Dayton makes history vs. Lowry | NevadaAppeal.com

Dayton makes history vs. Lowry

DAYTON – Arrogance or horrible judgment.

The Dayton High football team doesn’t care. The only thing that matters to the Dust Devils is that they knocked off previously unbeaten Lowry, 37-27, Friday

night.

“This is huge,” Dayton coach Rick Walker said after the game. “We’d never beaten them before. This was a great win.”

The win can be traced back to one decision by Lowry coach Chris Ward. It’s a move that had many people shaking their heads in amazement, especially on the Dayton sideline.

Leading 20-17 with 5:50 left in the third quarter, Ward decided to go for the first down on a fourth-and-2 situation from his own 28, defying normal logic that you kick the ball away and force a team to drive the length of the field for a score.

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The move backfired when his quarterback Tyler Crnkovich was stopped for no gain. Four plays later, Travis Wood tossed a 3-yard scoring pass to Trent Wood for the go-ahead score with 4:08 left in the quarter. Trent Wood’s extra point made it 24-20.

“That was a gigantic play,” Walker said. “We got that score and went up on them. We took advantage of some mistakes (they made) in the fourth quarter, but that play got us going forward.”

That was the beginning of the end for Lowry. Dayton had regained the momentum and wasn’t about to let Lowry up for air.

Lowry opened the fourth quarter with a turnover, as Crnkovich threw the ball up for grabs in the middle of the field, and Josh Aaker intercepted it at midfield.

Travis Wood found Aaker in the right flat for 19 yards down to the 31. After a short gain by Kevin May (22 carries, 97 yards) to the 28, Wood completed a 22-yarder to Danny Hopper, who grabbed the ball between Jeff Plumb and Johnathan Stricker at the Lowry 6. After May carried to the 2-yard line, Erik Hopper pounded it over for his second score of the game. Trent Wood’s kick made it 31-20 with 7:17 left in the game.

On the first play following the ensuing kickoff, Crnkovich was intercepted by Trent Wood at the Lowry 32. After that, it was a steady dose of May, who carried four straight times, capping the drive with a 6-yard scoring run to make it 37-20 with 5:32 left.

Lowry still had some fight left, however. The Buckaroos drove 80 yards in 10 plays, as Crnkovich capped the drive with a 10-yard pass to Plumb with 3:04 left, and Shane Goodale’s PAT made it 37-27.

Crnkovich converted two fourth-down passes on the drive, both to Stricker. The first one, a nine-yarder, gave Lowry a first down at the Dayton 44. The second one, a 34-yarder, gave Lowry a first-and-goal at the 10.

Dayton was unable to run out the clock and a bad snap on fourth down allowed Lowry to take over at the Dayton 40. Scott Brower ended any hopes of a miracle comeback by Lowry when he sacked Crnkovich on fourth down.

This was one for the defense, which after giving up TD runs of 75 and 72 yards to Andrew Reed on dive plays, a 77-yard scoring pass by Crnkovich and a 67-yard

hook-and-ladder play at the end of the first half, settled down in the final two quarters.

Besides Brower, Andy Salazar also had a solid game. He recovered a fumble in the third quarter that led to a 40-yard field goal by Trent Wood. Lowry only had 87 yards total offense (470 overall) in the last two quarters, 80 coming on the one scoring drive.

“We made some adjustments,” Walker said. “We were keying on their fullback (Cody Gerhard) because he’d been the one running the dive. They changed up on us.”

Despite the offensive onslaught, Dayton only trailed 20-14 at the half thanks to Erik Hopper’s 1-yard run and a 4-yard scoring pass from Travis Wood (134 yards rushing) to Trent Wood, who had three grabs for 50 yards.

Contact Darrell Moody at dmoody@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1281.

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