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Deer drop defensive battle at Dawson (w/Gallery)

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in Sports

focus DPhelmet2016IN SPORTS
Hurricane Harvey scrubbed a Deer football scrimmage and game off the schedule. The Deer football team opened the 2017 campaign with a 17-14 loss at Pearland Dawson Friday night. Next up for Deer Park is a road game at College Park at 7:30 p.m. 

2017 DeerThe Deer finally got its first taste of competitive action Friday in a 17-14 loss at Pearland Dawson. The game was the team's season opener after a scrimmage and the first district game were cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. Click the image for a gallery of the action from Deer Park Photos! Photo by Andrew Pressley/Deer Park Photos. After Hurricane Harvey washed out the team’s scrimmage and season opener, the Deer football team was eager to get finally get under the Friday Night Lights at Pearland Dawson. Despite two second-half touchdowns, the Deer dropped their opener 17-14 to the Eagles.

The Eagles came into the game boasting a vaunted offense that averaged more than 37 points per game. However, the Deer defense was a stalwart, holding Dawson to its lowest point total since October of 2014.

Dawson opened the scoring with a 27-yard field goal in the closing minutes of the first quarter. The team later added a second-quarter touchdown to push the lead to 10-0.

Deer Head Coach Chris Massey said he felt like his team was playing tentatively and pushed them to relax in the first half.

“Our kids were playing on eggshells offensively in the first half, scared to make a mistake,” he said. “When you play that way, you don’t do anything. I was proud of the way they came out, and really found themselves in the second half.”

Meanwhile, the Deer Park defense gave up a couple of big-yardage plays, but managed to keep the Eagles from putting more points on the board. Warren Cole had an interception and two touchdown-saving tackles in the first half. Those tackles led to an unsuccessful Dawson field goal attempt, keeping the score at 10-0 at halftime.

“They had a chance to put 14 more points on the board and our defense stepped up after giving big plays. If they put up those points, we’re talking about serious problems in the first half,” said Massey. “The defense gave us a great shot at winning this game.”

In the second half, Deer Park’s offense began to find some rhythm. After being held to just one first down in the first half began marching the ball down the field, culminating in a Broc Weidner to Brandon McKissack score to cut the lead to 10-7.

Dawson threatened again early in the fourth quarter, but the Deer defense held the line again, forcing a fumble at the 2 yard line. Unfortunately for the Deer, the team could not capitalize on the break deep in their own territory and was forced to punt.

On the ensuing possession, the Eagles finally got passed the goal line to go up 17-7.

Again, the Deer offense was able to answer with a scoring drive with a second Weidner-to-McKissack connection to make the score 17-14.

Unfortunately for the Deer, that’s how the game ended. Weidner ended the night 9-18 on pass plays with two touchdowns and 116 yards. McKissack led the Deer with 72 yards receiving on six catches, two for touchdowns. Deer Park had 222 yards of total offense, 51 of which came on the ground from leading rusher Traion Diggles.

Despite the loss, Massey said he saw a lot of positives in the team’s first game. He said he felt the defense played well all night and the offensive line grew stronger as the game progressed.

“In the first half, (Dawson) controlled the line of scrimmage. When you only get one first down, there’s no question who controlled the line,” said Massey. “We’re very encouraged about the way we moved the ball in the second half. A little something here and a little something there and we might have pulled this one out.”

This was Deer Park’s first time on the field this year against an opponent. The team’s scrimmage and first game were both washed from the schedule by Hurricane Harvey.

“Coming into this game was very difficult. We hadn’t had a scrimmage and they had. It was like coming in blindfolded. You really don’t know what you’ve got. Still I’m proud of the way our kids responded,” he said.

Next up for the Deer is a road tilt at The Woodlands College Park at 7:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live online via The Deer Network.