MONMOUTH – Dixon had not tasted victory on the football field since 2011. Until Friday.
The Dukes dominated Monmouth-Roseville, cruising to a 36-14 win at Sunny Lane Field.
“This is Dixon football. There’s great things to come for us,” said junior receiver/defensive back Matt Coffey, who had 103 yards receiving.
“Good things are on the horizon,” Dixon coach Dave Smith said. “I knew we were going to play better. I’m so proud of them.”
Junior quarterback JD Gieson was sensational for Dixon, passing for 215 yards and rushing for 198. That’s 413 total yards.
“This brings back so many memories from middle school,” Gieson said. “I finally got my team back.”
“I can’t say enough about JD,” Smith said. “He loves Dixon. I don’t know if I’ve seen him not wear purple.”
The Dukes’ defense was just as good, limiting all-state running back Martel Hunter to 22 yards on 10 carries.
“We knew that he was the key to their offense,” said Gieson, who is also a defensive back. “We knew we had to shut him down.”
“That’s insane. It just shows how much we’ve come along,” Coffey said. “We’re a very good football team. This is a new beginning for Dixon football.”
After a scoreless first quarter, Dixon struck first, concluding a 64-yard march with a 9-yard TD pass from Gieson to Ryan Webb, who was flipped head over heels.
The Dukes made it 14-0 with 5:55 left in the second quarter, marching 54 yards. Gieson capped the drive with a 13-yard TD run.
Dixon gave itself some breathing room with a 52-yard TD drive to start the second half and go up 20-0. Gieson had a 30-yard pass play to sophomore Kyle LeBlanc that set up Gieson’s 3-yard TD run.
The Dukes’ advantage ballooned to 28-0 with 2:21 left in the third quarter, when Gieson capped a 57-yard drive with a 14-yard TD run. He then connected with Coffey for the two-point conversion.
The Titans, a Class 3A second-round playoff team a year ago, made things interesting with two touchdowns to make it 28-14 with 9:07 to play.
Dixon scored the last eight points on a strange safety play and a 39-yard TD run by Gieson.
On the safety, Gieson busted a 59-yard run but was stripped of the ball at the 1. A Titan defender scooped up the ball and was tackled near the goal line. The officials ruled it was a safety.
On the first play after the Titans’ ensuing onside kick, Gieson bolted for his 39-yard TD.