PEARLAND — An explosive first quarter by the Dawson Eagles opened up what proved to be an insurmountable lead over the Brazoswood Buccaneers, winning 41-6 Friday night in a District 23-6A contest.

“They’re a great football team, probably the best in the district,” Brazoswood head coach Danny Youngs said. “That’s our measuring stick and we have a lot to work on, but I’m really proud of how we battled tonight and never let our heads hang.”

The Eagles started fast as quarterback Blake Smith broke free for a 43-yard touchdown on the second play of the night. He caught a high snap and made one man miss in the backfield before his speed took him the rest of the way.

After the score, the Bucs were unable to recover the kickoff and the Eagles got the ball right back, but they quickly gave it up when Brazoswood’s Vontroy Malone pounced on a fumbled handoff. Dawson still managed points when it sacked quarterback CJ Toy for a safety and a 9-0 lead.

Ja’den Stewart’s two touchdowns added to the lead. The first came on a 1-yard punch into the end zone with about four minutes remaining in the first quarter; the second covered 56 yards when he broke a tackle in the backfield and bounced the ball to the sideline, where his receivers made some downfield blocks to clear his path to the end zone.

Up 23-0 after the opening period, Dawson had a pair of quick scores to start the second period — on an 8-yard touchdown run by Bobby Wooden and a blocked punt for a safety — before the Bucs gained their footing.

With just over eight minutes left in the half, Smith dropped back to throw to his left and Cameron Whipple read the route perfectly. The Buc jumped in front of the receiver for the interception, cut into the middle and found a hole, outrunning his the Dawson pursuers to take the ball 60 yards to the end zone. After a failed extra point, the score was 32-6.

“I think we battled really hard tonight, especially our defense,” Youngs said. “We never gave up and fought against a really great team all night. We have nothing to be ashamed of at all.”

The Bucs held Dawson to three Carter Brown field goals the rest of the way, from 20, 49 and 18 yards.

The Eagles improve to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in district with the win. Brazoswood, which falls to 0-6 overall and 0-3 in district, will host Alief Elsik next Friday.

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