Despite trailing by double digits midway through the fourth quarter, undefeated Dexter was able to force overtime before falling 37-36 against unbeaten Bedford on Friday at Al Ritt Stadium. Bedford quarterback Brendan Hammer had a game-high four touchdowns, while Cal Bavineau and Brennan Parachek led the explosive comeback for Dexter.
A pair of field goals put Bedford up 30-14 with 9:13 left in the game, before Dexter’s passing game suddenly woke up.
Bavineau found Cole Cabana in the flat for a 3-yard touchdown reception, followed by a 5-yard touchdown run on a QB draw. Parachek caught both passes to secure two-point conversions in order to tie it 30-30.
Hammer punched in his fourth rushing touchdown to start overtime as the Kicking Mules scored in just two plays. Even after a holding penalty moved Dexter back, Bavineau was able to find Parachek outstretched in the back of the end zone to get within one point. The Dreadnaughts elected to go for the win and came inches short of improving to 3-0.
“We called a timeout to see their look. If we didn’t like it, we would have lined up and kicked the ball,” Dexter head coach Phil Jacobs said following the narrow loss. “We’ve got one of the best players in the league to carry the ball and he was over the goal line. We just watched the replay.”
Parachek was dominant and disruptive all night for the Dreadnaughts. The 6’6 tight end and defensive end finished with two touchdown receptions, two sacks, and a fumble recovery. Jacobs discussed Parachek’s performance: “He’s the only kid on our team that plays two ways. He’s a warrior out there. When it’s crunch time, we want the ball in his hands.”
On the opening drive of the game, senior quarterback Bavineau was picked off by Luke Davis after he adjusted to the throw at the last second. Bedford preceded to take a 7-0 lead as Hammer scored from five yards out. Dexter responded on the first play of the second quarter after Bavineau floated a beautiful ball to Parachek.
Cabana, a junior running back, was able to get involved on Dexter’s next possession as he gashed Bedford’s defense for a 22-yard gain and a 3-yard touchdown. The Kicking Mules had just enough time to get into kicking range and connect on a 28-yard field goal with eight seconds remaining in the second quarter. Bedford was up 17-14 at halftime.
Hammer led a 70-yard drive, capped by a TD rush with 7:52 left in the third quarter to extend the lead to 24-14. After a scoreless third quarter for Dexter’s offense, it looked like Bedford might run away with the game. Jacobs was able to get his team to fight back in the fourth quarter and overtime.
“I thought towards the end there we got a little momentum. They weren’t sending the blitz as much and we took advantage of some soft spots,” Jacobs told me. “We had Parachek over the middle a couple times and hit Cabana out of the backfield on some swing routes. We also had a couple big screens down the field.”
Bedford remains tied with undefeated Saline atop the SEC Red standings, while Dexter falls to 2-1 and will hope to get back on track at Lincoln next Friday.
“We’ve got a lot of season left and we just need to avenge this loss. We have until Sunday night to get this one out of our system when we meet with the team,” Jacobs explained.