Ypsilanti tops Dexter, 13-7, for first win of season
Courtney Sacco | AnnArbor.com
Updated at 11:10 to include quotes
On a rainy night between two winless teams, two touchdowns was just enough.
Ypsilanti notched two scores in the first half, and held on throughout the second to top Dexter, 13-7, for its first win of the season.
“This means a lot," Ypsilanti linebacker Daouda Sylla said. "We’ve been coming out here every day competing, just trying to get this first win. We’ll never give up on this program, no matter what.”
The Phoenix (1-6, 1-4 SEC White) scored in six plays on its first drive, capped off by a 27 yard Jaavaid Love touchdown.
After both teams threatened but couldn't score throughout the next 12 minutes, Dexter prepared to go into the locker room down by one.
But when Dreadnaughts quarterback Andy McWilliams, who returned to quarterback duties after missing a week with an injury, dropped back for a pass with 30 seconds left in the half, it found the arms of Sylla, who rumbled 40 yards for a score.
Dexter (0-7, 0-5 SEC White) answered with a Cole Rize interception and 66 yard return of its own early in the second half, followed by a McWilliams rushing touchdown.
But it proved to be the last score of the game. Dexter couldn't score on its last four drives, including when it recovered a fumble on its own 28-yard line with 1:05 left.
That drive ended with a turnover on downs near midfield.
“We played our hearts out," Dexter coach Ryan Fisher said. "I just want those seniors to go out with a good taste in their mouth. We really wanted this one.”
Ypsilanti controlled the clock for most of the game, thanks to a 52-carry, 258-yard rushing performance (compared to seven rushing yards.)
The workload was split nearly evenly between Love (21 carries, 161 yards) and Tyree Weatherspoon (25 carries, 108 yards.)
“Our offensive line played really well," Ypsilanti coach Ra-Mon Watkins said. "That’s something we struggled with all year.”
A rainy night led to ball control issues for both teams. Ypsilanti fumbled twice, including the last-minute fumble when it was simply trying to run the clock out. Dexter fumbled three times, losing one.
Dexter also had a botched snap on a punt and a failed fake punt try.
But the Dreadnaughts remained in the game until the end, thanks to a defense that gave up more than 260 total yards but only one offensive touchdown.
“Our defense played extremely well, they came up big when they needed to," Fisher said.
Kyle Austin covers sports for AnnArbor.com.