Wolves advance to playoffs for 4th year in a row
By Rodney White
A little over three months ago, the Wolves sat down and made some goals. They wanted to go to the playoffs for four years in a row, which had never been done by a Dalhart team. They all got purple wrist bands with the date November 7, 2009 on the band. This was the date that they would see their goals come true. The Wolves overcame injuries and all kinds of obstacles, but the result was that on Friday night, November 7th, the Golden Wolves defeated Perryton for the third year in a row to become the first team in Dalhart history to advance to the playoffs for the fourth year in a row. On a night when both teams had to win to make the playoffs, nothing came easy, but everyone stepped up their level of play for this game, and the Wolves kicked a 37-yard field goal with 1:37 left in the game to seal the victory 19-13 over a very good Perryton team.
This was a night where almost everyone had their best night of the season. Thomas Allen punted great and made a great adjustment on a high snap. Noah Jesko who passed for 166 yards threw the ball better than he had all season. Devonte Burks had his best game of the year. Kaleb Grant made great plays all over the field. Harper Scofield made big plays on offense and defense. Rey Lujan, JD Abla and Greg Carter all played like all-district players. The list goes on and on, even to the coaches who had a great game plan and kept the kids motivated and helped to accomplish the goal of victory.
Dalhart won the toss and elected to go on defense to start the game. Perryton started their drive at the 35. The Wolves seemed a little tight to start the game and a 15 yard penalty moved the ball to the 12 yard line where the Rangers carried the ball in. The extra point was no good, and Perryton took the early lead 6-0.
The Wolves got the ensuing kickoff at the 38 yard line. The Wolves were moving the ball. Jesko threw a 30 yard pass to Rey Lujan at the 23. On third and 10, he completed a 10 yard strike to Harper Scofield at the 13 for another first down. The Wolves then stalled and Zinsan Puttick came on to kick a 25 yard field goal with 5:18 left in the quarter to make the score 3-6.
The Wolves kicked off to Perryton, and Kaleb Grant tackled Shane Hodge at the Dalhart 41, a penalty moved the ball back to the 46, and a 10 yard penalty moved the ball back to the Perryton 44. On the next carry, Greg Carter stripped the ball out of the runners hands, and Devonte Burks scooped up the ball and raced, untouched, 49 yards to make the score 10-6 with 4:32 left in the quarter. The Wolves were moving the ball with a 10 yard pass to Kaleb Grant and a great carry by Thomas Allen from the wildcat to the 12, but the Wolves were sacked at the 35 to end the first quarter. The Wolves were forced to punt, and Perryton took over at their 35. The Rangers drove the length of the field and scored to take the lead 13-10 with 8:32 left in the half on a 42 yard quarterback keeper.
Jose Villalobos had a great kickoff return to the 38 An off-sides call against Perryton moved the ball to the 43 where the Wolves started their next drive. Devonte Burks got the call on a counter play up the middle and raced 32 yards for another touchdown. The extra point was no good, but the Wolves led 16-13. Both teams exchanged punts and a great defensive tackle by Rey Lujan ended the half with the Wolves leading 16-13.
The second half of this game was a defensive struggle with both teams trying to make something happen. The Wolves made great defensive plays. On third and 32, John Peoples and Harper Scofield tackled the Rangers after a three yard gain, but the Rangers punted to the two yard line. Noah Jesko threw a perfect pass to Kaleb Grant, who made an unbelievable catch, to move the ball to the 29 yard line. Jesko threw for 10 yards to Burkes, but the drive stalled. On Perryton’s next possession, Kaleb Grant made a leaping catch and intercepted the pass at the 42 yard line. A nine yard catch by Harper Scofield moved the ball to the Perryton 49, but again the Wolves were forced to punt. The Wolves held Perryton, and the Rangers punted to the Dalhart 33. The Rangers held the Wolves, and they were forced to punt again. With time running out, the Wolves had a high snap. Thomas Allen managed to jump up and grab the ball and punt it away to Shane Hodge. Greg Carter was racing down field and hit Shane so hard he knocked the ball loose. John Belgira recovered the fumble at the Perryton 14 yard line. The Perryton defense played great, and the Wolves were forced to kick a 37 yard field goal with 1:15 left in the game. Zinsan Puttick’s field goal was perfect, and the Wolves led 19-13. Zinsan then kicked off into the end zone for a touch back at the 20. Harper had a sack at the five yard line, and the Wolves almost got a safety on fourth down. The Wolves took over with 45 seconds left in the game and ran out the clock for a great victory. The Wolves will now enter the playoffs as the second place team in the small school division. The Wolves are now 6-4 for the season, 3-2 in district play. Borger and Estacado, the two teams that defeated Dalhart, are tied for first place.
The Dalhart Wolves will advance to the bi-district play off game when they face Brownwood. Brownwood has been ranked in the top 10 most of the year, they are currently 8-2. The game will be played at Jones AT&T Stadium on the Texas Tech Campus, Friday night at 8:00 p.m. This will be the second game of a double header. Borger will play the first game at 4:30 p.m. on Friday against Graham.
Statistics: Perryton – First Downs 11, Rushing Yards 122, Passing Yards 94; Total Yards 216, Comp-Att-Int 12-18-1; Fumbles-lost 3-2, Penalties–Yards 10-95; Dalhart – First Downs 12, Rushing Yards 64, Passing Yards 166, Total Yards 230, Comp-Att-Int 8-17-0, Fumbles-lost 0-0, Penalties-Yards 8-74. The Wolves punted seven times for 35 yards average.
Individual Statistics: Rushing - Devonte Burks 65 yards, Nick Young 12 yards, Jose Villalobos 13 yards, Thomas Allen 10 yards. Receiving - Devonte Burks 64 yards, Rey Lujan 42 yards, Harper Scofield 29 yards, Kaleb Grant 35 yards.