With each step in the right direction, the Dickson Comets found a way to shoot themselves in the foot Thursday, falling in a road effort against the Kingston Redskins 28-7.
After Dickson’s offense sputtered in the home opener against Marietta, the Comets came out strong, moving the ball up and down the field. But penalties and special teams squandered a spirited effort.
Dickson head football coach Steve Day, though uncomfortable with moral victories, said the game was a step in the right direction.
“We challenged our offense as a unit to be better than they were last week,” Day said. “They were, but obviously 7 points isn’t going to win us a game.”
In a road matchup coming off a short week, the Comets defense held the Kingston Redskins to zero points through the first 23 minutes of the first half.
But with each seemingly successful march down the field there was a holding penalty to stop their progress.
Coach Day said the team put a lot of practice into first and goal and red zone situations this week but mistakes plagued the effort.
“We made it a point of emphasis this week, but still, it was just shooting ourselves in the foot,” Day said.
Though the offense sputtered, the Comet defense held the Redskin offense at bay, keeping the game scoreless for the first majority of the first half.
But a 40-yard punt return by Kingston’s Garret Voyles with just a minute left in the second quarter flipped the field position and the momentum of the game.
Kingston and Dickson exchanged penalties in the ensuing plays. A pass interference call brought Dickson down to the 5-yard line before an illegal block stacked them back to the 28 yard-line.
With 40 seconds on the clock, the Redskins drew first blood after Rylee Holmes completed a 28-yard bomb to Brayden McGahee to give Kingston a 7-0 lead going into the second half.
In the second half, the Redskins kept the tides moving in their direction.
A 35-yard scamper by Kingston’s Holmes brought the Redskins to the Dickson 5-yard line, later scoring on a 5-yard rush to bring the score to 13-0.
After a punt, Kingston continued to run through the heart of the Dickson defense, bringing the score to 21-0 after a successful 2-point conversion.
With 10 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter Dickson launched what appeared to be a comeback bid after the Comets recovered a fumble in Redskin territory.
Dickson quarterback Rusty Beard connected with receiver Keshon Johnson for a 20-yard reception. Johnson bounced off a few tacklers before a face mask penalty brought the Comets to the 12-yard line.Johnson and Beard kept the Comet momentum going after connecting on a 16-yard touchdown pass to bring the game to 21-7.
The Comets needed a stop and a quick score to get back in the game.
Instead with six minutes remaining in the quarter, the Redskins sent a dagger through the heart of the comeback bid with a 39-yard touchdown reception by Kingston receiver Jacob Whitley to ice the game at 28-7.
The result extends Dickson’s losing skid to 13 games.
Despite the loss, Dickson coach Day said the game was a step forward for the program.
“Overall we did play a better game, we did play better than last week,” Day said. “That’s what it’s about. It’s a process to try to get better every day.”
After two road games, the Comets will get a chance to end the losing streak at home against Tishomingo on Sep. 8.