SOUTH HAMILTON — They simply had no answers.
Whatever the Dexter football team tried Saturday afternoon -- going away from its spread aerial attack to a punishing ground game, timely passes to its glue-fingered receiver, Mark Webber, or rushing a defensive front that had a seemingly unstoppable motor — it all worked.
And as stated above, a very good but undermanned Pingree football team had no answers.
The Highlanders saw their dreams of a prep school bowl bid go up in smoke as the visitors scored on eight of their nine possessions and dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball in a 56-26 victory.
“They had a brilliant game plan. They knew coming in we were missing three starting linemen, and there’s not much we can do when we don’t have the depth where we can afford that,” said Pingree head coach Chris Powers. That’s a smart move when you have that big line like they have, those very talented linemen to run behind.”
Pingree (6-2) was without three of their starting linemen because of either injuries suffered the previous week or, in the case of hulking sophomore Nino Leone, illness.
As a result, the Highlanders couldn’t get their own running game established; they managed just 102 yards via the ground after averaging nearly 256 their first seven games. So while sophomore quarterback Griffin Beal (13-for-20, 278 yards) did his best to keep the hosts in the game, throwing three touchdown passes, it simply wasn’t enough.
Pingree had beaten Dexter in all seven of its previous meetings back to 2006, but John F. Kennedy’s alma mater was ready from the get-go this time around.
“We felt we had to get the running game going this week. We’ve been a finesse spread, speed-up team, (but Saturday) we just felt like it was the game we had to be physical,” Dexter (7-1) head coach Casey Day said. “We had to impose our running game on them.”