Friday when they travel to Pinckney. Both teams stand at 5-1 on the season, so the winner of the SEC White Division showdown will qualify for the MHSAA state playoffs.
The game will kick off at 7 p.m. at Pinckney High School.
Dexter football sets school scoring record
Dexter football set the program record for most points scored in a season after dumping 54 on Tecumseh in last Friday’s game. What’s more incredible, it only took them six games to do it. Dexter has scored 296 points so far this season, averaging a whopping 49.3 points per game.
Jacobs said that the offense’s play-making ability has fueled it.
“We can score on any given play,” Jacobs said. “We have some play-makers (who can score) at any time in the game. A lot of times we’ve had the short field because our defense has turned the table.”
Dexter’s offense is well-balanced and has playmakers at many positions. In what was perhaps its best offensive performance of the season, Dexter amassed 488 yards of total offense against Jackson, with 315 of the yards coming through the air. Other than the final possession in which Dexter took a knee, Jackson, the reigning SEC White champion, only managed to stop Dexter’s offense once.
“We had it clicking,” Jacobs said. “The run game was there, the pass game was there, our screen game was opened up because of the passing game. Colin [Parachek] did a remarkable job finding open receivers, and our running backs did a great job getting yards after catches.”
In Dexter’s 57-21 victory over Jackson last month, Parachek completed 15 of 20 passes in the game for 298 yards and six touchdowns. Running back Evan Krolewski added 102 yards on 13 carries with a touchdown. He also had 51 receiving yards and a touchdown.
Perhaps Dexter’s most explosive player that night was senior receiver Antwan Ficklen. Ficklen had 154 receiving yards in the game and scored four touchdowns, the shortest of which was 25 yards.
With three more regular-season games and possible postseason games upcoming, expect Dexter’s offense to pile on more points to the record.