What's Done is Dunne: Lions make short work out of Falcons in 41-13 rout
DALLAS -- It took a bit longer than has become customary, but the Prestonwood Christian Academy football team eventually found its rhythm Friday night.
And in doing so, the Lions (6-0) left Bishop Dunne (3-3) in their rearview mirror by halftime and never looked back en route to a 41-13 victory.
"Every team we play in this district, we feel like is a good team," said Chris Cunningham, Prestonwood head coach. "[Dunne] has as much talent as anybody and just like last year, they did a great job defensively of taking away some things that we do well and forced us to throw a little more."
For a Prestonwood team that entered Friday averaging 442 yards of offense and 49.8 points, the Falcons made life tough on the Lions in the early going.
Field position would be Dunne's undoing though, with Prestonwood capitalizing on a pair of punting gaffes to seize control. Holding a 7-0 edge with 4:30 left in the second quarter, the Lions were awarded possession at the Dunne 25 after a fourth-down snap sailed over the head of Dunne punter Carlos Acosta for a 15-yard loss.
The Metroplex's highest-scoring TAPPS offense made the Falcons pay four plays later with sophomore quarterback Mickey Mitchell finding sophomore Raleigh Beougher for a 7-yard touchdown and 14-0 Prestonwood lead with 3:11 left in the first half.
The Falcons' ensuing drive stalled inside the final minute of the quarter, with a 1-yard punt setting the Lions up at the Dunne 44. Mitchell and senior Grayson Warren, who finished 124 total yards of offense, covered those 44 yards with the former hitting the latter over the middle for a touchdown that extended the Lions' edge to 21-0 at halftime.
The late surge was a much-needed spark for a Prestonwood offense that managed just 93 yards of offense prior to the two late scoring drives.
"[Dunne] has three hosses inside," Cunningham said. "Those are some big ol' boys and we had a tough time containing them. Plus, they've got a secondary that can run with anybody, so they were playing good, solid defense all night long."
Dunne's offense was unable to capitalize, limited to 57 yards through two quarters with just 11 of its 21 first-half plays equating positive yardage.
"Sometimes if one unit has to take up the slack for the other, then we do that," Cunningham said. "That's what this team is all about."
The Prestonwood defense also forced a pair of first-half takeaways, with interceptions bagged by senior J.P. Coward and junior Austin Tankersley. The latter helped set the Lions' first score, albeit not without some resistance before Mitchell nudged through on a 2-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-goal.
The Lions would force another takeaway three plays into the second half, recovering an Isaiah Talton fumble that was promptly converted into a 22-yard touchdown hookup between Mitchell and freshman Michael Irvin for a 28-0 lead with 9:52 left in the third.
The score marked Irvin's first with Prestonwood and 8:30 later, the Lions enjoyed another first as senior linebacker Mike Mitchell toted the rock out of the backfield.
That dose of experimentation worked every bit to the Lions' advantage as Mike broke off a 35-yard touchdown run on his first and only carry.
"That was the first time we showed that look and it turned out pretty good," Cunningham said. "That could pop up every once in a while. I wouldn't want to get in front of [Mike]; I'd be better off getting in front of a truck."
Mickey would tack on a 40-yard touchdown run inside the game's final five minutes to highlight his 76 yards on the ground on 11 carries.
The signal caller added 170 yards and three touchdowns on 15-of-25 pass attempts.
Just as the Prestonwood offense found its groove, the Falcons finally showed signs of life in the fourth where they amassed both their scoring drives. Each came in quick fashion with Micah Simon finding Nick Watkins on a 10-yard fade with 11:09 left and later hitting Jordan Epps for a 65-yard touchdown with 4:33 remaining.
Simon finished the night with 186 yards passing on 14-of-26 attempts and two touchdowns. Epps totaled 80 yards on two catches.
Prestonwood maintained its unbeaten record and will look to improve on it at 7:30 p.m. Friday in its Homecoming Game versus John Paul II.