Heading into Friday night's contest, the Morris football team was looking for a quick start. That's exactly what the Redskins got when it scored in its opening possession.
However, Dixon answered back with a touchdown of its own and then hung tight throughout the game before succumbing in the second half in a 38-21 win by Morris.
"The kids are working hard and they never stop believing in what we're doing," Dixon coach Dave Smith said. "We don't have a lot of kids out, but the kids we have are doing the best they can."
After the Redskins forced a Dukes punt in the opening series, Morris put together a seven play drive that went 65 yards and was capped by a 4-yard TD plunge by Matt Feiden. The drive was run exclusively out of the T-formation.
Dixon's TD drive was not.
The Dukes moved the ball down field and scored at 10:37 of the second quarter when J.D. Giessen scored on a 10-yard TD run. That wrapped up a six-play drive that was run exclusively out of the spread formation. Both kicker's were true with the extra points and it was 7-7 at that time.
Morris came right back and scored in the following sequence, however, and slowly began to pull away. The Redskins went 64 yards in four plays with the big play being a 53-yard TD run by Jake Walker. That score came at 9:19.
The Redskins capped the scoring in the first half when quarterback Griffin Sobol completed a screen pass to fullback Feiden and it sprang for 39 yards. Reed's kick made it 21-7 heading into the locker rooms.
Morris scored first to start the second half. That came on the first drive out of the locker room. It was a three-play drive that was concluded on a 46-yard TD run by Walker. Jake Reed's kick made it 27-7.
Dixon was not done fighting, though, as the Dukes scored on a 55-yard yard pass play from Giessen to Quinton Douglas. Cody Mighell's kick made it 28-14 with 6:09 left in the third.
The Morris offense proved to be relentless, however, and soon began to wear Dixon's defense down. The Redskins ran the ball eight times in the next drive and scored again - this time on a 9-yard TD by Dean Meucci.
The Dixon offense proved that it would not be stalled. The Dukes answered that score with an 80-play drive that ended in a 3-yard TD run by Douglas. That came with :20 left in the third quarter and made the score 35-21.
Reed kicked a 32-yard field goal at 8:37 of the fourth to bring about the final score.
"I told the kids not to put their heads down. They played four quarters. We just have to stop beating ourselves," Smith said. "Tonight we got beat by penalties. We did cut down on the turnovers, but the penalties hurt us.
"But you have to give credit to Morris. They are physical and I know they wanted to come back after last week's game (loss at Geneseo) and to play physical. They did what we thought they would do, we just didn't stop them when we had to."
Morris coach Alan Thorson said that Dixon is a much improved team this year.
"That wasn't the same Dixon we saw last year," he said. "They came out with some fire and were fighting the whole game. Those coaches are doing a good job of trying to turn that program around."