Dodge County’s offense was just about frozen.
Taking on Westside in the first round of the GHSA Class AAA playoffs at the Ed DeFore Sports Complex, the Indians had trouble reaching the first-down marker, much less scoring position.
But Rex Hodges and his coaching staff had a play up their collective sleeve. And their players executed it perfectly.
A midfield screen pass from Landon Martin to Roscoe Wilcox that Wilcox broke open for a 53-yard touchdown was the decisive play in Dodge County’s 14-3 win Friday night.
“Coach (Tim) Horton calls it ‘halfback get lost,’ and that’s what he done,” Dodge County head coach Rex Hodges said. “He got lost on the backside over there. I thought their defensive end almost got a hand on it and tipped it, but it got by him. Roscoe made a good catch over there on the side and made a couple of people miss, and we got that score.”
The Indians, who at 9-2 are enjoying their best season since 2007, travel to Jefferson for the second round after Jefferson topped Franklin County 38-7.
Dodge County simply couldn’t get anything going most of the game. The Indians were held to two first downs in the first half -- a run and a late hit penalty on the same play -- and only had five for the game.
But after picking up a couple of first downs on the opening drive of the second half, Dodge County developed a bit of confidence. After trading punts, the Indians started a series at their own 47, the best starting position the team had to that point.
Dodge County, whose longest pass completion to that point was 6 yards, ran what looked to be a quarterback keeper to the right side. After taking three or four steps, however, Martin turned to his left, where Wilcox was open near the line of scrimmage with just one defender in the vicinity.
Martin completed the pass to Wilcox, who shook off the defender, and the race to the end zone was on.
“That was a really big score,” Hodges said. “They were really tough defensively. We were having a hard time moving the ball. That was a big play, big play.”
Dodge County sealed the win midway through the fourth quarter when Cameron Young intercepted a Dre’quan Taylor pass and returned it 20 yards for a score.
Westside, which turned the ball over five times, had a 31-yard field goal by Blaine Halvorson in the second quarter as the Seminoles finish 9-2.
“We didn’t make throws when we needed to,” Westside head coach Spoon Risper said. “In a game like that, you’ve got to make plays.”