In what was their biggest contest of the season, the Dickinson Gators played arguably their best football of the year, en route to a 48-21 victory over the Clear Brook Wolverines on Friday night, to secure an appearance in the 2017 UIL State Playoffs.
“It’s a big, big deal,” Dickinson coach John Snelson said after the win. “We’ve really set a precedent here that playoffs are expected. And when we lost those first two district ballgames by a total of 7 points, you know, it had been four years since Dickinson lost back-to-back games, and you know, we had to do a little soul searching.”
The Gators (7-2 overall, 5-2 in District 24-6A) did just that, reeling off five straight wins to close out the regular season and claw their way into the postseason.
In the fifth win of that stretch, Dickinson took a punch on the second play of the game when Wolverines running back Jarrett Smith gashed the Gators for a 63-yard run that set up Clear Brook inside the Dickinson 10-yard line. But on the ensuing play, Gators defensive back Bryon Broussard intercepted a pass from Jaizac Garcia. The next sequence was a 49-yard run by Myles Lewis, followed by a 44-yard run from Montel Parker, who wound up in the end zone and gave Dickinson a 7-0 advantage.
The Gators never looked back.
Lewis scored midway through the first quarter on a 1-yard dive, and then added another rushing touchdown, this an 11-yard scamper, that put Dickinson up 20-7 at halftime.
Lewis finished the game with 16 carries for 153 yards, three rushing touchdowns, and five receptions for 87 yards — a huge effort considering the stakes, and the fact that the Gators were without one of their most explosive weapons for much of the second half.
Montel Parker, who was having a tremendous day in his own right, exited the game in the third quarter with an apparent wrist injury. He did not return. Before the injury, Parker scored on two rushing touchdowns, and amassed 119 yards on eight carries, while also completing six passes for 93 yards.
Parker was seen with his arm in a sling following the final whistle, but the severity of the injury remains unknown.
Cameron Collins threw two touchdown passes in relief, one a 10-yard completion to Jalen Wydermyer, and the other a 22-yard strike to Chris Welch. Collins completed all four of the passes he attempted for 73 yards and the scores.
“We have complete confidence in Cameron Collins,” Snelson said after speaking to the uncertainty of Parker’s injury. “He does a great job distributing the football. So we’re going to be fine either way.”
Dickinson will travel to LeRoy Crump Stadium to take on Alief Hastings at 7 p.m. Friday.