JUSTIN — The Lake Dallas Falcons dominated the key plays Thursday night and scored a 20-0 win over Saginaw Boswell in their football playoff opener at Northwest ISD Stadium.
The winners of the Class 4A Division II bi-district game will take on either Waco or Fort Worth Wyatt in a second-round game at 1 p.m. next Friday at Midlothian. Waco and Wyatt play tonight.
Once in each half the Falcons stopped long Boswell drives into the red zone and each time they followed with a score of their own in improving to 7-4 for the season.
“At this time of year it’s important to get stops in your end,” Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young said. “We were able to get some good field position, too, and take advantage of it.”
While the Falcons were able to put the brakes on 62- and 59-yard drives by the Pioneers that reached the Falcon 2- and 16-yard lines, Marshall Dominy tilted the field in the Falcons’ favor with his three punts averaging more than 49 yards.
Dominy passed 29 yards to C.J. Harris for one touchdown and Brandon Simpson ran 8 yards for another as Lake Dallas took a 14-0 halftime lead. Kicker Logan Stewart added field goals of 21 and 22 yards in the second half.
“Our punting was a big difference,” Young said. “They had trouble fielding the ball, and Marshall really did a good job of placing the ball.”
Just when it appeared Boswell was going to get on the scoreboard first, the Pioneers, who finished 8-3, picked a terrible time for the game’s only turnover.
Boswell had marched 62 yards in nine plays to a first-and-goal at the Falcon 2-yard line early in the second period. But running back Antoine Stevenson fumbled as he tried to leap into the end zone and Jacob Jones came out of the resulting pile with the football for Lake Dallas.
“That was a turning point in the game,” Young said. “It was zero to zero and I thought they had kind of controlled the momentum until then. It was a huge point. Our defense was fighting tough.”
A 42-yard punt by Dominy and a mishandled kickoff by Boswell pinned the Pioneers close to their goal on back-to-back drives, each of which were turned back by solid defense and put Lake Dallas’ offense in great position.
The Falcons went 41 yards in five plays for their first score, capped by Dominy’s pass to Harris, and 27 yards in four plays to score again three minutes later on Simpson’s TD run.
The first Lake Dallas scoring play began with a low shotgun snap that Dominy fielded like a shortstop. Rolling to his left, he found a leaping Harris at the goal line with 4:19 left in the second period.
The Pioneers began their next drive at their 8-yard line after Kyius McNeal failed to field the kickoff near the 20. They wound up punting from the 2-yard line after Jones sacked Boswell quarterback Zach Files for a 7-yard loss.
An 11-yard punt return by Dante Basher set the Falcons up at the Boswell 27. Consecutive runs of 6, 6 and 7 yards by Tony Green preceded Simpson’s scoring dash around left end with 1:16 to go before half.
Stewart had already made it 17-0 by capping a 16-play, 69-yard Falcons drive with a field goal when Boswell mounted its second promising drive of the night. A 56-yard pass from Files to Scott Moody put the Pioneers on the Falcons’ 16. The Lake Dallas defense responded with two sacks of Files, and Boswell was pushed back to the 30 before running out of downs.
In all, Lake Dallas’ defense sacked Files seven times for 31 yards as Boswell netted only 43 yards on the ground. Files managed to complete 13 of 28 passes for 164 yards, with Moody finishing with four catches for 83 yards.
Green rushed 23 times to lead Lake Dallas rushers with 80 yards. Dominy rushed for 43 yards and passed for 70 more. Simpson had 34 yards rushing and 36 passing, and Harris topped the Falcons’ receivers with three catches for 49 yards.
Lake Dallas 20,Saginaw Boswell 0
LD – C.J. Harper 29 pass from Marshall Dominy (Logan Stewart kick), 4:19
LD – Brandon Simpson 8 run (Stewart kick), 1:16.
LD – FG Stewart 21, 5:42.
LD – FG Stewart 22, 3:00.
Rushing — B: Antoine Stevenson 6-46, Zach Files 9-(-18), Kyius McNeal 7-14, Team 1-1; LD: Tony Green 23-80, Marshall Dominy 13-43, Brandon Simpson 12-34, Team 1-(-1), Mark Contreras 1-1, Ty Boggs 1-2.
Passing – B: Files 13-28-0-164; LD: Dominy 5-10-0-70, Simpson 1-3-0-36.
Receiving — B: Jerrell Fisher 14-48, Scott Moody 4-83, Drew Bicknell 3-26, Stevenson 1-(-2), Trent Dickens 1-16; LD: Josiah Tauaefa 1-9, Simpson 1-2, C.J. Harris 3-59, Bryce Williams 1-36.