09/01/12 — Dixon scores late TD, edges Princeton 24-20

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Dixon scores late TD, edges Princeton 24-20

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 1, 2012 11:08 PM

PRINCETON -- Princeton couldn't close the deal.

Dixon cashed in when it counted the most.

Quarterback CD Hansley orchestrated a game-winning 12-play march that chewed up 82 yards, and capped the visiting Bulldogs' come-from-behind, 24-20 victory at the Fred Bartholomew Athletic Complex on a humid Friday evening.

Dixon claimed its fifth win in the series since 2003.

"My hat's off to Princeton and the type of great game we had going on tonight," Dixon head coach Ray Swaney said. "It was fun to watch, fun for the kids and fans on both sides."

And hair-raising, too.

The visiting Dogs (2-0 overall) stiffened on defense and stopped Princeton on three second-half possessions inside the red zone. Two ended on downs and Rhyne Woodard missed a 37-yard field goal attempt when a third drive stalled early in the fourth quarter.

Dixon yielded 119 yards of total offense in the third quarter, but reduced that significantly -- to minus-20 -- in the final eight minutes of play.

"They made some adjustments and I think in our youth experience, not our youth age, it was a situation where they brought extra guys on the line and our guys weren't used to it," Princeton head coach Derrick Minor said. "It threw us off our game a little bit. We didn't counter-adjust to it. They had guys bear-crawling through the line disrupting our pulling ... it played a factor on us."

An interception turned the tide late in the third quarter.

Tyler Ross stepped into the passing lane, intercepted Princeton quarterback Michael Wooten and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown. The PAT failed and Dixon trailed 20-17 with 50 seconds to go.

""The pick six ... I just jumped the route," Ross said. "It felt so good."

The teams traded possessions after Woodard's field goal miss.

Woodard's 46-yard punt received a kind roll, and left Dixon with a first-and-10 at its own 18 with six minutes and change left on the clock.

Calm and poised behind his blockers who easily controlled the line of scrimmage against a tired and inexperienced Princeton defense, Hansley and backfield mate Malik Simmons shared the running duties. Hansley converted three first downs and Simmons two as Dixon moved to the Princeton 18-yard line.

After a break for an injury and a timeout, Hansley called his own number and cashed in the game-winning TD from 10 yards out.

"We had to tough it out and I depended on my line, which had good blocking," Hansley said. "I had to keep my head up and keep running through them."

Princeton grabbed a 20-11 lead on touchdown runs of 14 and 2 yards from Johnny Frazier, and Wooten's 7-yard plunge late in the second quarter. Frazier led all rushers with 175 yards on 21 totes.