The Dixie Colonels rushed for five touchdowns in their 47-20 pounding of the Holmes Bulldogs on Senior Night at Dixie Heights High School on Friday night.
Dixie's defense was the real reason for the offensive success. They forced the Bulldogs to turn the ball over three times in the fourth quarter, which provided the offense the opportunity to blow the game wide open. The Colonels scored touchdowns on two out of the three takeaways by the defense. Holmes came into the contest with a 6-0 record.
"We had some big goal line stops down there inside the 10-yard line, we needed to hold them from the score and get the ball back," Dixie quarterback Zeke Pike said of the defense. "We did just that and we did it when we needed to do it."
Dixie grabbed an early lead in the first quarter when Pike threw a 12-yard touchdown pass just over three minutes into the game. Holmes blocked the extra point attempt to hold the Colonels to a 6-0 advantage. Running back Seth Bruns scored the second touchdown of the quarter on a rushing play to the outside to increase the lead to 13-0.
Running back Tyrique Simpson broke through the Dixie defense for a rushing TD early in the second quarter to help Holmes cut into the deficit. On the following drive for Dixie, the Bulldogs intercepted Pike and returned it to the Colonels four yard line to put the offense in position to score. Quarterback Jesse Jenson capitalized by completing a four yard pass to Carlos Gipson. The Bulldogs missed the extra point, but the score was tied at 13-13.
The Colonels wasted no time in regaining the advantage. Before the half ended, Pike completed a 53-yard TD pass to receiver Bobby Leonard for the go-ahead score, and later ran for a 14-yard rushing TD to give Dixie a 26-13 lead going into the break.
Late in the third quarter, Pike completed a pass up the middle and his receiver fumbled the ball. Holmes scooped it up at the Colonels 35-yard line, and eventually turned the Dixie turnover into a Jenson rushing TD to cut the lead back to six points. It was the last time the Bulldogs reached the end zone.
In the final quarter Dixie scored three touchdowns within a five minute span. All three of the Bulldog's possessions ended in turnovers down the stretch.
"The offensive line played great tonight, you know, when you're able to score five touchdowns on the ground you got to give the credit to the offensive line," Pike said. "They gave me time passing the ball and I felt a little better about my completions tonight and I made some better decisions. The offensive line played real great tonight."
Pike threw for two touchdown passes and rushed for one touchdown against the Bulldogs. Leonard was on the receiving end of both TD tosses, and he also had an interception. Colin Justice and Bruns had two rushing touchdowns a piece.
The Bulldogs were led by Jenson, who threw one TD pass and rushed for one touchdown against a tough Colonel's defense. Simpson and Gipson were the only other players to see the end zone for Holmes.
The Dixie Colonels (4-4) will enjoy a bye week on Oct. 15. They will play at Covington Catholic on Oct. 23 at 1 p.m. Holmes (6-1) will host the Scott Eagles at 7 p.m. on Oct. 15.
Written by: Mike Collins, TriStateFootball.com