On Friday night, Nov. 15, the Dumas Demons made history once gain by making it to the bi-district round of the playoffs and defeating a tough Wichita Falls Hirschi team. After the win, the Demons are advancing to the area round of the playoffs to face Seminole. That game is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 21, in Plainview at 7 p.m.
The team has not lost a game since Nov. 16, 2018. Since the beginning of last season, their first year in 4A division football, they are 19-3 to this point, going unbeaten in the 2019 regular season.
Head coach Aaron Dunnam has said this is a different team and it is a new year.
"New season, new team, new goals." Dunnam said told his players at the pep rally held Thursday, Nov. 14, at Demon Stadium. "We're not going to focus on the outcome, we're going to focus on the process." he said.
Heading into the game last Friday, Dunnam knew Hirschi was a good football team.
"Their record says nothing about their ability as a team," he said. "They've lost some really close ones and they come from a really tough district."
He said it would be a challenge, but keeping the focus on the process they have worked on all season that got them to this point is what matters right now.
"Our focus can't be on the results … there's a lot of people talking right now that we got to win a first round playoff," Dunnam said Thursday. "So we all understand that, everybody understands that. But that can't be our focus. … The focus is just the process that we started a long time ago, and executing each play. And just like I said, each play takes on its life and its own history. And I think whether we're successful, or there's failures in that play, we got to flush it and you got to move on. And if we'll move on and attack each play in this football game like that, we'll be successful," he said.
It was a big game Friday. Everyone knew that. The Demons held the Huskies just 17 points, shutting them out in the fourth quarter. Dumas was shut out in the first quarter and then scored in the last three to pull ahead and secure the win.
The Demons focused on what needed to be done.
The Huskies scored with 8:52 on the clock in the first quarter to go up 7-0.
The Demons answered in the second quarter by scoring on a one-yard touchdown run by quarterback Spencer Williams. Ah Lee Yart kicked the extra point and Dumas tied it at 7 with 11:20 on the clock.
A short touchdown run by Hirschi put them up 14-7 over Dumas.
The Huskies went into the half, leading the Demons.
Both defenses kept the each offense in check, until four minutes left in the third quarter, Yart kicked a 39-yard field goal to cut Hirschi's lead 14-10.
Hirschi added a field goal with 22 seconds left on the clock in the third to go up 17-10.
On their next possession, Dumas found the end zone again with 10 second on the clock. Williams threw a strike to Kyle Stroebel for a 75-yard touchdown. Yart's extra point attempt was blocked and the Demons trailed 17-16 at the end of three quarters.
The Demons added another score when Cito Rodriguez ran the ball in from five yards out. They tried a two-point conversion, but Williams was stopped short of the goal line. Dumas led 22-17 with 2:45 left in the game.
Dumas held on to win a playoff game for the first time in several years.
Dunnam told the guys after the big win Friday, "We came out and worked our tail off and fought for this win. … There is more in store for this football team … I am extremely proud of the effort we had. Coaches, phenomenal job, phenomenal job."
He sees some bigger things happening with this football team.
"You stay true to what we're doing, and you keep on fighting, you wait and see what happens to this football team," he told the players after the game on Friday.
Dumas ran 57 plays against Hirschi's 65. They had 365 yards of total offense – 229 rushing and 136 passing – and held the ball for 23:08. Hirschi had only 279 yards of offense – 57 yards on the ground and 222 passing – and had a time of possession of 24:40.
Dumas turned the ball over one time on one fumble, while Hirschi turned it over twice. Dumas also picked up 21 first downs and converted 3-of-10 third downs and 1-of-1 fourth downs. Hirschi had 19 first downs and converted 6-of-14 third downs and failed on four fourth down conversion attempts.
Dumas had three penalties for 25 yards, while Hirschi had 13 yards on two penalties. Dumas was able to get a sack for 12 yards, while the Dumas offensive line held Hirschi to no sacks in the game.
Williams was 4-of-12 passing for 136 yards and one touchdown with zero interceptions. He also rushed for 55 yards on 12 attempts and one touchdown.
Rushing leaders for the Demons were Rodriguez, who picked up 82 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown, and Bryan Mendoza with 13 touches for 66 yards. Also for the Demons, James Bednorz had 17 yards on the three carries and Damian Orozco had one carry for nine yards.
Receiving for the Demons, Stroebel had 80 yards on two catches and a score, and Louis Ortiz caught two passes for 56 yards.
Defensively for the Demons, Caleb Suggs had eight tackles. Dallan Dill had seven tackles. Christian Carrera and Brayden Boggs-Rushing each had six tackles.
Josh Turner and Javier Martinez each had four. Yart, Davin Gates and Cade Cox contributed two tackles each for the Demons, while Cannon Speck, Charles Barnes and Chris Dilator had one tackle each.
Yart made 1-of-2 field goals. He had three punts for 121 yards, with two of those inside the 20-yard line. Williams also punted once for 26 yards.
Suggs had one kick return for 18 yards.
"I don't know what the turning point really was, I just think our kids never given up," Dunnam said after the game. "It was a tough fought ball game, both ways. They're a really good football team. They got a lot of talent on that football team. I think just our kids staying true to the process and true to what we're doing, and I think that is just the way we won."
It was tense at times during the game when the outcome could have gone a different way.
"Just so many opportunities for that ball game to go either way," Dunnam said. "We've been in these tight ones, we've been in some ones where we've had a lot of room to play with, but this wasn't one. But again, we found a way to win."
So now they look forward to their next game. After that, it's just one game at a time.