KINGSTON — The quarterbacks from both Dickson and Kingston put on an impressive display, but it was the Comets who came away with the win Friday.
Dickson gritted out a 26-22 win against the unflappable Redskins in a contest that went down to the final whistle.
Kingston coach John Caraway acknowledged there were mistakes, but said his Redskins showed their character with a last-minute drive that brought the score to 26-22. Its final resting place.
“We were down 16, but these kids kept battling until the final whistle, and I can’t say enough about their effort,” Caraway said. “They kept their heads up and kept fighting.”
Dickson coach Jeremy Reed was pleased that his defense was able to keep the Comets in the contest until the offense could find a rhythm.
“In the first half, we were sloppy offensively, but we played good defense,” Reed said. “(The Redskins) were on our side of the field on every possession, but we kept them out of the end zone.”
Jared Hayes, Kingston’s senior quarterback, passed for two touchdowns and rushed for a third, finishing the day with 209 yards passing and a team-high 80 yards rushing.
Hayes’ counterpart, Sophomore Chris Bamburg, turned in a solid performance as well, rushing for 111 yards and three touchdowns, and passing for 93 yards and another score.
The stat sheet, as well as the scoreboard, showed the close match many had anticipated. The Comets rolled up 382 yards of total offense, with Kingston right behind with 368.
Neither team got off to a great start offensively, and the score remained knotted at zero until late in the second quarter when Joseph Moreno nailed a 24-yard field goal to give the ’Skins a 3-0 lead. The Comets quickly erased that edge with a touchdown pass from Bamburg to Brent Shelton. The score was 6-3 Dickson at halftime.
After the break, the Comets began to pull away. Touchdown runs by Bamburg of 11 and 15 yards put Dickson up 19-10. Kingston’s lone score in the third period came when Jared Hayes scrambled out of trouble and found Paden Hayes, who had floated to an open spot for a touchdown.
Down 9 points entering the fourth quarter, the Redskins responded with three impressive drives, only two of which resulted in scores. After Kingston had worked its way into the red zone and had a second-and-goal situation at the Dickson two-yard line, a fumble into the end zone resulted in a touchback and erased their hopes for making it a one-score game.
Dickson’s ensuing drive resulted in a three-yard touchdown run by Bamburg, making it 25-10.
The Redskins’ offense created another opportunity, and this time Kingston took advantage. Jared Hayes took a quarterback draw 11 yards for the score.
With the clock ticking away on the opportunity for a rally, Hayes again found himself under pressure and once more scrambled out of it and threw a 25-yard strike to Moreno for a touchdown. The failed two-point conversion left the score at 26-22.
Among defensive highlights of the evening were a fumble recovery by Redskin Aaron King, an athletic interception by Dickson’s Bryar Byrne, and a touchdown saving tackle by Kingston’s Jake Patterson. Tackles for loss came from Dalton Williams, Chris Stowe and company. Among notable plays on special teams was Cameron Lewis’ recovery of a squib kick to open the game.
Hayes led the Redskins in rushing with 80 yards, Dalton Blankenship rolled up 49 and Tanner Holland rushed for 30. Paden Hayes caught five passes for 57 yards and a touchdown, and Patterson was right behind with 56 yards on four grabs.
After Bamburg, Drake Haggard was Dickson’s next highest rusher with 70 yards (receiving yards unavailable).
Next week, the Redskins host rival Madill, which beat Tishomingo this week 54-25. Dickson hosts the Bethel Wildcats, who lost to McLoud 41-0.