Historically speaking, Dexter left a few points on the scoreboard – but it turns out they needed most of them in this one. Pre Coach Phil Jacobs, the Dexter history books aren’t too kind to the varsity football team, especially when it comes to a few teams (we will deal with Chelsea later in the season).
Lincoln defeated Dexter on the gridiron seven consecutive times heading into the 2018 season. Then the Dreadnaughts flipped the script and they did it by putting up huge (and very similar) numbers on the offensive end.
In 2018, Dexter beat the Railsplitters 48-42 and reached the playoffs. The following year, Dexter won 49-43 in a crazy shootout and again the Dreadnaughts reached the postseason. Last year, Dexter defeated Lincoln twice – 49-19 in the regular season and 56-28 in the first round of the playoffs in a year everyone reached the postseason.
So when the two SEC rivals kicked off on a perfect Friday night for football no one was surprised when the scoreboard started lighting up like Fourth of July weekend. It wasn’t exactly last team with the ball wins, but the Dreadnaughts dominated the fourth quarter to turn a one-point lead (35-34) into a 10-point victory (44-34). The 44 points were the fewest Dexter scored against the Rails in the last five meetings.
While it was only week four, it was almost a must win for a team hoping to reach the playoffs for a fourth consecutive year. After this week’s game with 0-4 Pioneer, the Dreadnaughts (3-1) face a challenging stretch – Huron (3-1), Monroe (2-2), Saline (4-0) and Chelsea (4-0). The Dreadnaughts would love to have that sixth win locked up before Saline and Chelsea.
Dexter locked up a quick start against the Railsplitters. Junior Cole Cabana ran 32 yards to give the visitors an early 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Lincoln answered with an 8-yard run to tie the score at 7-7.
A wild second quarter would feature a combined 35 points.
Braeden Fuson ran a score in from 10 yards and then caught a 6-yard TD pass from Cal Bavineau to put Dexter ahead 21-7. The Railsplitters turned a Dexter turnover into points when they ran back a fumble recovery 80 yards to cut the deficit to 21-14.
Bavineau answered with a 39-yard TD pass to Fuson to push Dexter ahead 28-14. But Lincoln came right back and scored on a 30-yard TD pass to make it 28-21 at halftime.
The Rails tied the score at 28-28 on a 53-yard TD play in the third quarter.
Dexter regained the lead – momentarily – on a 15-yard TD run by Cabana. Lincoln came right back and scored on an 82-yard kickoff return. But Dexter’s Devon Emrick blocked the extra point to keep the Dreads in the lead at 35-34.
The Dreadnaughts put the game away in the fourth quarter.
Dexter picked up two points on a safety when Lincoln’s punt attempt went out of the back of the end zone. And Bavineau ran it into the win column with a 4-yard TD run to make it 44-34.
Devon Durliat delivered all the extra points for Dexter.
On the defensive side of the ball for Dexter, Nate Baughman and Gerzon Herder each had two interceptions. Brock Komarmi had a blocked punt and Shawn White recorded a sack.
Bavineau, the senior quarterback who moved over this year to behind center after playing receiver last season, was 28 of 37 passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns – an no interceptions.
Cabana was the work horse on the ground for Dexter. He carried the ball 35 times for 158 yards and two scores.
Fuson had 13 catches for 166 yards and two scores. Brennan Parachek had four catches for 35 yards and Wyatt Novara had four catches for 30 yards. Cabana (33 yards) and Ty Rychener (27 yards) each had three catches and Cole Darby had one catch for five yards.