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Dunham schedule proving stout

PelicanPreps.com: Dunham Schedule Proves to be Stout
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Tigers schedule proves to be stout

By Tensey Pricer
PelicanPreps.com Publisher

The Dunham Tigers suffered their third loss of the season last week in a 31-20 decision against East Feliciana. Losses are not comforting, but the Tigers can take comfort in the fact that the three teams they lost to are a combined 19-1.

"Yeah, I noticed that," Dunham head coach Joey Thibodeaux said. "I guess that goes to show you just how good this district is and how good our schedule is this season."

East Feliciana moved to 6-0 with last week's win. Episcopal, which beat Dunham 34-16, is now 7-0 and a half game behind EFHS in the District 7-2A standings. And Jewel Sumner, which beat the Tigers 23-7, is 6-1 after suffering its first time loss of the year last week to Amite, 22-12.

Outside of the Jewel Sumner game-where the Cowboys controlled the line of scrimmage the entire game and built a 23-0 lead at one point-Dunham held an early lead and had chances to win in two of its losses.


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Dunham Staff
Head coach: Joey Thibodeaux (LSU, 1982; Baseball); 26 years at Dunham; 27 years in coaching
Offensive Coordinator: Joey Thibodeaux
Defensive Coordinator: Curtis Tupper
Staff: Kris Harrel (defensive backs), Mike Jenkins (offensive line), Mitch McIlwain (linebackers), Steven Dearman (wide receivers/defensive backs), Kody Viator (running backs), and Alex Wright (tight ends/linebackers)
Cody Davis
Ben Ortego
Joey Thibodeaux
Russ Viguerie
Curtis Tupper
Drew Schoen

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And while the schedule has included some good teams to this point, there are still some pretty good ones left.

Capitol is 2-5, but a very talented team. And after that are 5-2 University and a Donaldsonville team that lost for the first time this season just two weeks ago.

"Because of our schedule, I know we are ready (to face good teams)," Thibodeaux said.

Heartbreak at EFHS

Dunham played what Thibodeaux said was the team's best game of the year, but the Tigers turned the ball over twice inside the EFHS 5-yard line and the EFHS also made a big special teams play to seal a 31-20 decision in favor of the home team.

"I was really proud of the way the team played," Thibodeaux said. "I think we played the best game of the season. We just didn't play well at times. I mean, with six minutes remaining we have a chance to go up. And no telling what kind of panic that might have set in for EFHS."

Trailing 25-20, Dunham fumbled the ball at teh 2-yard line and it bounces into the end zone where EFHS recovered.

Dunham scored first against East Feliciana last week's big District 7-2A showdown in Jackson. Dunham slipped to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in district. Next up will be Capitol (2-5, 1-3), which lost to Donaldsonville 38-22.

Against East Feliciana, Dunham was led by fullback Jordan Lange, who rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries and scored two touchdowns. The first score came at the 7:45 mark of the first quarter on a 3-yard run. With Michael Barnett's PAT kick, Dunham was up 7-0 on the road against a very good team.

But then EFHS sophomore sensation quarterback Kendall Beckwith tossed two touchdown passes, an 11-yarder to Courtney Matthews and a 20-yard to Tekemian Ceasar, near the end of the opening quarter to push East Feliciana ahead 13-7.

Dunham was finally able to respond in the late stages of the second period when Harrison Domingue scored on a 6-yard run with 1:27 left until the break. Domingue finished with 30 yard on eight carries.

Dunham had a chance to add to the lead, but an interception inside the EFHS 5-yardline ended the drive.

The momentum Dunham built going into the half was immediately wiped away by Joseph Robinson's 87-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, pushing EFHS out front 19-14 after the 2-point conversion failed. Robinson, who finished with 70 yards rushing on 15 carries, was not done. Five minutes later he scored on a 15-yard run to give the home team a 25-14 lead after the PAT kick was blocked.

Dunham responded with a 9-yard Lange touchdown with 3:27 left in the third quarter to make it 25-20, but that was it for Dunham, which later lost a fumble inside the EFHS 5-yard line. Beckwith added a 13-yard touchdown in fourth.

Beckwith completed 12 of 20 passes for 201 yards and the two touchdowns. He also carried the ball six times for 44 yards. Ceasar finished with four receptions for 60 yards and the score.

Dunham tailback Nyle Johnson rushed for 60 yards on 13 carries and also caught six passes for 56 yards. Dylan Yesso carried five times for 27 yards. Quarterback Grant Messer completed 12 of 17 passes for 152 yards.

"Grant had his best game of the year," Thibodeaux said. "He made some good throws, he stayed in the pocket, made good decisions. And akll our backs ran well. All of them made key runs during the game."

In addition to Johnson, tight end Daniel Megison caught four passes for 72 yards, including a long of 29 yards, while Yesso caught one for 7 yards and William Cox caught one for 15 yards.

"Daniel Megison had a great game," Thibodeaux said. "East Feliciana was putting eight in the bix, basically begging us to throw it and he made some catches."

Dunham outgained EFHS 363-338 in total offense, racking up 211 yards rushing. EFHS had 201 yards passing to 152 for Dunham and EFHS average 7.5 yards per play compared to Dunham with 5.1.

Megison and Lange were also highly productive on defense with a number of tackles and assists. Defensive tackle Luke Simpson had three tackles and three assists as well as a quarterback hurry while outside linebacker had three stops and an assist. Cornerback Ryan Mockler had three pass breakups, Ben Ortego had several tackles and batted a ball.


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By the Numbers

Lange continues to lead the team in rushing with 525 yards on 93 carries and 9 touchdowns, followed by Johnson (46 carries, 385 yards), Harrison Domingue (49-362), and Yesso (64-310). Harrison has five rushing touchdowns, Yesso four and Johnson two.

Johnson leads the receivers with 328 yards on 20 catches and 4 TDs while Megison has 9 catches for 162 yards. Messer has completed 40 of 80 passes for 584 yards and 4 touchdowns against five interceptions.

Lange is also the team's leading tackler from his inside linebacker position with 40 tackles, 11 assists, and 2 interceptions. Outside linebacker Harrison Domingue has 31 tackles, 11 assists, and two fumble recoveries.

Other leading tacklers include inside linebacker Daniel Megison (25 tackles, 7 assists), defensive tackle Simpson (23-12), cornerback Ryan Mockler (21-3), outside linebacker Grayson Domingue (19-7), safety Ben Ortego (17-5), defensive end Russ Viguerie (15-9), safety Andrew Langston (14-8), and defensive end Kyle Clary (13-1).

Ranking the Tigers

Dunham was ranked No. 23 in the PelicanPreps.com unofficial Class 2A power ratings through Week 7 with a point total of 11.29. That is down from the previous week's rank of No. 20. The top 32 teams will make up the playoff field at the completion of the regular season.

East Feliciana (6-0), which narrowly defeated Dunham last week, remained at No. 5 while Episcopal (7-0) stayed at No. 6. Donaldsonville (6-1) moved up to a tie for No. 9 from No. 12 and University (5-2) is No. 12, up from No. 15. Capitol (2-5), Dunham's opponent this week, slipped to No. 22 from No. 17.

If the playoffs started today, Dunham could possibly play at either Farmerville (6-1), Menard (6-1), or Donaldsonville, which are all tied at No. 9.


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Planning Visits

Senior wingback Dylan Yesso said that he and his family have started to think about planning unofficial visits to college campuses.

Yesso said that when the season is over he is cosidering visits to Southern Miss, Tulane, Stephen F. Austin and possibly Bucknell University, which is located in Lewisburg, PA.

For now, Yesso is concentrating on the season.

"I think (EFHS) was the hardest fought game of the year," Yesso said. "I think it could have gone either way. I think we have a really good team, our record just doesn't show it."

Next Opponent

Over the last three weeks, Capitol has had various players not play as part of doling out a total of 19 suspension levied by the LHSAA for their involvements in an altercation that took place on Sept. 17 following a game with McKinley. This week is the final week of the suspensions for the Lions, who are required to sit five players.

The Lions, who narrowly missed a berth in the Class 2A state championship game a year ago, have lost three straight games following a 49-19 win over Pointe Coupee Central on Sept. 24.

Last week the Lions piled up 475 yards of offense and were led by Brenton Terrance 226 yards of rushing. However, the Lions had three turnovers and 144 yards in penalties.

"They are huge up front, 320, 290," Thibodeaux said. "I don't know who will be playing (because of the suspensions), but I'm sure they are going to big and fast."

Capitol-which features several 300-pound offensive linemen, including LSU commit Corey White-can also throw the ball with talented quarterback Trevan Jones. Jones has passed for 1,516 yards and 17 touchdowns.

"They like to spread you out," Thibodeaux said. "But it's really so they can run the ball. So we need to watch for traps and counters."

Dunham played Capitol close last year, narrowly losing, 22-16. It was widely believed that last year's Capitol team was one of the best the school has ever fielded.


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