VERNON – The Dumas Demons, coming off their fourth straight undefeated district season, entered the bi-district round as the No. 1 seed as they traveled to Vernon to take on the Lake Worth Bullfrogs. What could have turned out to be an early exit for the Demons, became a remarkable comeback to take the bi-district title, defeating the Bullfrogs 37-27.
Dumas won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Things started off positively for the Bullfrogs as they scored first on a 68-yard touchdown to Mark Fulkerson from Damien Moore to go up 6-0 with 8:15 on the clock in the first quarter. A couple more touchdown passes to Damirion Polty and Kamron Kimble put the Bullfrogs up 20-0 in the first quarter.
Damien Moore ran in for another score with 7:02 on the clock in the second quarter, putting the Bullfrogs on top 27-0.
Things didn't look well for the Demons. Without losing composure. Without falling apart and surrendering, the Demons stayed in the game and Spencer Williams took his team down the field and scored late in the second quarter from a short run by James Bednorz. Ah Lee Yart was good on the PAT and Dumas trailed 27-7 at the half.
That score carried them into the second half. Williams and the offense made quick work, scoring with 10:51 on the clock in the third as Bryan Mendoza ran for a 38-yard touchdown, cutting the deficit to 13. From there, Dumas continued to dominate the clock and the second half.
Williams connected with Victor Chavez for a 71-yard score and Yart added a field goal in the third, while Mendoza scored two more times in the fourth.
After being down in the first half, Dumas tallied 37 unanswered points to defeat Lake Worth and extend the postseason journey into the area round for the second consecutive year.
Williams completed 10-of-17 for 188 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. He also ran for 117 yards on eight carries.
Mendoza was the leading rusher with 174 yards and three scores. Bednorz picked up 28 yards on eight carries and one score, while Juan Romero had two carries for 12 yards.
Chavez led the receiving core with 117 yards on five catches. Romero had three catches for 46 yards and Louis Ortiz had two receptions for 25 yards.
After Dumas was scorched in the first half with 306 yards from Lake Worth, the defense slowed things down and the visiting team only had 101 total offensive yards in the second half. Dumas racked up 188 yards in the first half and 327 in the second for a total of 515 yards on the night.
Cade Cox led things defensively with eight tackles and a sack. Christian Carrera and Dallan Dill had seven and six tackles, respectively. Dill also had a sack on the night. Brayden Boggs-Rushing recorded 5.5 tackles and a sack, while Ortiz had 4.5 and two interceptions and Roberto Ruiz had 2.5 and an interception.
Broc Kinikin checked in with two tackles and Diego Falcon had 1.5 and a sack. Cannon Speck, Aaron Sierra, Uriel Aldava and Romero each had a tackle in the game for the Demons.
Yart was good on 1-of-2 field goal attempts and 4-of-5 extra points. He punted three times for 113 yards. Zyrell Murga and Jacob Pinales each had two returns for 37 and 31 yards, respectively.
"… if we come out and execute, we will win this football game," head coach Aaron Dunnam told his guys during his postgame speech to his players.
He said at halftime no one was down. Nobody was in "panic mode." They did exactly what Dunnam asked them to do, execute.
"That's the difference, a tale of two halves," he said.
He told them he was extremely proud of what his players did and the work his coaches put into the game.
"We didn't play very well in the first half," he said. "But thank goodness it's a game of two halves … the kids came out and executed really well in the second half. Thirty-seven unanswered points and a win."
There is some work to be done. They have to go back and look at what they did well and didn't do so well, and then put a game plan together to come out in a shortened week to play in the next round.
"If you were at the game tonight, there's no quit in our kids. There's no quit in our coaching staff," Dunnam said."
Dumas takes on Andrews in the area round on Thursday, Nov. 19, in Plainview. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.