Football: Dreadnaughts must pass first test before looking ahead

It’s called a playoff run, but for Dexter, it’s more about passing the first test.

The Dreadnaughts head into their third consecutive postseason – let’s stop here for a second. Just think of that, for a moment, Dexter. Three consecutive playoff appearances for a program that until 2018 never played in an MHSAA postseason tournament.

Granted, this year everyone gets to play in the postseason, but you have to earn a home game and that’s exactly what the 2020 Dreadnaughts have accomplished in this strange season.

In Dexter’s first playoff appearance in 2018, they lost in overtime on the road at South Lyon. Last year they hosted Livonia Churchill, falling 41-39 in the final minute of the game.

This year they come into the first-round matchup with a 4-2 record, and a three-game winning streak that includes a 49-19 victory over Lincoln, their first-round opponent. A home game against a team they have already beaten are two factors in their favor.

The rest of D-2, Region 7, District 13 features Ypsilanti Community (3-3) at Dearborn Heights Crestwood (5-1) and Temperance Bedford (3-3) at Livonia Franklin (3-3). Livonia Churchill (4-2) earned a first-round bye.

We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but let’s play things out for a possible second-round matchup should Dexter beat Lincoln. While the Dreadnaughts have to take it one game at a time, we certainly don’t (so any Dexter players reading this please stop here).

Let’s assume Dexter, Crestwood and Franklin all win this week at home. Churchill, with the top seed, would host Dexter while Franklin plays at Crestwood in round two. But if Bedford can beat Franklin (a real possibility), the Dreadnaughts would play at Crestwood.

But first comes the first test, one Dexter needs to pass to even think about future matchups. And they will hope to do that by passing the football, something they have been nearly perfect at doing all season.

Dexter’s high-powered offense has scored 49 or more points in three straight games and four overall on the season. They also scored a ton last year, including 39 in their playoff game, which they lost.

The offense is going to score points. There is no doubt about that. While the defense also scored points in Friday’s win over Pioneer, they are going to have to tighten up and shut down opponents if Dexter is going to make a long run in the postseason.

Dexter’s defense has been solid most of the season but need to find that next level playing at this higher level against stronger opponents with each game they play. Lincoln scored 19 points on Dexter in the first game and scored 39 in Friday’s win over Skyline so the Railsplitters can put points on the board.

District semifinals will follow during the weekend of Nov. 6-7. District finals will be Nov. 13-14. Regional Finals will be Nov. 20-21, at the site of the highest-ranked team that was victorious in District Final play.

All playoff tickets will be sold online only via GoFan at https://gofan.co/ to provide for a cashless and contactless purchasing process that also allows for contact tracing. Tickets for single-session Pre-District, District and Regional games are $6. Single-session Semifinal tickets are $8. A per-ticket convenience fee will be applied.

 

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