CORINTH — Junior linebacker Ronnie Coleman’s three interceptions helped fuel the Lake Dallas Falcons as the offense did all of their damage in the second quarter on their way to a 21-12 victory over the Denton Broncos in the District 5-4A opener at Falcon Stadium on Friday night.
Both Lake Dallas head coach Michael Young and Denton head coach Kevin Atkinson came into Friday’s game looking to avoid costly turnovers, and it was the Falcons who were able to strike early as senior quarterback Marshall Dominy found senior tight end Bryce Williams for two consecutive touchdowns early in the second quarter.
“It’s nice to have a win,” Young said. “We’ve started the past two years at 0-2 [in district], so this is obviously a lot better. That’s a big game. We needed that. Our secondary is pretty good, athletic and can make plays. They have been kind of snake-bit getting interceptions this year, so that was nice to put together a night like that. Maybe that will get us on a roll with catching some of those because we’ve dropped quite a few we should have had this year.”
Outgaining the Broncos in total yards in the first half (213-109), the Lake Dallas rushing attack accounted for 146 of those yards on 24 carries as junior Tony Green led the way with 96 yards and a touchdown.
After a sputtering opening quarter with both teams exchanging punts, Denton was able to make the first significant play of the game as senior linebacker Ryan Duggan picked off Dominy with 1 minute, 26 seconds remaining in the quarter. However, Ward would give it right back to the Falcons on the next play as Coleman intercepted the Broncos at the Lake Dallas 40-yard line.
Four rushes later, Dominy was able to shake the memories of his previous throw as he scrambled left out of the pocket and floated a pass in between two Denton defenders to Williams for a 25-yard touchdown to put the Falcons up 7-0.
After putting up 76 points in their last two victories, the Falcons stifled the Broncos’ offense with heavy pressure on junior quarterback Cy Ward throughout the game.
“We’ve had a lot of success the last couple weeks offensively and a lot of times there’s a game or two that you have to get humbled,” Atkinson said. “This was one of them. We didn’t execute very well, and when you don’t execute fundamentally, you can’t achieve success.”
Denton’s offense continued to struggle as they were forced to punt after a three-and-out. With a 7-0 lead, the Falcons were hungry for more as they quickly marched 70 yards in six plays, topped off with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Dominy to Williams to make it 14-0 with 8:25 remaining in the first half.
“Those touchdowns were really good,” Young said. “That’s what we needed in the second half. We just didn’t get any.”
Turnovers proved costly again on the Broncos’ ensuing possession as Coleman made his second interception of Ward when he jumped the receiver’s route and returned it to the Denton 18-yard line, but a personal foul penalty backed the ball up to the Denton 33-yard line.
Despite the penalty, the Falcons leaned on their rushing attack once again as it took them only seven plays to make it 21-0 behind a 6-yard touchdown by Tony Green, who racked up 59 first-half yards on 13 carries.
The Broncos finally broke through as Ward, with the pocket crumbling around him, connected with junior wide receiver Ke’Von Buris for a 47-yard touchdown down the middle of the field. The Broncos trailed 21-6 after a missed extra-point try.
Lake Dallas attempted to add points before the end of the first half, but Logan Stewart missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.
With the Falcons receiving the ball in the second half, Denton’s defense forced another interception, but the offense was forced to punt after another three-and-out. The Broncos were then able to force a Lake Dallas turnover on downs but couldn’t do anything with it after the Broncos’ 36-yard field-goal attempt was blocked late in the third quarter.
Despite still being down by two possessions, the Broncos were still within range of a fourth-quarter comeback after their defense continued to make plays and get the ball back.
“I felt defensively, we played the best game of the year against our best opponent,” Atkinson said. “That says a lot for our coaches and the kids on that side of the ball. I’m really proud of that. They rallied to the ball and we played assignment football. The linebackers rallied to the football and had an interception. That was a good scoop and score at the end when everyone thought we were out of it. Next time we need to do a better job of handling the gifts.”
After Ward threw his third interception of the game, the Broncos were able to force a Falcons fumble with 1:17 left. Ward rushed for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 21-12, but with only 20 seconds left in the game. Denton’s last ditch onside attempt was recovered by the Falcons to secure the victory.
“When you start the second half with the onside kick [recovery], if you go down and score, that really puts a dagger in them,” Young said. “I think it would have ended it. We just couldn’t do it. We have to give our defense credit. They got stops when they needed to and had a lot of turnovers which bailed us out with as many turnovers as we had.”
PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873.
Lake Dallas 21, Denton 12
LD — Bryce Williams 25 pass from Marshall Dominy (Logan Stewart kick) 11:51
LD — Williams 19 pass from Dominy (Stewart kick) 8:25
LD —Tony Green 6 rush (Stewart kick) 3:42
D — Ke’Von Buris 47 pass from Cy Ward (kick failed) 2:21
D — Ward 1 rush (kick failed) :20
Rushing — LD: Tony Green 22-96, Marshall Dominy 14-76, Brandon Simpson 1-8, Ronnie Coleman 1-18, Colton Lively 1-3, Josh Jackson 1-1, Mark Contreras 2-4;D: Tre’Von Jackson 4-17, Deandre Coleman 3-3, Cy Ward 13-20, Deavonte Doucet 2-5.
Passing — LD: Marshall Dominy 8-18-2 90; D: Cy Ward 18-24-3 211, Luke Satterfield 0-2-0 0.
Receiving — LD: Bryce Williams 4-59, Josh Jackson 1-8, C.J. Harris 1-0, Josiah Tauaefa 1-21, Wiliam Tollet 1-2; D: Ke’Von Buris 4-61, Ryan Daniels 4-15, Wendell Williams 1-(-2), Adarian Harris 5-45, Deavonte Doucet 2-12, Deandre Coleman 1-67, Tre’Von Jackson 1-13.