PHOTOS BY LISA McGINTY | LMc Photography
Skylar McConnell gets some air.
Grant Johnson lifts Sammy Tomlinson high in celebration of his TD.
Dalton’s Jace Eberly
Alex Hess and Bryce Johnson force the fumble.
By ZACH McFARREN
DGKN sports writer
DALTON Brookfield’s opening drive Friday night resulted in a 39 yard field goal and a quick 3-0 lead. Surely this would be the night that an opponent kept the score close. Surely the Warriors would bring the wood and the Bulldogs would finally meet their match.
The Bulldogs scored the final 26 points of the contest, turning a 3-3 halftime score into another blowout. However, this one did not come easy.
Sophomore kicker Brady Hignight proved to be a valuable weapon. Just before the end of the second quarter, with the Dawgs still down by three and struggling to put anything consistent together offensively, Hignight tied the score with a 22 yard field goal of his own. The kick seemed to jumpstart the Dawgs offense, as they would erupt in the second half behind another impressive night by Greyson Siders.
On the first play of the second half. Siders zigged, zagged, and flatout outran the Warriors defense on his way to a 65 yard score. The 10-3 lead felt anything but comfortable as both teams brought an aggression with them out of the locker rooms after half.
Siders’ run may have proven to be the play of the game, but Hignight’s kick on the ensuing kickoff deflated an already frustrated Warrior team, as his onside kick was recovered at the Brookfield 44. Despite a stalled drive, Dalton clearly had the advantage. Brookfield had no answer for the Dawgs’ defense. After a stop gave the Bulldogs the ball back, Hignight put Dalton up 13-3 with his second field goal of the night, this one from 27 yards out.
Both Hignight and junior Kade Miller, who handles all PATs, provide Dalton with a solid kick game. Miller has been on point all season long, and with Hignight hitting field goals, the Bulldogs have another weapon in their already well stocked arsenal.
Throughout the second half, and really the entire contest, Brookfield moved the ball down the field only to be undone by untimely penalties. The Warriors were visibly frustrated as their explosive offense was held in check all night by the Dawg’s D. Brookfield managed 218 yards of offense despite a roster full of talent, size, and speed. Meanwhile, Dalton’s offense found its groove in the second half and finished the game with 461 total yards.
Siders did his part, rushing for 157 yards on 23 carries. He also caught four balls for 85 yards. Junior Cade Mullet made his yards count, as he padded the lead in the fourth quarter with a six yard touchdown reception from quarterback Colin Pearson (15 of 25, 185 yards, 1 TD).
Senior linebacker Grant Johnson did what Grant does and made a play that sent the Warrior fans packing. His interception gave the ball back to Dalton immediately following Mullet’s score. From there, Sammy Tomlinson showed what he can do as he split the Brookfield defense and sprinted 26 yards, putting the Dawgs up 26-3, ending the Warriors season.
Dalton once again put together an all around solid performance and dominated a worthy opponent. Another fall finds the Dawgs moving deep into the OHSAA playoffs. Some formidable foes await and Dalton looks up for the challenge.