Dickinson puts quick end to Oilers’ unbeaten season, 49-21
PEARLAND - When Dickinson’s smothering defense gives quarterback Mike Welch ample opportunities, the results can be very disagreeable for the opponent.
Such was the malady for previously unbeaten Pearland, which saw the Gators come into The Rig and take a convincing 49-21 win in a Class 6A bi-district game.
Dickinson (10-1) will take on Galena Park North Shore in an area round Division I matchup at 1 p.m., next Friday at Galena Park ISD Stadium.
Welch ran for two scores and threw touchdown passes of 47, 55 and 12 yards to Darryl Harris and another of 19 yards to Jaden Wydermyer in piloting to Gators to the triumph.
The Gator defense, meanwhile, shut down Pearland’s running game and forced Oiler quarterback J.D. Head into a 17-of-44 night throwing the ball.
The Gators never trailed, and were in control at the half with a 21-7 lead.
Harris had seven receptions for 184 yards and the three touchdowns.
“They were playing like 10 yards so we took advantage of that,” Harris said. “We always go with the short routes when they play that far off.
“They were a good team but we just dominated them tonight. We just have to be sharp and do what we do (against North Shore).”
The Gators scored on their initial possession, moving 47 yards in nine plays for a 7-0 lead at 7:58 of the opening period.
The pivotal play in the march was a fourth-and-nine completion of 15 yards from quarterback Mike Welch to wide receiver Jalen Wydermyer that gave Dickinson a first down at the Pearland 17-yard line.
Three plays later on third-and-goal at the 3-yard line, Welch powered his way into the end zone on a quarterback sneak.
The Gator lead swelled to 14-0 with 2:30 left in the first quarter when Dickinson needed just three plays to cover 44 yards. Following a two-yard gain and an illegal procedure penalty, Welch connected with a wide open Darryl Harris on a 47-yard scoring pass.
Dickinson had two other opportunities open a big advantage, but a 27-yard field goal hit the right upright, and a failed fourth-down attempt set up Pearland’s only first-half score.
The Oilers moved 65 yards in three plays to pull within 14-7 at 6:38 of the second quarter.
Quarterback J.D. Head bolted 34 yards on first down, and following an incomplete pass, senior running back Jaelin Benefield zipped 31 yards for the score.
That touchdown, however, did little to sustain momentum for Pearland as Dickinson’s Landon Roque returned the ensuing kickoff to the Oiler 24-yard line.
From there, the Gators needed just two plays to create the 21-7 bulge.
“Dickinson’s a great football team and did a great job,” Pearland head coach Ricky Tullos said. “I felt like we never could get good field position in the first half.
“We had a chance right before the half, but had a turnover. We had some chances, here and there, over the top. There were a couple of plays there to be made and we just didn’t come away with it.”
Welch ran for five yards on first down before throwing a strike to Wydermyer at the 1-yard line and he easily leaned into the end zone as Dickinson opened a 14-point cushion.
The Gators widened the lead to 27-7 just 3:37 into the third quarter when Dickinson covered 78 yards in just three plays. A 30-yard run by Welch ignited the drive which culminated with a 55-yard connection from Welch to Harris.
Pearland trimmed the deficit to 27-14 with a seven-play, 66-yard drive just 24 seconds before the end of the third quarter. Head fired a 25-yard scoring pass to Austin Landry to pull the Oilers within two scores.
However, Dickinson put the game away with two fourth-quarter scoring runs of eight yards by Jordan Green and one yard from Welch. Welch also threw a 12-yard scoring strike to Harris with 1:34 left.
Dickinson head coach Johnson Snelson was obviously pleased with his team’s performance.”
“We decided we were going to pressure them - they’re so talented on offense,” Snelson said. “The quarterback’s really good, the running back’s really good. Not a whole lot of people have really come after them.
“We played tight coverage, and said, ‘hey, what the heck. We’ll give it a go’. I was really proud of the kids.”
Tullos, though, found that defeat a tough one to swallow.
“We just didn’t make enough plays,” the first-year Oiler head coach said. “That’s the way it goes. They were a better football team.
“It’s unfortunate we had to meet so early, but we got beat by an outstanding football team.”