DENISON – Denison rewarded the Lake Dallas football team for its lengthy trip north with a sound thumping Friday, as the Yellow Jackets put up 24 points in the first quarter alone on their way to a 62-14 victory over the Falcons.
“I thought we had a good week of practice and that we were going to be ready to play. We had two weeks,” said Michael Young, Lake Dallas head coach. “Instead of being ready, I thought it was just sloppy. We never could get anything going. Any time we’d get a big play or get a first down, we’d get a false-start penalty. … I’ve never seen so many turnovers and just sloppy (play) and dropping balls. It was bad.”
The win boosted Denison to 3-1 in District 8-5A play, while the setback will leave Lake Dallas searching for answers after an 0-3 start to conference play and a freshly minted 1-4 mark, overall.
The Yellow Jackets didn’t need an overwhelming performance from four-star sophomore Jadarian Price in the victory, as the program was able to manage the workload of its star running back, who returned from injury a week ago.
Price finished the night with 20 carries for 76 yards and a score. The Yellow Jackets also benefited from a big night from junior back Asa Osbourn, who ran for 105 yards on 20 attempts and found the end zone three times.
Sophomore quarterback Caleb Heavner also gave the Falcons fits at times, as he closed with nine carries for 112 yards.
Overall, Denton finished with 345 rushing yards on 57 attempts to just three yards through the air, and Lake Dallas will see more of the same next week against undefeated Frisco.
“It’s going to be a handful. They’re throwing it, obviously, more than they did last year. … It’s going to be a real challenge for us,” Young said. “It’s going to be a real challenge, offensively, to grind out the clock and get the first down. Against a team like Denison or Frisco, it’s really the same thing. You’ve got to keep your defense off the field as best you can.”
Lake Dallas senior Brandon Engel returned to full-time duty under center in the contest, though the results were underwhelming.
Engel finished 10-for-30 passing for 114 yards and four interceptions, chipping in 44 yards on the turf, though Young didn’t blame the senior for Friday’s setback at all.
“He’s only played two quarters of high-school quarterback his whole career. We made the decision last week that, if he was healthy, we were going to try this and try to get a spark and get something,” he said. “Last week, offensively, was not good, either, against a defense that’s not real good in our district.”
Senior Hunter Hope was Engel’s favored target on the night, hauling in seven catches for 60 yards in the losing effort.
Lake Dallas’ first score in the loss came on a 70-yard run from senior Fabian Nava early in the third quarter. Nava finished with 88 yards on three carries. The Falcons also got a garbage-time score with less than a minute remaining from junior Hunter Markham that capped a productive drive with junior Trevor Moon under center.
Senior defensive back and Texas Tech commit had an early interception, jumping a route in the end zone to prevent a Denison score and keep the game tight in the early going before the Yellow Jackets ran away from the Falcons.
The going doesn’t get any easier for Lake Dallas moving forward, as the Falcons will welcome the early district-title favorite Raccoons to Corinth at 7 p.m. Friday. Frisco (4-0, 6-0) is fresh off a 31-14 win over Princeton, which took down Lake Dallas in Week Four.
“With three losses, we could have won all three of those games, so this is real disappointing. … We’ve got to go out and play,” Young said. “I don’t think it’s (good) worrying about trying to get in the playoffs or winning four in a row. We just need to have a good start against Frisco and find some things we can do to help us get off to a good start.”
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