CHHS’ Dixon ices game with hard running, same play

Published 11:30 pm Friday, November 29, 2013

Late in Charles Henderson’s 38-36 win over UMS-Wright in the AHSAA semifinals, the air temperature dipped in to the mid-30s, but it was Trojan running back Mondarius Dixon that put the game on ice.

After giving up 15 straight points, the Trojans were in desperate need of a clock-burning, run-churning drive to end the ball game and advance to the state championship game. The coaching staff turned to the undersized Dixon, and he answered the call six times on the final drive. Two of Dixon’s six carries came on third down plays.

“People always think I can’t run hard because I am smaller than a lot of backs,” Dixon said. “I want to prove to them that I can do it. I want to get a first down, whether that be outside or up the middle.”

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Not only did offensive coordinator Rodney Jordan dial Dixon’s number six times on the Trojans’ final drive, he ran the same play over and over and over.

The play is designed to go to the outside of left tackle Hunter Kennedy, but the play was turned back inside multiple times due to UMS-Wright’s defensive strategy.

“Their defensive end was playing the reach really well, so I just drove him towards the sideline,” Kennedy said. “Duke (Dixon) made great cuts off my butt each time, and got the yardage. I don’t have to do much, I drive the man and let Duke do the work.”

Dixon knew the ball would be in his hand late, and he was focused on just one thing.

“The only thing going through my mind was to run hard and get every inch I could,” Dixon said. “We had to get these first downs to put the game away. We did it, and now we are state title bound.”

UMS-Wright’s running back, Troy Dixon, outgained Mondarius 165 yards to 150, but Charles Henderson head coach Mike Dean prefers his Dixon over the one wearing maroon and white.

“He gives you everything he’s got every play,” Dean said. “He runs so hard, and he did it tonight, especially there at the end. If he had the size of the other Dixon, he would be even more special. I am extremely proud of the way he ran the football tonight.”

Dixon finished with 150 yards rushing and one touchdown on 31 carries. He also caught three passes for 49 yards.