There was always the hope that this group of seniors could have the season they’re having. This group of Dexter seniors has been special as a class. In this senior class, 14 kids have grown up together, they’ve played everything together and they hang out so much that they even hang out together when they aren’t playing sports.
In the 21st anniversary since Dexter had last won a state title, it was their head coach Arturo Duran calling the plays like he’s doing now and making the passes. Duran was the quarterback for the Demons. The season didn’t start well for the Demons as they lost their first game of the season to Jal, 34-28. Then head coach Dave Campbell called his seniors into his office and told them that they would only go as far as the eight seniors would lead them. After that talk, they never lost another game.
“When I won that game as a senior,” Duran said, “it was something I dreamed of as a kid. You always want to play in that big game and win that big game, and luckily enough, my senior year, we did.”
There are many similarities between the two teams separated by 12 years. Dexter played for the championship at home against Santa Rosa. Dexter won that game, 27-25.
“I can’t compare this team to our team,” Duran said. “The thing I will say is that both teams have a great work ethic, every day they show up and give maximum effort on the practice field and in the weight room. They do everything we ask of them.”
This season Jarren Amaro has been a rock and a stabilizing influence on the team — he has not turned the ball over and put them in bad positions. Dexter tries to control the game and tempo with their offensive line. Duran counts on his line to open holes and eat up the clock. Dexter’s line consists of Gustavo Gonzalez, at guards, Peyton Austin and Fernando Acosta, with Jaime Munoz and Jonathan Trujillo at tackles. Jordan Marquez is the tight end who is used at the goal line. The one thing that has helped Dexter control the clock is their conditioning as they run the ball on offense and shut the other team’s running game down on defense.
Nick Cobos and Ricardo Contreras run the ball and are able to run downhill from the holes the line has opened. The team lost long strider Gustavo Gonzalez who suffered a season-ending injury to Portales. Other players have had to step up in his absence. Wideout Sergio Ramirez and Jacob Amaya are both threats to go all the way when they catch the ball, whether it be on a short route or a deep out, both of those players are able to run away from defenders.
On defense, the Demons pattern their defense off of the old Dallas Cowboys’ defenses. They will run a 34 and use big linemen to occupy defenders and then use speed everywhere else to run down ball carriers and to cover receivers. Amaya is a ball-hawking cover guy back there, he leads the team with four interceptions, and not far behind is freshman Juan Fuentes with three thefts, with Marvin Johnson with two picks as well.
At the linebackers and stuffing the run are Isaac Irigoyon and Javin Marquez along with Tyler Brisco as Dexter has held opponents less than 200 points on the season.
The closest Dexter has come to playing in the championship game is in 2008, when they lost in the quarterfinals to Texico, 28-26, when one of their key players broke his leg.
Dexter is excited that they held a reunion Friday night with the 1997 championship team and the community turning out.
“This is something special for these young boys,” Duran said. “They should enjoy every minute of it. We’re letting the boys know that once we get on the field, it’s back to work. We want the kids to experience that feeling to know what it’s like to come out here and work hard on those hot days and getting through two-a-days and getting that success down the road.”
Duran feels like the turning point of the season when they knew they could be good was, when his team faced Santa Rosa in the first game of the season. Dexter came back from being down 14-0 and held Santa Rosa on four downs at the 1-yard line as the clock was running out to win the game.
Dexter will try to cap off their dream season when they play Robertson at 2 p.m. today on their home field.
RDR Sports received a scouting report on Robertson.