HOUSTON — Getting to the regional finals was not easy.The Bulldogs led Dawson 13-0 at halftime and were up 16-0 with less than a minute to go in the third quarter. But the Eagles soared back into the game, scoring 16 unanswered points to send the game to overtime.
That included a 75-yard pass from Dawson QB Josh Sharp to junior receiver Tony Upchurch at the end of the third and a QB sneak by Sharp for a TD with just over four minutes to play.
On Dawson’s final drive of regulation, it got the ball at its own 31 with 2:32 left on the clock. After driving down the field, Sharp ran it to the Nederland 10 on third down and, apparently confused, proceeded to spike the ball on fourth down with three seconds left.
The play was negated by a Dawson illegal shift penalty, moving the Eagles back five yards. In the NFL, that play also carries with it a 10 second clock runoff, which would have ended the game in regulation. After the penalty was assessed, Dawson’s Jacob Hood kicked a 32-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
“There are a bunch of fragmented moments at the end of the game, moments of elation and deflation,” Nederland head coach Larry Neumann said. “I’m really proud of our kids and how they kept their emotions steady. We went to overtime and our defense played well.
“Our attitude about it was that we were going to try and win it from the first play on (in overtime). Coming into this game, if we had a chance to win it, we were going for it. I’m really proud with how they hung in there with a really good football team.”
After Nederland won the toss heading into overtime and deferred, the Bulldog defense got a big stop on third-and-10 from the Nederland 12. Texas A&M commit running back James White took the ball up the middle for his 23rd carry of the night, but junior defensive tackle Caleb Malveaux knifed through the defense to stop White for a 1-yard gain.