Lake Dallas Josef Taylor Gerry Beck

Lake Dallas defenders Josef Taylor (11) and Gerry Beck (43) combine to tackle Frisco Independence running back Harry Stewart on Thursday at Toyota Stadium.

Coming into Thursday’s non-district game against Frisco Centennial, Lake Dallas’ defense looked to pick up where it left off in a dominant Week 1 performance against Denton.

But on this night, the Falcons were unable to build on an early lead.

The Titans scored 31 unanswered points and capitalized on three Falcon turnovers to rally for a 38-15 win at Toyota Stadium.

The duo of Titans senior running back Jackson Marshall and senior quarterback Grayson Dayrles combined for 214 rushing yards and five total touchdowns.

Marshall carried the load with 133 rushing yards on 17 carries, while Dayries ran for 81 yards on 13 carries and also completed 16-of-30 passes for 94 yards.

“They did good,” said Matt Webb, Centennial head coach. “They’re both very experienced players. Jackson Marshall was not healthy all of last year and he played for us as a freshman. I saw as a sophomore that he has a chance to be a special player and then he wasn’t healthy last year. It’s really good to see him back and running hard.”

Lake Dallas (1-1) used 14 plays and 62 yards to drive for the game’s first points. Sophomore running back Aundre Minnifield ran 2 yards for the touchdown for a 7-0 Falcons lead with 6:25 remaining in the first quarter. A fourth-down conversion on a 7-yard pass from senior quarterback Trevor Moon to sophomore Micaiah Brooks kept the drive going.

Centennial answered with a long drive of its own. Dayries used the read-option to his find some running lanes through Lake Dallas’ defense. On the final play of the 15-play drive, he found Marshall coming out of the backfield and the two connected on a 7-yard touchdown pass for a 7-7 tie with 1:33 left in the first quarter.

The Falcons looked prime to answer on their next drive.

Lake Dallas drove the ball to the Centennial 29. A false start committed by the Falcons prior to a 46-yard field goal attempt by Preston Gregg proved costly. The kick came up one yard short of the mark.

On the night, Lake Dallas missed two field goals, committed three turnovers (two fumbles) and struggled to generate big plays against a Centennial defense that tightened up as the game went along.

“I thought we got the momentum at the beginning and then everything went flat,” said Michael Young, Lake Dallas head coach. “We had a hard time getting it back. It seems for all of the good things that we did last week, it went bad tonight.”

Centennial’s special teams got involved later in the second quarter.

A blocked punt block gave Centennial the ball at the 2-yard line, and one play later, Dayries ran into the end zone untouched for the Titans’ first lead of the game at 14-7.

Then, with no time remaining, senior Nick Brown booted a 44-yard field goal to put the Titans on top 17-7 heading into the locker room.

The Titans picked up where they left off to start the second half.

Centennial converted a Connor McMakin fumble recovery on the third play of the third quarter into a nine-yard touchdown run from Marshall for a 24-7 Titans lead. Marshall received the pitch from Dayries and burst for the score.

Centennial proceeded to make it 31 unanswered points.

A fumble recovery by Brandon Ngosi led to a 22-yard touchdown run by Marshall for a 31-7 Titan lead with 3:02 remaining in the third quarter.

Searching for a spark, Lake Dallas switched quarterbacks in the fourth quarter. Junior Brendan Sorsby completed his first three passes after taking over under center. That led to an 11-yard touchdown run by senior running back Hunter Markham. Sorsby ran in the 2-point conversion.

All of a sudden, Centennial’s lead was trimmed to 31-15 with 7:36 remaining in the game.

Markham was the workhorse for Lake Dallas’ rushing attack, finishing with 62 yards on 23 carries. Moon added 51 rushing yards and also threw for 78 yards. Sophomore Evan Weinberg led the Falcons in receiving with 53 yards on six receptions.

“(Sorsby) did good,” Young said. “I thought both of our quarterbacks played well tonight. We dropped some balls that would have made a huge difference.”

After Centennial recovered the ensuing onside kick, the Titans proceeded to ice the game, with Dayries running the quarterback keeper 30 yards for a touchdown.

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