By Mike Williamson -firstname.lastname@example.org
It is becoming an annual thing for Dexter and Ypsilanti Lincoln to come together and play wild football games.
Last season the Dreadnaughts rallied from 21 points down in the final eight minutes to pull out a victory and this season the Dexter and Lincoln tried to top 2018 with a see-saw battle that saw Dexter score with under two minutes remaining to pull out a 49-43 victory.
Lincoln opened the game by recovering an onside kick and hit a long pass to move inside the Dexter 10yd line. They would score on 4th down with a 5-yd run to make it 7-0.
The Splitters tried another onside kick that the Dreads recovered and Dexter would drive down and score on a two-yard TD run by Jordan Watson. Brady Keough’s XP tied it at 7-7.
After Lincoln drove to the Dexter 30 on the next drive, back to back sacks by Jasper Howell and Mark Young forced a Lincoln punt.
The Dreadnaughts wasted no time when Colin Parachek hit Rhett Jacobs with a 45-yard scoring pass to make it 14-7 after one quarter.
Lincoln answered with a 43-yard scoring run, but the extra point was blocked to make it 14-13 Dexter.
The Splitters then intercepted an attempted wide receiver screen and returned it 55 yards for a score. The two-point conversion made it 21-14 Lincoln.
A long Evan Krolewski run gave the Dreads a first and goal at the six, but the drive stalled and an incomplete pass on fourth down turned the ball over on downs.
The defense forced a punt and Dexter took over at its own 26. A couple of plays later Parachek hit his favorite target Antwan Ficklen in stride on a slant pass and he sprinted in from 43-yards out to make it 21-21.
Lincoln would hit a long pass to the Dexter two-yard line and appeared to score on the next play with under 10 seconds left in the half, but they were called for and illegal formation and the TD was taken off the board and moved back five yards. They had one more chance, but the pass fell incomplete and the game was tied at 21 at the half.
The Splitters came out in the second half and continued to move the ball and scored on a 31-yard scoring pass to make it 28-21.
Another long Krolewski run moved the ball inside the 10 and on fourth down Parachek ran around the left end for a score to tie it at 28.
The Dexter defense continued to struggle to stop Lincoln as the Splitters would sustain another drive and scored on a 5-yard run to make it 35-28.
The Dreads again answered thanks to another long run by Krolewski giving them first and goal and a couple of plays later Watson would score his second of the game from three yards out to tie it at 35.
Lincoln would again drive down the field and scored on a four-yard run. A penalty on the Dreadnaughts moved the ball half the distance to the goal and the Splitters converted the two-point conversion to make it 43-35 Lincoln.
After Dexter drove into Lincoln territory, the Splitter defense came up big picking off a pass with 6:20 left.
The Dexter defense had not been able to stop Lincoln much for over three-quarters, but the Dreadnaughts came up big in the final six minutes.
Following the interception, the Dreads forced Lincoln to a three and out giving the offense the ball back.
Dexter drove from its own 29 to the Lincoln 28 but faced a 4th down and 6 with 3:20 left. Parachek rolled out and hit Ficklen with a 28-yard scoring strike to make it 43-41, but the two-point conversion was no good.
The Dexter defense again came through when needed holding Lincoln on fourth down and forcing a turnover on downs with 2:12 left.
Facing a 2nd and 15, Parachek hit Ficklen for 30-yards for a first down.
The very next play Parachek hit Jacobs near the back of the endzone and Jacobs was able to get a foot down before falling out of bounds for an 18-yard touchdown. Krolewski bulled in for the two-point conversion for a Dexter 49-43 lead with 1:09 left.
A pass interference penalty and a completion moved the ball to the Dexter 40 yard line with 40 seconds left, but the defense tightened and a 4th down pass was dropped and the Dreads held on for a wild 49-43 win.
The Dreadnaughts racked up 483 total yards to 401 for Lincoln.
Parachek was 17 of 27 for 301 yards, four TDs, and two INT. He also rushed for 15 yards and a TD.
Krolewski rushed for 160 yards on nine carries and caught three passes for 34 yards. Watson rushed for seven yards and two scores.
Ficklen caught seven passes for 148 yards and two scores, while Jacobs caught five passes for 100 yards and two TDs. Brennan Parachek caught two passes for 15 yards.
The win was the seventh in a row for the Dreadnaughts. The seven-game winning streak is the longest since 1964/65 when Dexter won the last three games in 1964 and the first five in 1965.
Dexter will wrap up the regular season when they host Croswell-Lexington on Senior Night Friday night.
Dexter needs a win for a chance a the school’s first-ever home playoff football game.