USC made student body left or right a staple for their offense. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then the Dexter Demons have that play down pat.
In the Battle of the Bridges game, the Demon offensive line did work. Long-striding Dexter junior running back Gustavo Macias scored two of his three touchdowns on student body sweeps, one to the right and the other to the left as the Demons held on to the trophy for another year, winning 23-0 Friday night at Hagerman.
“The game was really challenging at the beginning,” Macias said. “We had some minor setbacks. Our offense had to pick up our heads because we fumbled a couple of times. Hagerman could read what we were trying to do. We had to adjust at the last minute. They made it tough for us.”
In the first quarter, both teams fumbled the ball and played field position. It wasn’t until the 8:06 mark of the second quarter that the Demons scored from the 12-yard line when they called “Lead Left.”
Dexter quarterback Jarren Amaro handed the ball off to Macias on a lead draw action to the left side of the line, and Macias sprinted through a hole on the left side of the line for a touchdown. Matt Otero made the PAT to give the Demons a 7-0 lead.
“We had to overcome some adversity early on that was self-caused,” said Dexter coach Kevin Graham. “We had some fumbles, dropped passes. We had some missed protections. I don’t have a reason for it. The minds are everywhere when you play these big rivalry games. We did not execute in the first half.”
Hagerman’s defense played stout for most of the game, forcing several three-and-outs. On offense, Hagerman could not sustain any drives. Bobcat quarterback Jakob Bejarano was sacked 10 times on the night, when he wasn’t being sacked, he was hurried, harassed, or had to throw the ball away before a receiver was open. Hagerman never threatened the defense of Dexter. It was a one-sided affair.
“Our defense played light outs,” said Bobcat head coach Adrian Olivas. “It’s frustrating because it’s the same kids on both sides of the ball. Our team played their butts off. I’m so dang proud of them.”
The fact that Hagerman’s defense kept them in the game is a building block for the future. Several big hits were laid on the Demons’ receivers. Hagerman’s defense was on the field for a good portion of the game, because their offense was usually three downs and out.
“We were a couple of seconds away on pass protection from doing some good things,” Olivas said. “We’re a young team and have some injuries on the O-line, but there is still light at the end of the tunnel.”
Dexter sacked Hagerman’s quarterback Bejarano for a safety with 1:23 left in the third quarter to make the score 9-0.
The game stayed that way until Dexter called Student Body Left from the Bobcat 23-yard line, when Macias ran through arm tackles to score with 10:23 left in the game. Otero added the PAT to make the score 16-0.
Hagerman did make pick up several first downs and crossed into the Demon’s territory with 4 minutes to go in the game, but three consecutive holding penalties forced them into a fourth and 35 from their 16-yard line. Hagerman went for it, but was sacked by Dexter’s Jordan Marquez.
The Demons once again ran Student Body Right with Macias, with 1:19 left in the game, as Otero added the PAT.
Hagerman, 0-3, hosts Fort Sumner for homecoming at 7 p.m. Friday.
Dexter, 2-1, hits the road again and travels to Tucamcari for a 7 p.m. game Friday.