Photo by Dennis Thomas
Dutchtown quarterback Donovahn Jones rolls out on a pass attempt in the third quarter of the Bulldogs’ win over Luella Friday. Earlier this week, Jones committed to playing for Missouri.
LOCUST GROVE — Riding nine big plays of 20 or more yards Friday night, the Dutchtown Bulldogs tamed the host Luella Lions 35-10.
All aspects of the Bulldog team got into the action with the big plays. Quarterback Donovahn Jones threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Thomas. Running back Will Smith scored three touchdowns on long runs in the second half. Special teams got into the act as Malik Barkley scooted 54 yards on a kickoff return in the third quarter. And the defense got its big play early in the second half, when defensive lineman Derrick Davis caught a deflected Luella pass and motored 28 yards for a quick score.
The first half was an old-fashioned game of keep away. Dutchtown controlled the ball for 18 of the 24 minutes, yet the Bulldogs managed only seven points on the Jones-to-Thomas TD pass with 7:24 left in the first. The bend-but-don’t-break Luella defense forced a missed field-goal attempt and stopped Dutchtown on downs at their own 12.
After earning first downs on their first three plays, the Lions hurt themselves with a pair of penalties, negating the momentum that might have tied the score. The fast-moving first half ended with the Bulldogs leading only 7-0, though it seemed as if Dutchtown was dominating the action.
The Bulldog defense stormed Lions freshman quarterback Donald Hammond on the first two plays of the second half, resulting in a sack and the batted-ball interception to Davis, who scored to make it 14-0.
Momentum shifted briefly to Luella after Christian Palmer fumbled a punt and Luella’s Khalid Hylton recovered it on the Dutchtown 23. Although Luella’s offense was stalled by the Bulldogs defense, senior kicker Anthony Roberts booted a 37-yard field goal to put the Lions on the board.
Smith answered quickly for the Dogs, scoring the first of his second-half touchdowns on a 36-yard run, following Barkley’s big kick return. That made it 21-3. Luella suffered more self-inflicted wounds when a fight broke out after the Lions had moved into Bulldog territory. Ejections and offsetting penalties stopped the Lions’ momentum in Bulldog territory. On the eighth play of a 70-yard drive, Smith scored another Dutchtown touchdown for a 28-3 cushion.
Luella’s best drive of the game followed. Seven plays and 67 yards ended with a Trae Bonner 2-yard blast up the middle, narrowing Dutchtown’s lead to 28-10, but the home crowd briefly had something to cheer about.
Two plays later, however, Dutchtown’s final big play crushed the Lions’ hopes, Smith racing 49 yards down the left sideline for the game’s final touchdown. Luella responded by moving the ball well, ending on the Bulldog 1. However, Luella fumbled and Josh Baylor recovered for Dutchtown.
Jones completed 8 of 10 passes for 183 yards and a touchdown for Dutchtown. He also ran 10 times for 45 yards. Smith’s big plays gave him 12 carries for 145 yards. The Bulldogs rolled up 407 total yards, 200 on the ground and 207 through the air. Devin Randolph led the Dutchtown defense with eight tackles.
Bonner was the Luella workhorse, carrying 16 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. Jaylon Harris carried 10 times for 51 yards. Tevin Jones (seven tackles) and Steve Osondu (six) led the Lions defense.