Expectations were high for the Doss High School football team entering this season, but coach Phillip Hawkins said his team never could get over the hump for a signature victory.
The Dragons got one Friday night.
Hamilton Wilson rushed for 314 yards and three touchdowns and the host Dragons put up 687 yards of offense to beat traditional power Highlands 52-32 in the first round of the Class 5-A playoffs.
Highlands is tied for Trinity with the most state titles (23) in Kentucky history and hadn’t lost a first-round playoff game since 1991.
And while the Bluebirds (3-8) finished with their first losing record since 1955, the victory was still sweet for Hawkins and the Dragons.
PHOTO GALLERY | Highlands at Doss
“It’s Highlands … and it’s their 100 kids against our 50 kids,” Hawkins said. “This was a good win for us.”
Doss (6-5) will travel to Covington Catholic next week for a second-round playoff game. Covington Catholic whipped Fairdale 63-7 in another first-round game Friday.
Doss ran all over a Highlands defense that was allowing 41.1 points per game. The Dragons finished with 471 yards on the ground, as Wilson, Quion Lee (12 carries, 87 yards, one touchdown) and Christian McClain (five carries, 76 yards, two TDs) all had big games.
“We figured our line and their lack of size in some spots might cause some issues,” Hawkins said. “We know Hamilton can run the ball, and we knew the line was going to create some space for him. He took advantage of it.”
Doss built a 17-0 lead at halftime and added to it on the first play of the third quarter when Wilson busted loose for a 62-yard touchdown run.
Wilson missed nearly a quarter of action in the first half after suffering a dislocated shoulder but said he popped it back into place himself.
“I told my team I was going to come out in the second half like Marshawn Lynch,” Wilson said. “I didn’t think I’d get 300, but thanks to my offensive line I have over 1,500 yards this season. I just thank God we stayed together this game and played as a team.”
Grant Murray’s 37-yard touchdown run pulled Highlands within 24-7 with 10:32 left in the third quarter and sparked a scoring barrage in the second half. But the Bluebirds never got closer than 17 points.
Doss quarterback Deon Pumphry completed 17 of 28 passes for 216 yards and a touchdown. Terez Traynor had nine catches for 103 yards and a touchdown, and McClain hauled in five catches for 86 yards.
Murray led Highlands with 147 yards on 16 carries. Quarterback Brady Gosney completed 18 of 39 passes for 283 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for a score.
Jason Frakes can be reached at (502) 582-4046 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
HIGHLANDS 0 0 20 12 – 32
DOSS 7 10 28 7 – 52
D – Terez Traynor 47 pass from Deon Pumphry (Jesus Rodriguez kick); D – Quion Lee 5 run (Rodriguez kick); D – Rodriguez 22 FG; D – Hamilton Wilson 62 run (Rodriguez kick); H – Grant Murray 37 run (Nick Bowman kick); D – Wilson 3 run (Rodriguez kick); H – Nick Veneman 60 pass from Brady Gosney (Bowman kick); D – Christian McClain 29 run (Rodriguez kick); H – Murray 36 pass from Gosney (kick failed); D – Wilson 79 run (Rodriguez kick); H – Gosney 35 run (kick blocked); D – McClain 24 run (Rodriguez kick); H – Griffin Huber 4 pass from Gosney (pass failed).
First downs 20 32
Total yards 473 687
Rushes-yards 23-190 52-471
Comp-Att-Int 18-39-0 17-28-0
Passing yards 283 216
Fumbles-lost 1-1 1-0
Punts-avg 4-38 1-28
Penalties-yards 7-38 8-69