Lake Dallas sophomore quarterback Cade Bortnem did all that he could for the Falcons in his second consecutive start in place of injured senior Brendan Sorsby.
But it was a fast start by the Yellow Jackets that proved too much for Lake Dallas to overcome in a 40-17 District 7-5A Div. II loss at Munson Stadium on Friday.
With Denison leading 7-0, De’Teaurean Johnson returned an interception for a touchdown in the first quarter to bump the Yellow Jacket advantage to 14-0.
But Lake Dallas (3-4 overall, 1-4 district) battled back.
Preston Gregg booted a 24-yard field goal to produce the first points of the game for the Falcons. Bortnem shook off the pick-six and connected with junior Evan Weinberg on a 14-yard scoring pass to cut the Denison lead to 14-10.
Bortnem outdueled Denison quarterback Caleb Heavner, completing 19-of-31 through the air for 239 yards. Weinberg, Javaan Evans and Keonde Henry produced in the passing game. Weinberg hauled in seven passes for 74 yards. Evans led the way in receiving with 75 yards on six catches. Henry caught four passes for 70 yards and one touchdown.
But Lake Dallas didn’t score again until the fourth quarter.
Heavner provided a great dual-threat presence for Denison (5-1, 3-1). In addition to completing 17-of-22 passes for 211 yards and one touchdown, he also rushed for 68 yards on 11 carries. Jadarian Price led all rushers with 105 yards on 16 carries and a pair of touchdown runs.
The game was a penalty-filled affair as the two teams combined for 30 penalties and 271 yards in mark-offs. Denison was flagged 17 times for 151 yards. Lake Dallas committed 13 fouls for 120 yards.
Lake Dallas welcomes state-ranked Lovejoy (6-0, 4-0) to Falcon Stadium next Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.