Gators snap 32-game losing streak
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 26, 2009 11:12 PM
SEVEN SPRINGS -- Victory is like fine wine.
It's years in the making and moments in the tasting.
And what a delectable treat Spring Creek sampled Friday evening.
The Gators halted the state's longest losing streak at 32 games with a come-from-behind, 20-16 triumph over Dixon before a standing-room-only Homecoming crowd at "The Swamp."
"We've waited a long time for this one," said Gators quarterback Dontay Boseman.
Spring Creek claimed its last victory, ironically, at Dixon on Sept. 22, 2006. A loss the following week against East Carteret started a frustrated downturn that lasted two-plus seasons.
"There was some bulletin-board material posted this week and our guys were a little fired up about that," said second-year Gators coach Aaron Sanders.
Dixon players commented about serving as Spring Creek's Homecoming guest for the third consecutive season in a newspaper article published during the week. One player said the Dogs would "smash" the Gators.
Spring Creek held Dixon accountable for its words and collected its first home victory in three seasons.
The Gators' defense played 21-plus minutes in the second half and held the Dogs (2-4 overall ) scoreless twice inside the red zone. Senior defensive back Anthony Green and junior outside linebacker Chris Boseman each picked off a Dixon pass to end an offensive series.
"The defense played a very good ball game," said Sanders. "Daniel Robinson, my defensive coordinator, did a heckuva job calling the game in the second half. Our defense has been playing better each week, and sometimes that's been hard to tell because our offense isn't doing their part and leaving our defense on the field forever."
Spring Creek (1-5) accumulated just 100 yards rushing, but no carry was bigger than Ryan Jones' game-clinching, fourth-quarter touchdown. The Eastern Wayne transfer and Dontay Boseman executed a perfect inside counter that turned into a 37-yard score, which electrified the partisan Gator fans.
Chris Boseman's interception stopped Dixon's ensuing possession.
Then Sanders made a gutsy call. On fourth-and-18, Spring Creek took a safety deep in its own territory.
"I knew I was going to think about it tomorrow (Saturday) morning," said Sanders. "Was it going to be a good decision or a bad decision?"
Aided by three penalties, the Dogs moved into the Gators' red zone, but couldn't finish the drive as time expired. Spring Creek players removed their helmets, ran toward the stands and celebrated a much-awaited victory as a misty rain slowly began to fall.
"We're just so excited, it's hard to even talk about it right now," said Dontay Boseman.
Dixon claimed a 14-0 lead on Rodman Young's 7-yard run and Tyler Johnson's 9-yard scoring strike to Tony D'Zurilla in the opening half. Spring Creek answered with Jones' 80-yard kickoff return and Chris Boseman's recovery of a blocked punt in the end zone, which tied the game at 14-14 early in the third quarter.
"Robinson made a great call on that blocked punt, which was big and a momentum swinger for us," said Sanders. "Special teams ... we've got some athletes on the field who can do some good things and they played a big role for us tonight."
And what a night to remember.