Dawson repeats with win over Pearland 21-7 in the PearBowl

LONE TOUCHDOWN - Pearland running back LaDamion McDowell scored the only touchdown for the Oilers in the 10th annual PearBowl against the Dawson Eagles. The speedster had 18 carries for 150 yards and one score while also grabbing one pass for 45 yards. The Eagles (4-3, 4-0) defeated the Oilers 21-7 for the second consecutive year to take a 6-4 lead in the series. The Oilers (5-2, 3-1) will travel to Crump Stadium to face the Alief Taylor Lions on Friday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. (Photo by Lloyd Hendricks)

The 10th annual PearBowl proved to be just as exciting as the previous nine games between cross-town cousins Dawson and Pearland. The Bayway Chevrolet Parachute team brought in the game ball, the Texas flag, and the American flag to jumpstart the excitement for the fans on both sides of the stadium.

The Eagles entered the game with a 5-4 edge in the series but the favorite coming into the game was Pearland who was supporting a 5-1 season record compared to Dawson’s 3-3 mark. However, both teams were 3-0 in district action so the winner would be sitting atop of the District 23-6A leaderboard alone when the game was over.

“There is always some extra excitement for the PearBowl, so we have to work to keep the players focused on what is important, the game,” said Dawson head coach Mike Allison. “I am very proud of the coaches for preparing our kids for success. The Dawson coaching staff did a great job of coming up with a gameplan and teaching it to the players through the week. Coach Silvertooth and Coach Garcia called an awesome game for the offense and defense, and the kids executed the plan well. We are blessed to have good men to lead the young men in our program.”

Pearland received the opening kickoff and went three-and-out to punt to the Eagles for their first possession of the game. Dawson began their first drive of the game at the 50. RB Bryce Burgess got the first call for a four-yard gain to the Oilers 46. On the second play of the game, Dawson QB Gage Greene dropped back and found a streaking WR Braylon Howard across the middle of the field who caught the ball in stride and didn’t stop until he reached the pay station on a 46-yard catch and run touchdown. Junior kicker Ayden Treadaway booted the PAT, and the Eagles had the 7-0 lead with 8:56 left in the opening quarter.

Both teams spent the rest of the first quarter and half of the second period trading punts as neither team could get much going offensively until Pearland began their fourth possession of the game on their own 30 with 8:01 left in the first half. Pearland running back LaDamion McDowell led the Oilers to a game-tying 7-play, 70-yard scoring drive as he broke through the center of the Dawson defense for a 21-yard scoring dash with 4:44 left before halftime. Jackson Stagg kicked the PAT, and the game was tied at 7-7.

But the Eagles weren’t intimidated as they took the ensuing kickoff to their own 15 with 4:25 left before intermission. Bryce Burgess carried most of the load to the Dawson 44 that also included a 22-yard strike from Greene to Howard. Greene dropped back and found Bryce Burgess wide open down the left sideline on a wheel route. The speedster caught the pass and raced 56-yards to the end zone for an Eagle touchdown with :44 seconds left before the end of the first half. Treadaway hit the PAT, and the Eagles took a 14-7 lead in the dressing room at halftime.

The second half was controlled by Dawson as the offense kept the ball away from Pearland for the majority of the third quarter as the Oilers had only one possession during that time. While the Eagles weren’t able to cross the Pearland goal line, the Oilers offense couldn’t score either since they didn’t have the ball.

“When you make mistakes against a good football team, they will make you pay and that is what happened against Dawson,” said Pearland head coach B.J. Gotte. “Again, credit to Dawson for forcing some of those mistakes, that is what well-coached, disciplined teams do. Our kids played extremely hard, and I am proud of their effort, but we talk every week that no one is going to give you anything, and you must earn every win, every week, and Dawson earned it.”

The Eagles finally scored in the final period with 1:50 left in the game when Burgess found a hole in the middle of the Pearland defense, shed a couple of tackles, and kept his balance on a game-ending 25-yard scamper for the 21-7 final score following the PAT by Treadaway.

“Defensively, it was a true team effort in a very physical game,” said coach Allison. “The D-Line did a good job of occupying their offensive line so the linebackers could run to the ball. Our secondary played well and looked like they were having fun out there together. Some of the standouts were Jordan Harrison, Bryson Burgess, and Gabe McFarland who has just come back from injury. It was a tough game, and they all stepped up to the challenge throughout the game.”

Dawson finished the game with 342 total yards compared to Pearland who had 262 total yards. Greene was 11-of-18 passing for 161 yards and two TDs. Bryce Burgess had 25 carries for 167 yards and one TD while he also had two catches for 64 yards and another score. Howard had four grabs for 82 yards and one TD. For Pearland, QB Cole Morkovsky was 12-of-22 for 58 yards with one INT. McDowell had 18 carries for 150 yards and one score while also grabbing one pass for 45 yards. Patrick Bridge had four catches for 39 yards while Jordan “The Jet” Hernandez had four grabs for 17 yards.

Dawson (4-3, 4-0) will host the Shadow Creek Sharks (5-1, 3-1) on Friday, October 20 at 7:00 p.m. at Pearland ISD Stadium.

“Some of the offensive standouts are Bryce Burgess, Gage Greene, Braylon Howard, and Reese Lehmann. But they can’t have success without the offensive line. Those guys battled in the trenches all night long against a very talented defensive front. One player that stands out to me on offense is Noah Rhodes. He is a talented receiver for us, but more importantly, he is a team player. He can run and catch, but the effort he gives when he is blocking for someone else is great to see. He is one of the first ones to celebrate with a teammate when others have success. I saw him run over to one of our offensive linemen and help pick him up off the ground. Those actions go unnoticed by many, but that unselfish attitude is something that can make a good team great. It was good to enjoy the victory, but that game is over. We have another very strong opponent next week in Shadow Creek. We have to put this one behind us and focus on the next game. It will bring some different challenges to us, so we will need to have another good week of practice. We must continue to play for Him and for each other if we want to succeed.”

– Mike Allison

 “You got to give Coach Allision, his staff, and team credit.  They played a relatively clean game and forced us into situations where we were unable to keep our poise. We talk all the time about playing a “clean” game, and by that I mean not committing pre-snap or post play penalties, take care of the football on offense, no mental busts, while snapping and fielding all kicks/punts cleanly. When you make mistakes against a good football team, they will make you pay and that is what happened Friday night.  Again, credit to Dawson for forcing some of those mistakes, that is what well coached, disciplined teams do. I did talk to our kids after the game about learning from this experience and growing as a team.  All our goals are still in front of us, the only difference now is we have to rely on some help from other teams. So, we need to go back to work and continue improve as a team will focusing on the things we can control….and right now that is being at our best against Alief Taylor on Friday.”
– B.J. Gotte