By Barrett Steed                                                                                                                                                                    Messenger Sports

CROCKETT—The Crockett Bulldogs hosted the Diboll Lumberjacks in the second game of the season on Friday, September 2.

After last weeks big win over the Trinity Tigers, the Crockett Bulldogs squared off against the always-tough Diboll Lumberjacks.The Bulldogs began the game on defense, putting up a strong stance against the Lumberjacks, but Diboll would find their way into the end zone for the first square of the night. Two second quarter rushing touchdowns would put Crockett up 14-7 heading into halftime. In the third quarter, both squads would tack on another score. But great defense and continued hard running from the senior Xavion Dixon would give the Bulldogs a win over the Lumberjacks 27-14.

Diboll came out swinging in the first quarter. Great defensive plays from Derrick Sherman and Ahmad Brown early in the first series slowed down the Lumberjacks, but a few broken runs would keep the Crockett defenders on their toes. After a first down from Diboll, the tough Bulldogs’ defense quickly turned three downs thanks to hard hits from Shannon Harris and Javon Colter, forcing the Lumberjacks to punt.

A productive return from Lucky Daniels gave the Bulldogs perfect field position at the Lumberjacks thirty-two yard line. Xavion Dixon began his ground assault early in the game, grinding the Diboll defense and a quick pass to Sherman from quarterback B.J. Anderson would seem to get the Crockett offense off to an early start, but a costly penalty would bring back the chains, forcing a third and long. Despite a great play by Sherman looking to make up the difference, staring at forth and long, pressure from the Lumberjacks forced a Bulldog turnover after an incomplete pass.

The next offensive series for Diboll would tack on the first points of the game. Though the Crockett defense led by Reginald Lockhart and Latavion Jones would continue to be devastating to the Lumberjacks run-game, a flag would give Diboll a fresh set of downs in the Bulldogs’ territory and set them up for a quick running score, leading Crockett 7-0 early in the quarter.

Down for the first time this season, Crockett would come back hard. A great kick-off return from Jones thanks to a lights-out block by Dixon would put the Bulldogs at Diboll’s thirty-eight yard line. A sweep from Sherman set Crockett up inside the Lumberjack’s red zone.

At the start of the second quarter, Dixon would get the call and repeatedly punch Diboll’s defensive line. Lucky Daniels would take his turn rushing the ball and was able to break through for the first Crockett score of the night. The excellent Bulldog line made up of Tim Riley, Houston Arledge, Harvey Stewart, Javon Colter, and Draylin Bryant provided perfect blocking, helping to tack on the first points of the night for the Bulldogs. With 11:57 remaining in the second quarter, Crockett would tie the Diboll Lumberjacks 7-7.

The Bulldogs’ defense would not be outdone in the next series, stymying the Lumberjacks midfield after successive great stops from the hard-hitting boys in blue. A Javon Colter stuff on a fourth and ten would give Crockett the ball back with great field position.

Quarterback B.J. Anderson would waste no time, getting the ball to Sherman for an eighteen yard pick up, but a series of setbacks forced another third and long situation. A flag would back the Bulldogs up for a third and twenty, seemingly giving the momentum back to the Lumberjacks. But a huge play to Lucky Daniels would pick up forty yards, giving Crockett a fresh set of downs and have his squad knocking at Diboll’s red zone. It would be Dixon who would get the ball at the goal line and, along with his offensive line, punch the ball into the end zone, taking the lead at the half. With two quarters down, the Crockett Bulldogs would lead the Diboll Lumberjacks 14-7

The second half began with a great field position for the Bulldogs at their own forty yard-line thanks to Derrick Sherman. Heavy pass coverage by the Lumberjacks would force an incompletion to start the series, but a great runs by the Crockett running-backs would soon put the boys in blue in Diboll’s territory. Tough defense from the Lumberjacks would force a third and long situation and despite a great run from Dixon, the Bulldogs stared at a fourth and four yard situation. Anderson would find Daniels to keep the Crockett offense alive with a first down. The Bulldogs continued to roll along, grinding away to the Lumberjacks’ red zone. Dixon’s number would be called again and prove to be unstoppable, fighting his way to the goal line. And with less than five minutes remaining, Dixon, aided by the fierce Crockett offensive line, would punch it in for another Bulldog score. The extra point attempt from Ramirez would be good, putting Crockett up over Diboll 21-7.

The Lumberjacks would come out fighting in their first offensive series, putting the Bulldogs’ defense on their heels. Great stops by Tren’shun Dixon and Ahmad Brown would slow Diboll down, but the Lumberjacks would break a big run, deep into Crockett’s territory. The defensive line would make a hard stand on the one yard-line, but Diboll would waste no time, making it a one score game. With less than two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the Bulldogs would continue to lead the Lumberjacks 21-14.

After two successive kick offs out of bounds from Diboll, Crockett would field the ball at the twenty-four. A great return by Trevion Winters to the Bulldogs’ forty-seven would give his squad great field position. Another hard run by the senior Xavion Dixon aided by his phenomenal offensive line put Crockett into Diboll’s territory to begin the fourth quarter.

The Bulldogs began the final quarter with a staggered snap count, drawing the Lumberjacks offsides for a quick first down. Dixon and the offensive line would continue to grind, but an unfortunate penalty would force a third and long for Crockett. Anderson would face some big pressure from the defenders and the Bulldogs would need to punt the next play. A perfect punt from Anderson pinned the Lumberjacks deep in their own territory to end the series.

Diboll’s first offensive play would be disassembled by Lockhart. The second punch would come from Sherman, who would force the Lumberjacks in a third and long situation, at their own twenty yard-line. The defense continued to step up, halting Diboll quickly, forcing a punt.

The Bulldogs’ would begin their second series of the quarter mid-field. Dixon’s number would be called again and the earth moving offensive line continued to be the difference maker. A second and two quarterback-keeper from Anderson gave Crockett a fresh set of downs. The relentless Dixon continued to move the ball, forcing the Lumberjacks to give up ground in successive downs. Diboll dug in their heels, and the Bulldogs would face a fourth and two. But another hand-off to Dixon would prove to be a perfect recipe as the senior broke through the Lumberjacks for a thirty-three yard run, scoring Crockett’s fourth touchdown of the night. Mid-way through the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs would lead Diboll 27-14.

Down two scores, Diboll would pull off a great passing play, catching the Bulldogs off guard, but an unfortunate penalty for the Lumberjacks would bring the ball all the way back. Crockett would watch for the pass, giving up a little ground. But a huge hit from Dekeidrian Rollins behind the Lumberjacks’ line of scrimmage shut down the Diboll offense. The following play the Lumberjacks would fumble the football midfield, turning over the ball to the waiting hands of the Crockett defense.

With less than three minutes remaining, the Bulldogs would take the ball over at the fifty-yard line. But a fumbled snap gave Crockett their second turnover of the night. As the Diboll offense would get another chance on offense.

The Lumberjacks would have all three of their time-outs remaining. They continued their aerial assault, gaining ground in a hurry. Two successive successful passing plays would put Diboll at the Bulldogs’ seven yard line. A big stop from Dae’Javon Bibbs kept the Lumberjacks out of the end zone. Tyler Elmore would put up a monster stop with a big sack. With just under two minutes, Diboll set up for third and eleven. The Lumberjacks elected to go back to their passing game, but a heads-up play from Alton Owens picking off the pass in the end zone and stepping out of bounds would keep Diboll off the scoreboard.

Kneeling the ball in the final minute, the Crockett Bulldogs would wrap things up, winning their second game of the season, defeated the Diboll Lumberjacks 27-14.

After a big win on Friday, the 2-0 Crockett Bulldogs will face off against the ever-tough Rusk Eagles at home in Crockett on Friday, September 9.

For continued coverage of Crockett Bulldogs football and other area teams, check out Messenger-News Online or follow Messenger-Sports on Facebook or on Twitter @Messenger_News1 or on Instagram @Messenger_News.