The first time Dutch Fork played Dorman this season, the Silver Foxes learned a lot about themselves. They took that knowledge, mixed with the feeling that nobody could beat them twice in the same season, and will practice the week of Thanksgiving for the third year in a row.
Dutch Fork used a stingy defense, the running of Matt Colburn and a huge special teams play to roll to a 27-13 victory against the Cavaliers in the second round of the Class 4A, Division I playoffs.
“I like to say nobody is going to beat us twice, and we bought into it,” Dutch Fork coach Tom Knotts said. “We refused to lose. Dorman is a solid team, and to hold them to 13 points is just a tremendous job by the defense.”
Dutch Fork will play host to Byrnes, a 37-36 overtime winner against Northwestern, next Friday night in the third round.
The defense limited the Cavaliers to 295 yards of offense but, more importantly, when Dorman did get into Dutch Fork territory, the Silver Foxes always seemed to make a play.
The biggest of those plays came at the end of the first half. Dutch Fork (11-2) was trying to get in position to kick a field goal in the closing minute of the half, but a fumble gave the Cavaliers life. A 44-yard run by Shanard Bain moved Dorman (10-3) deep into Silver Fox territory.
The drive stalled at the 15-yard line and Dorman attempted a 32-yard field goal that was blocked by Da’Quin Livingston. Lane Ecton scooped the ball up at his 25 and raced 75 yards for the score with no time on the clock for a 17-0 halftime lead.
“I owe him a cheeseburger, that’s all I know,” Ecton said. “I couldn’t ask for anything better. I owe him big time. That was a big turning point.”
Knotts was still stewing over the fact the Silver Foxes wasted a scoring opportunity with less than a minute remaining in the half. But he, certainly, took the alternative.
“I was so mad about the fumble,” Knotts said. “I thought we were going to get another field goal and make it 13-0, then they turn the tables on us. But we blocked the kick and took it the distance. That’s why football is great. You’re up, you’re down. It was a great effort by our guys.”
Dorman coach Dave Gutshall said it was going to take another outstanding performance like they got in the regular season win against the Silver Foxes, but that didn’t happen.
“The kicking really hurt us,” Gutshall said. “The play at the end of the first half was a killer for us. Last time, we played perfect, and we didn’t play perfect tonight.”
Ecton said the defense realized after the first Dorman game that it needed to pick it up a notch if the Silver Foxes wanted a chance to repeat as state champions.
“The Dorman game, the first time, was the turning point,” Ecton said. “We realized we were just playing bad. We got it together and started working and working. Coach Knotts put it all on the seniors. We’re leading now, and we’re rolling now.”
Knotts said it took the coaches a bit to figure things out, but he likes where this team is now.
“We played a tough early schedule and took our lumps but I think we’ve settled into a good scheme,” he said. “We decided who our pass rushers are, we know who our run stoppers are and they did a great job.”
The Silver Foxes jumped to a 10-0 lead on the first two possessions. Tyler Bass connected on a 43-yard field goal to cap a six-play, 33-yard drive to open the scoring. Colburn, who finished with 180 yards on 30 carries, then capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive with a 10-yard scoring run with 23 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Dorman (10-3) missed a 32-yard field goal on its first possession and didn’t threaten to score until just before the half.
The Cavaliers scored on their first possession of the second half on a 2-yard run by Aron Spann but two consecutive scoring drives by Dutch Fork sealed it.
Bass added a 36-yard field goal, and then Colburn did his best Tim Tebow impression. The Silver Foxes lined up in a power formation from the 3-yard line and Colburn took the direct snap, ran toward the line and threw a jump pass to a wide open Bryson Cannon to increase the lead to 27-7 with 9:47 remaining.
“We tried it against our own defense and they couldn’t stop it, so we tried it,” Colburn said. “It worked.”
DF – Tyler Bass 43 FG 9:39
DF – Matt Colburn 10 run (Bass kick) 0:23
DF – Lane Ecton 75 blocked FG return (Bass kick) 0:00
D – Aron Spann 1 run (Rogers Davis kick) 7:20
DF – Bass 36 FG 4:05
DF – Bryson Cannon 3 pass from Colburn (Bass kick) 9:46
D – J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 8 pass from Collin Hill (kick blocked) 5:39
D – Shanard Bain 10-73, Aron Spann 4-7, Collin Hill 3-(-18). DF – Matt Colburn 30-180, Tate Fant 6-26, Team 2-(-7).
D – Hill 20-31-0-233, Team 0-1-0-0. DF – Fant 14-20-1-156, Colburn 1-1-0-3.
D – J.J. Arcega-Whiteside 10-116, Tyrek Long 5-45, Chase Brightharp 2-48, Spann 1-15, Jeffrey Abega 1-5, Bain 1-4. DF – Alec DeBoer 5-77, Collin James 2-36, Bobby Irby 3-10, Bryson Cannon 2-16, Will Sweeper 2-18, Colburn 1-2.