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High school football

Longhorns can't find their stride at Dawson

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Eyes down field

George Ranch senior quarterback Cole Murphy finished the game 21 for 36 with 214 yards and an interception against Dawson. 

PEARLAND - Pearland Dawson took away the Longhorns running game and George Ranch gave away too many opportunities. George Ranch lost 26-13 to Pearland Dawson Saturday at the Rig.

Mistakes plagued the Longhorns in the first half. Despite holding Dawson to just 44 yards of offense, George Ranch found itself trailing 13-7. In the first quarter, George Ranch had a blocked 34-yard field goal attempt and then fumbled a punt, setting up Dawson at the George Ranch 33.

Six plays later, the Eagles scored the first points of the game, as Johnson found Ryan Guillo for an 11-yard touchdown.

The Longhorns responded with a long drive, converting two fourth downs, including a 4th and goal from the 1 that saw Cole Murphy sneak in for a touchdown. That tied the score at 7 with 6:35 to play in the second quarter.

But, George Ranch’s next drive ended with Murphy getting strip-sacked by Dawson’s Edward Smith. Dawson linebacker William Menjivar picked it up and rumbled 31 yards for the score, making it 13-7 Eagles.

The Longhorns tried to answer on the final drive of the half, moving down the field thanks to a couple of long passes from Murphy to Joseph Wilson.

But, with under 45 seconds to play at the Dawson 11, George Ranch ran the ball twice for six yards despite not having any timeouts left. Time expired after the second run, stranding them at the 5-yard line with nothing to show for it.

In the second half, it was penalties and turnovers that stymied the Longhorns. George Ranch turned it over twice in the second half and was penalized six times for 49 yards.

Dawson opened the scoring in the second half after a nine-play, 69-yard drive capped by an 11-yard touchdown from quarterback Colin Johnson to receiver Ashton Stroman with 2:51 left in the third quarter.

George Ranch closed to within a score in the fourth quarter with a six-play, 77-yard drive. Murphy went 4-for-4 passing for 71 yards before Hymond Drinkard scampered into the end zone with an 8-yard touchdown run.

The PAT was blocked, however, making it 20-13 with 4:02 left to play.

The Longhorn defense also gave up four plays of 17 yards or more in the second half, as sophomore running back Bryce Burgess had 166 of his 188 rushing yards after halftime. Burgess broke off runs of 47 and 33 yards, the second of which went for a touchdown that put Dawson up 26-13.

The final turnover came on George Ranch’s last drive, as Murphy tried to pass his team into a comeback but was picked off by Dawson’s Gabriel McFarland with 6 seconds left.

Murphy finished the game 21 for 36 with 214 yards and an interception. Longhorn receiver Joseph Wilson caught nine passes for 122 yards while teammate Drinkard had 34 carries for 106 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Jeffrey Ugochukwu had an interception while Lee Jones had a sack and a fumble recovery and Judson Mixon had a sack.

George Ranch (2-1) has a bye next week before opening district play Sept. 24 hosting Elkins.

Follow Fort Bend Herald sports editor Ryan Dunsmore on Twitter at @duns_more for game updates. Follow the Herald sports department on Twitter at @fbheraldsports, Facebook and Instagram at Fort Bend Herald Sports. 

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