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Dunham still controls own destiny

PelicanPreps.com: Dunham still controls own destiny
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Dunham still controls own destiny

By Tensey Pricer
PelicanPreps.com Publisher

The Dunham School's hopes for the making the 2010 playoffs have come down to one game, it's last regular season game against a talented Donaldsonville team on Friday. If the Tigers win at home, they are likely in the final field of 32. If they lose the season is likely over.

"The best news is here we are the last game of the season and you have an opportunity to make the playoffs," Dunham head coach Joey Thibodeaux said. "You really can't ask for more than that. You win, you're in."


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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)
Nyle Johnson
Harrison Domingue
Dylan Yesso
Andrew Langston
Ben Stott
Drew Schoen

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Heading into last week Dunham's players knew they had to win one of their final two games to have a shot at the postseason. However, University jumped on the Tigers early and rolled to a 42-20 win.

Now the Tigers take on one of the state's top 2A teams in Donaldsonville.

Donaldsonville (7-2) won its first five games of the season, including shutout wins over Ascension Catholic, West St. John, and Point Coupee Central. Donaldsonville lost a close one to East Feliciana, 25-22, on Oct. 8 and last week Episcopal topped Donaldsonville, 35-16.

"If we want to have a chance we have to execute and hold on to the ball," Thibodeaux said. "We need to run off some clock and finish drives."

Donaldsonville is not a big team overall this year, but they are fast, and led by a talented quarterback on Devon Breaux.

"They have a world class sprint relay team over there," Thibodeaux said. "It's not just their skilled guys, but their linemen are fast too.

"The quarterback is what makes them go, so if we can contain him-and that is a very big if-that's what is going to give us a chance."

Other 7-2A teams have lined up and have run right at Donaldsonville, with EFHS and Episcopal being the most effective. Considering running the ball is the strength of Dunham's offense, look for Thibodeaux & Co. to do the same.

Looking for the positives

Dunham slipped to 4-5 overall and 1-4 in District 7-2A when University jumped out to a 28-0 lead and cruised to the 42-20 victory. It was the first time all season that Dunham had been taken completely out of a game so convincingly and so quickly.

A bright spot, however, was the play of wing back Dylan Yesso, who scored three touchdowns-two rushing and one receiving. Yesso caught a 45-yard touchdown pass from Ben Ortego that finally put the Tigers on the board 28-7 as time expired in the second quarter.

Yesso later added a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter and a 6-yard TD in the closing minite of the game. He finished with 69 yards rushing on 10 carries and caught 2 passes for 46 yards.

"Dylan Yesso continues to have an outstanding senior season," Thibodeaux said. "Jordan Lange also had a typical, consistent game. We played well on offense, and rushed for more than 200 yards (217). Unfortunately, that wasn't enough."

Lange finished with 79 yards rushing on 9 carries, Nyle Johnson tacked on 86 yards on 14 carries. Harrison Domginue added 5 yards on 4 carries. Johnson also caught 7 passes for 17 yards.

Ortego completed 3 of 5 passes for 65 yards, one touchdown and interception. Grant Messer completed 8 of 16 passes for 19 yards.


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By the Numbers

Lange leads the team in rushing with 644 yards on 116 carries and 10 touchdowns, followed by Johnson (71 carries, 575 yards), Yesso (77-403), and Harrison Domingue (60-366). Yesso has six rushing touchdowns, Harrison five, and Johnson two.

Johnson leads the receivers with 444 yards on 34 catches and 5 TDs while Daniel Megison has 11 catches for 186 yards. Messer has completed 59 of 111 passes for 756 yards and 6 touchdowns against 5 interceptions.

Lange is also the team's leading tackler with 43 solos and 13 assists. He also has three tackles for loss, two interceptions and two batted balls. Megison has 32 solos and 9 assists, a caused fumble, two recovered fumbles and an interception. Defensive tackle Luke Simpson has 29 solos, 14 assists, has caused four fumbles, recovered one fumble recovery.

Other leading defenders include linebacker Grayson Domingue, defensive back Ryan Mockler, Ortego, and Andrew Langston.

Ranking the Tigers

Dunham fell out of the list of the top 32 teams in the PelicanPreps.com unofficial Class 2A power ratings through Week 9. The top 32 teams will make up the playoff field at the completion of the regular season.

Episcopal (9-0) remains at No. 4 and is tops among 7-2A teams, followed by East Feliciana (8-0) at No. 5. Those two teams square off against each other this week. At No. 13 is University (6-3), at No. 15 is Donaldsonville (7-2), and at No. 16 is Capitol (4-5).

If the playoffs started today, Dunham would not qualify.


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Point of Attack

The offensive line will be pivotal this week as the Tigers look to run the ball extensively in hopes of controlling the clock. Once again, at center is Dillon McClain and Brandon Stogner. The guards include Drew Schoen, Foster Degeneres, and Beau Price while the tackles have been Ben Stott and Nick Ellison.

"We will need to put together seven-, eight-minute drives," Thibodeaux said. "We'll have to do a good job of play action. We are going to rotate in eight or nine linemen. What we really need is to be aggressive at the point of attack."

Slowing down the opponent

Injuries and sickness have taken a toll on the Dunham defense in the last few weeks. And that, combined with the competitiveness of District 7-2A, have led to a spike in the points scored by the opponents.

In the last three games, all losses, the opponents have scored an average of 34 points. In the first six games Dunham allowed 17 points per game.

Look for the Tigers emphasize a return to fundamentals on defense against Donaldsonville, which boasts an offense that is both disciplined and fast.


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