There were several times Friday when St. Piux X defenders had problems keeping track of Dawson County receivers, but the Tigers never figured out a way to slow SPX fullback Ryan Braswell or the Golden Lions as St. Pius won 72-28 at George B. Maloof Stadium.
Braswell ran for four touchdowns, junior Nick Ruffin ran for two and added an interception, and the Golden Lions had three 100-yard rushers while racking up a school-record 525 rushing yards as No. 7 St. Pius (9-2) rolled in a run vs. pass game. The Lions had 538 yards of total offense on 51 plays, an average of 10.6 per snap.
Dawson County (6-5) came out throwing, and senior quarterback Tyler Dominy passed for 309 yards and four touchdowns – three to Bruce Clark.
But St. Pius scored the first nine times it had the ball and added a special teams score as well in a 100-point first round AAA state playoff game. The only time the Lions didn’t score when they had the ball came in the final minute, when time ran out.
Braswell finished with 127 yard on 11 carries. Senior quarterback Jack Spear had 148 yards on 11 carries, and junior tailback Branden Mitchell added 104 yards on 14 carries.
The Lions used their perimeter attack and the option from the jump. Spear ran wide left for 20 and 15 yards on the first two plays of the game. Then, Mitchell swept 35 yards for a score.
“Jack was the one making all the checks tonight,” said SPX head coach Paul Standard. “He was still looking over at the sideline, but he was the one telling me what we should be doing. We took advantage of their defensive alignment, and our offensive line had a great night. Our receivers did a great job blocking on the perimeter, too.”
After SPX forced a three-and-out punt by Dawson County, the Lions drove quickly again and went up 14-0 on Mitchell’s 9-yarder.
Dawson County went for it on fourth-and-4 from its own 37-yard-line after that, and soon after Dominy’s incomplete pass, Braswell scored from 14 for a 21-0 lead late in the first quarter.
Dominy found Clark for scores of 31 and 27 yards in the second quarter, but St. Pius mixed in two more touchdowns before halftime to lead 35-14 at intermission.
Spear attempted just four passes, and completed but one. The first was good for 13 yards and a third-down conversion late in the first half. After two incompletions, the Lions lined up in another pass formation only to have Ruffin sweep right and then cut all the way across the field for a 34-yard score with 44 seconds left in the first half.
Ruffin, who starts in the secondary and subs on offense, intercepted Dominy on the first play of the second half. A couple minutes later Braswell scored his third touchdown, from 3 yards.
He added a 36-yard scoring run in the final quarter, and junior Ian Flinn blocked a punt and returned it 18 yards for a score as well.
Clark had three receptions for 75 yards and three scores, and Mitchell Putnam caught three passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. Dawson County rushed 14 times for 12 yards.
“We faced another great quarterback,” Standard said. “We’ve played Jonathon McCrary from Cedar Grove, and we’ve played Tyler Dominy. They’re going to get their yards. He got his tonight. I’m just glad he didn’t get as many touchdowns as we did.”
St. Pius will play host to Hart County next week.
Dawson Co. – 0 14 7 7 – 28
St. Pius X – 21 14 16 21 – 72
SPX – Branden Mitchell 35 run (Thomas O’Leary kick)
SPX – Mitchell 9 run (O’Leary kick)
SPX – Ryan Braswell 14 run (O’Leary kick)
Dawson Co. – Bruce Clark 31 pass from Tyler Dominy (Max Muldoon kick).
SPX – Braswell 14 run (O’Leary kick)
Dawson Co. – Clark 27 pass from Dominy (Muldoon kick)
SPX – Nick Ruffin 34 run (O’Leary kick)
SPX – Braswell 3 run (O’Leary kick)
Dawson Co. – Mitchell Putnam 18 pass from Dominy (Muldoon kick)
SPX – Ruffin – 23 run (Kick blocked)
SPX – O’Leary 33 field goal
SPX – Ian Flinn, blocked punt and 18 return (O’Leary kick)
SPX – Braswell 36 run (O’Leary kick)
SPX – Joey Connors 67 run (Michael Matthews kick)
Dawson Co. – Clark 18 pass from Dominy (Muldoon kick)