This game is one that Dexter and head coach Arturo Duran would like to just forget. Most teams schedule cupcakes on homecoming, but not Dexter. With the No. 1 ranking in 3A and not having lost in their last 10 games, and Eunice coming to town, why not?
It was that kind of night for the Demons. On the first series, lefty-quarterback Mason Caperton threw from all kinds of angles and hit leading receiver Avante Stevens for an 11-yard corner route and then they converted the two-point conversion to go up 8-0 with 9:46 in the first quarter.
For Dexter, the whole game turned when they stuffed Eunice on their own goal line and forced a turnover on downs. On the first play from their 1-yard line, on a straight dive play, speedy junior Richard Contreras hit the hole and was off to the races running the ball 70 yards before being run down by a Cardinal defender who had the angle on him tackling him at the Eunice 31-yard line.
Dexter put together a methodical drive on with their option and inside running game and worked the ball down to the 5-yard line. Dexter had first and goal from the 5-yard line and could not score on five plays. On fourth down and goal from the 1-yard line, they were stopped, a penalty was called on Eunice and they tried again but was rebuffed on a run-pass option to turn the ball over on downs. Eunice would go on to score and win the game, 40-14, Friday night at Demon Stadium.
“It hurt that we couldn’t punch it in from the 1-yard line,” Demons’ coach Arturo Duran said. “They were able to stop us and they won that battle. Eunice has a good team.”
Dexter was its own worst enemy when on four occasions, Eunice would line up to go for it on fourth and less than five yards for a first down. Cardinals’ quarterback Caperton would bark out the signals and clap his hands together and the defense would jump offside giving them a first down and keeping Dexter’s defense was kept on the field for extra downs, which tired them out.
Dexter was able to move the ball on Eunice and then they would take a penalty, and turn the ball over. Dexter had two interceptions and death knell was when, in the third quarter, they threw an interception in their end zone that was picked off by Stevens who returned it for a 105-yard TD, which put out any hopes for a comeback.
Dexter showed why they are the defending 3A champions as they scored on a 21-yard touchdown pass from Marvin Johnson to Juan Fuentes with 9:47 to play in the game. With 57 seconds left, Demons’ quarterback Johnson scores on a 19-yard run to make the score 40-14.
It was one of those games that every team has and forgets — last year this Demons team lost two games and went on to win the state title. Next week they play Wingate, a team they beat last year, 64-6.
“Mistakes,” Duran said. “We made mistakes and they capitalized on them. We stopped them and then we run into the kicker. We have to evaluate where we’re at. We just have to continue to work and get better. We struggled offensively tonight.”
Dexter takes on Wingate on Friday.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or email@example.com.