The Port Arthur News
If Nederland faced the old and the new in its first two rounds of the playoffs, this week the Bulldogs will face L'enfant terrible. Pearland Dawson is in its infancy as a football program, having just started play in 2008, but the Eagles have been embarrassing much more storied programs pretty much since their beginning.
Dawson began play under head coach Eric Wells in 2008, without a senior class. The Eagles went 4-4 that season, but that’s been the only time in school history they’ve won less than eight games in a season. Under Wells, the Eagles have gone 44-11 in the past four seasons, winning 12 games in three of the past four years.
The 2008 season was also the only time in school history that Dawson has failed to reach the third round of the playoffs. In 2009, the Eagles reached the state semifinals before falling to Lake Travis 57-12 at Texas A&M’s Kyle Field. Dawson went 12-3 that season, with its only other losses coming to Angleton and Friendswood.
In 2010, the Eagles had a bit of a dropoff, going 0-2 to open the season with losses to Clear Springs and Oak Ridge, and finishing 8-5. Dawson lost to Friendswood and Manvel in district play, but beat Angleton and Houston Worthing in the first and second rounds of the playoffs to advance to the third round. There, they lost 24-20 to Montgomery.
The 2011 season was the first time Dawson played Nederland, in the third round of the playoffs. Dawson went 8-2 in the regular season, losing to La Marque and Manvel to end the season before beating Lamar Consolidated and Houston Reagan in the first two rounds of the playoffs.
In the third round, Dawson beat Nederland 33-25 at Galena Park ISD Stadium. Nederland actually outgained Dawson 378 yards to 370 and had 22 first downs to Dawson’s 14 But, the 19 points Dawson scored in the third quarter put the game away.
Dawson went on to beat Angleton in the regional finals before falling to Lake Travis again, a 45-14 loss at the Alamodome in San Antonio. Last year’s Dawson team graduated 43 seniors, including quarterback Gary Kimble, who accounted for two of Dawson’s four offensive touchdowns against Nederland.
This season, Dawson has gone 12-0, beating teams by an average margin of victory of 26.2 points per game. Dawson topped 40 points in four of its last five games, only falling short in a 28-14 victory over Richmond Foster in the bidistrict round of the playoffs.
The Eagles also beat five future playoff teams in the regular season, including Montgomery, Houston Westbury (who lost 77-7 to Katy in bidistrict play), Friendswood, Texas City and Goose Creek Memorial. Dawson beat those teams by a combined 202 to 110.
Goose Creek Memorial is the only shared opponent Nederland and Dawson have played this season. Dawson held GCM to 246 total yards of offense in a ??-14 victory while gaining 507 yards, 423 of them on the ground. Texas A&M commit James White rushed for 255 yards on 27 carries.
Nederland beat the Patriots 45-20, allowing 311 yards of offense to GCM and 273 rushing yards. Nederland also forced four turnovers, intercepting two passes and recovering two fumbles. Kendrick Hopkins rushed for 119 yards in the game, while QB Carson Raines was 9 for 11 for 111 yards.