Denison rolls past Lebanon Trail
FRISCO — The plan Lebanon Trail felt would work best was to bottle up the middle of the field in order to keep the Yellow Jackets off-balance.
By closing down the holes for Jadarian Price and Asa Osbourn, the Trail Blazers thought they could limit Denison’s ability to produce lengthy drives.
But the Jackets weren’t interested in consuming clock, using a host of big plays on the outside to pull away for a 52-22 victory over Frisco Lebanon Trail in District 7-5A (II) action at Memorial Stadium.
“They were going to try and stop our running backs inside,” Denison head coach Chad Rogers said. “We were able to take advantage on the edge.”
The Jackets had four touchdowns come from their territory and another two were untouched runs from just outside the Lebanon Trail 30 on the way to their thir50-point game of the season and 584 yards. Denison has scored at least 41 points in all five victories.
Osbourn had 16 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns, Price added 16 carries for 110 yards and TDs as well as a 55-yard touchdown catch and Caleb Heavner was 8-of-13 passing for 173 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 58 yards and a score on six carries for Denison (5-3, 4-2), which gained sole possession of fourth place.
Drew Martin ran 14 times for 119 yards and a touchdown and also added a TD pass for Lebanon Trail (5-3, 3-3), which now needs help to make the playoffs since it doesn’t have an advantage over the Jackets or third-place Liberty if the Trail Blazers are tied with either in the final standings.
Denison scored on its first three possessions of the second half to break the game open. It took just two snaps for the first touchdown as Price raced 65 yards after he made a move to the right sideline.
“I thought us coming out of the half like that was big,” Rogers said. “Gave us a little room. And the defense just continues to be outstanding.”
Heavner ended the next possession with a 51-yard bomb down the middle of the field to Keebler Wagoner for a 38-15 margin in the middle of the third.
“I thought it was Caleb’s most complete game of the season,” Rogers said. “Very calm back there. Found the open guy at the right time.”
Lebanon Trail decided to go for it on fourth-and-two at its 33 but Martin’s keeper was stuffed for a one-yard loss. Osbourn raced untouched for the TD on the first play from scrimmage and the lead swelled to 30.
Wagoner came up with an interception deep over the middle after the Trail Blazers had a drive start at the Denison 28 following a strong punt return from just past midfield.
Price, who surpassed 3,000 career rushing yards, capped off the ensuing series with a five-yard TD that stretched the lead to 52-15 with 8:45 remaining.
Lebanon Trail’s only points of the second half were Conner Belew’s 36-yard touchdown grab from Andrew Powers with 4:06 left. The Trail Blazers had just 28 yards on their first five possessions after the break and the latter four picked up a total of eight yards.
Denison carried a 24-15 lead into half-time when it scored the final points of the second quarter on Price’s 55-yard catch-and-run TD with 7:13 left before the break.
“J.D’s just a different cat in the open field,” Rogers said. “He makes things happen.”
The Jackets were backed up after a penalty but Heavner was able to spin out of a sack and rolled right where he found Price at the sideline. He got a block from Jeffery Morrow just past midfield as he cut all the way back across the field.
The teams then traded a pair of punts to close out the second quarter.
Lebanon Trail had pulled within two on a screen pass to the left side from Drew Martin to Parker Mawhee that covered 26 yards with 8:49 to go in the second quarter.
After dealing with slow starts for the past month, scoring no points in the first quarter in its last three games, Denison picked up points on three of its four drives in the opening 12 minutes.
Heavner finished off the Jackets’ first possession with a 38-yard TD keeper to the right side that fooled everybody thinking Price had the ball headed left.
Osbourn lost a fumble on the next Denison possession but he made up for the turnover as soon as the Jackets got the ball back. He raced around the right end and blew down the sideline for a 53-yard touchdown and the 14-0 advantage.
The drive was set up when Lebanon Trail failed on a fake punt at the Denison 47 when facing fourth-and-five.
Through three possessions, Lebanon Trail had a total of negative-six yards. But the Trail Blazers put something together on the fourth series as Martin broke loose for a 54-yard TD run with 4:43 left in the first.
Belew caught the conversion pass from Greg Hatley to make it 14-8.
The Jackets answered with a drive inside the 10-yard line. Trey Rhodes came up with a 33-yard catch on third down but the possession bogged down once Denison had first-and-goal at the nine.
Reece Stange kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 17-8 advantage with 1:30 left in the quarter. It was the 17th field goal of his career, moving him two away from tying Erick Harper’s school record set from 1983-85. He also surpassed Dalton Hestand’s program mark of 164 points for specialists that was set from 2009-11. Stange has 167 points and counting.
District 7-5A (II)
Frisco Lebanon Trail 22