Carlson Ends Dexter’s Season in District Finals


The Dexter football team saw its season come to an end with a hard-fought 27-23 loss to Gibraltar Carlson in the D2 district finals Friday night.

The game went back and forth all night, but the Dexter defense could not come up with the big stop it needed in the final minutes as the Marauders ran out the clock and ended the Dreadnaughts season.

It did not take long for Dexter to get on the board when Ronny Johnson broke free and sprinted in from 72 yards out on the third play from scrimmage. The extra point hit the upright and bounced out for a 6-0 Dreadnaught lead.

Ronny Johnson sprints to the end zone for a 72-yard TD for Dexter. Photo by Mike Williamson

The Dexter defense forced a Marauder punt, and the Dread took over inside their own 20 when a short pass was picked off by a Carlson lineman and returned to the endzone and a pick-six to take a 7-6 lead after the extra point.

The Dreads then drove down the field to have a first down inside the Marauder 20, but two costly penalties false start penalties made a third and one into a 3rd and 11 and Dexter was forced to kick a Sam Cormier 35-yard field goal to go on top 9-7.

Carlson quickly answered with a lone TD run for a 14-9 lead, but Cooper Arnedt connected with Cole Novar for long pass inside the five-yard line and Johnson scored from three yards out to give Dexter a 16-14 lead after one quarter.

The lead was short lived when Carlson kicked a 38-yard field goal to take a 17-16 lead early in the second quarter and it would stay that way until halftime.

The Marauders would drive 54 yards on the opening series of the second half and finished it off with a TD run for a 24-16 lead early in the third.

Dexter again quickly answered when Arnedt hit Novara with a 16-yard scoring pass to cut the lead to 24-23 after three quarters.

Cole Novara catches a 16-yard TD pass from Cooper Arnedt. Photo by Mike Williamson

Carlson would extend the lead to 27-23 with a 32-yard field goal in the fourth.

Dexter took the ball and moved inside the Marauders 30 when bad luck struck for the Dreads.

Johnson was injured on a carry and had to come out of the game. Dexter went to five wide receivers and moved inside the Carlson 20. Johnson returned after three straight incompletions on fourth down and caught a pass as Arnedt scrambled away from pressure, but he was tackled short of the first down and Dexter turned the ball over on downs at the Marauder seven yard line with seven minutes left in the fourth.

The Dexter defense needed a stop to get the ball back, but Carslon would convert on third down four times on the drive and would run out the clock after converting a fourth down and four with less than a minute to play in the game ending the Dreadnaughts season.

Johnson finished with 141 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but Carlson was able to slow him after the 72-yard TD run on the third play of the game.

Arnedt was 14 for 26 passing for 204 yards and a touchdown.

Novara had a big night with eight receptions for 121 yards and a score, while Jaiden Juback caught three passes for 54 yards. Johnson caught two passes for seven yards and Holden Niemi one catch for 22 yards.

Dexter finished the season with a 7-4 overall record.

Photos by Mike Williamson