By Brandon C Williams
JORDAN MYERS had seen way too many black-and-orange jerseys in his direction during the first half at Stingaree Stadium on Friday night. An aggressive Texas City defense had locked the Dickinson running back to six yards on six carries and trailed just 10-6 against the sixth-ranked team in class 6A as the game entered the third quarter.
Never one to panic, Myers patiently waited for his opportunity to strike and, when he did, the rest of his Gators teammates followed in a second-half scoring deluge that swamped the Stingarees to commit them to a 59-26 defeat.
The victory improved the already impressive season statistics for Dickinson – who played without coach John Snelson on the sidelines – to 3-0 as they enter their open week.
“We just started believing in ourselves,” Myers said after recording 13 carries for 128 yards and three of Dickinson’s seven second-half touchdowns.
“We weren’t playing our style of football. We weren’t running what we run a lot. Without coach Snelson, we had to settle down. It was a big adversity but we overcame it.”
The Gators went back to basics after the intermission, putting full trust in an offensive line that methodically wore down the Stingarees, who are now 1-2 for the season.
Interim head coach John Martin hit Texas City’s defensive line with a wave of backs, as Myers, Leland Young and James Randle combined for 254 rushing yards and five touchdowns in the second half.
After quarterback Kenny Smith found Carlos Frank for a 16-yard touchdown with 10:33 left in the third quarter to give the Stingarees a 13-10 lead, Dickinson went to work.
Myers capped off a 64-yard drive with a seven-yard touchdown run that gave the Gators a 16-13 lead they would not relinquish.
Following a Dickinson fumble recovery, Myers then sprinted 34 yards for a touchdown to extend the margin to 24-13, a deficit for Stings that swelled 43 seconds later when Wayland Hurst intercepted a Smith throw and ran 21 yards for a score that made it 31-13.
Smith atoned for his mistake on the ensuing drive, as he found running back Exavier Simpson for a 90-yard touchdown pass that closed the Stings to 31-19 late in the third, but they were unable to stay afloat as the Gators’ ground game combined with five Stingaree turnovers subdued their hopes for a massive upset.
“We kept putting it on the ground,” Texas City coach Leland Surovik said when summing up the game. “We put ourselves in a bad situation and they started capitalizing on it.”
Martin handled the coaching duties for Snelson, who was in hospital recovering from the effects of chemotherapy from throat cancer. The stand-in became emotional when the Gators team doused him at the conclusion of the game, yet chose to give credit to the school’s entire coaching staff for preparing the team without their chief.
Snelson is slated to return home today, Sunday, or tomorrow with a very good prognosis for his future.
Top, Texas City linebacker Jarvis Ford brings down Dickinson quarterback Delan Baines on the 20-yard line while, above, Gator linebacker Rob-Johon Dorsey closes in on Stings wide receiver Carlos Frank on Friday.