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Dutchtown upsets North Clayton 15-14

By Bob Jones

Special to the Daily

The formula for a Dutchtown victory Friday night against state-tournament-bound North Clayton keyed on trying to contain super running back Clarence Jackson and hope the Eagles might be guilty of looking ahead to the 2009 Class AAAA playoffs.

Add in catching a break or two.

It all came together for the host Bulldogs on Senior Night, as Dutchtown pulled off the upset with a 15-14 victory.

Dutchtown finished off the best season in the six-year history of the school with a 7-3 record (5-3 in 4-AAAA). The loss dropped North Clayton to 8-2, 6-2. The Eagles are heading to the state playoffs as the region's second seed and will host a first-round playoff game next week.

In the first quarter, North Clayton committed three consecutive penalties after running just one play, and a 20-yard punt set up the Bulldogs on the Eagles 41. Bulldog senior quarterback Trey Nelson connected with Jamaal Watkins, who was running a post pattern, for the touchdown. A muffed point-after attempt cost the Bulldogs a point.

The Eagles came right back, aided by a Bulldog personal foul penalty and a Clarence Jackson 45-yard run. Jackson popped outside for a one-yard run to tie the game. Sandali Traore booted the extra point for a 7-6 North Clayton lead with 3:32 left in the first.

Penalties continued to plague the Eagles later in the quarter, but the Eagle defense stiffened and blocked a Ryan Kay field goal attempt.

Jackson raced 54 yards on the Eagles' next possession, moving right and left, giving the Eagles a 14-6 lead.

The Bulldogs then turned up the intensity and began to control Jackson.

After exchanging turnovers, Dutchtown would march to the Eagles 10, and Kay booted a 27-yard field goal as the horn sounded to end the first half.

Behind fullback Tracy Lynch and tailback Mycheal Brown, the Bulldog ground game took over late in the game.

Brown scored from the 4-yard line with 11 minutes remaining, as the hosts took a 15-14 lead. North Clayton stopped Brown on a two-point conversion run, and the Bulldog lead was the narrowest of margins.

After an exchange of possessions, the Bulldog defense stopped North Clayton and Jackson with 94 seconds to play. A few take-a-knee plays and Dutchtown had defeated the playoff-bound North Clayton Eagles.

Jackson ran 25 times for 180 yards and caught three passes for 24 yards. The Eagles, however,racked up 125 yards in penalties with 14 hankies against them. Alex Johnson led the Eagle defense with 11 tackles, followed by Amarlo Hererra's six.

Brown led Dutchtown with 97 yards on 14 carries. Watkins caught six passes for 91 yards. Ryan Sponable (8 tackles) and Aaron Johnson (7) led the tenacious Bulldog defense.