PASCO - The streak is over.
Dayton scored two second-half touchdowns here on a hot, sunny Friday afternoon to overcome a 3-0 halftime deficit and defeat Tri-Cities Prep, 13-3, in Southeast 2B conference football action.
The victory ends a Bulldogs losing streak that reaches back to the 2008 Homecoming win over Tekoa-Oakesdale-Rosalia, a stretch of 16 consecutive losses.
"It's been a long time!" Gatorade-drenched first-year Bulldogs head coach Dean Bickelhaupt said. "It's been a few games since our last win. It's such a relief to get that (winless) monkey off your back. We're progressing. I've kept telling them that things are coming together. They stayed positive and it carried through."
T-C Prep was making its first-ever appearance in 11-man football and battled the Bulldogs to a standoff with seven seconds left in the first half.
Chase Castona booted home a 40-yard field goal, the first-ever field goal in Jaguar football history, and T-C Prep took a 3-0 lead to intermission.
The Jaguars held Dayton to 32 yards of offense in the first half. The best offensive Bulldogs play was a 13-yard pass completion from Colton Bickelhaupt to Hayden Fullerton which gave the Bulldogs their deepest penetration of the half to the T-C Prep 21, but the drive fizzled.
"I've got to give Tri-Cities Prep credit," coach Bickelhaupt said. "They played some pretty good defense. They know how to tackle."
The Bulldogs matched the Jaguars hit for hit, blocked two T-C Prep punts - one by Fullerton and one by Kroft Sunderland - and got a fumble recovery from Albert Yacovelli; they were deadlocked at 0-0 when the Jaguars took over at their own 45 with 1:43 to play in the half.
The drive reached the Dayton 18, but Dain Henderson and Yacovelli broke through and sacked T-C Prep quarterback Jameson Pedersen at the 24 to force Castona to rush on and boot home the 40-yard field goal.
Dayton forced its big break with 4:41 left in the third. The Jaguars were forced to punt from their own 29, and here came the Bulldogs again.
Wyatt Frame blocked the punt and Sunderland caught it in mid-air. The Jaguars were flagged for a 5-yard face mask penalty, and the Bulldogs took over at the T-C Prep 15.
"That was our third block of the day," Sunderland said. "Their front line didn't have very big people. Hayden (Fullerton) rushed fast enough to get his (the first block). When I got mine (the second block), there wasn't a big person over me.
"Somebody else (Wyatt Frame) blocked it (the third-quarter block) and I just caught it in the air," the 6-foot-2, 270-pound Bulldog lineman continued. "I ran a couple of yards and got tackled."
Dayton went to its option package and Bickelhaupt ran for 11 yards on first down to set up a first-and-goal at the T- C Prep 4 yard line. Bickelhaupt made a bad pitch, but Josh Frame recovered back at the Jaguar 12 to keep the drive alive.
"I came back to the huddle and told the team, ‘We were going to get a touchdown,'" quarterback Bickelhaupt said. "‘And we're going to win this ball game right here'."
Yacovelli gained four, and Bickelhaupt ran the option for four to set up fourth-and-goal at the T-C Prep 4.
"We did our option right," QB Bickelhaupt said. "I took it in and scored. At the start of the game, they (Prep) were covering it (the option) pretty well. We made some adjustments and it started to work."
Joey Schlachter added the point-after and the Bulldogs led 7-3 with 1:55 left in the third quarter.
On the ensuing Jaguar possession, Garett Turner picked off a T-C Prep pass at his 45 and returned to the Jaguars' 47.
Bickelhaupt ran the option for 24 yards on the drive to lead the Bulldogs to a first-and-goal, seven yards from the end zone with 7:25 left in the game.
The Jaguars forced a fumble and Kevin Daly fell on the loose ball at the T-C Prep 5.
The Bulldog defense forced a punt and Dayton went to work from the Jaguar 47.
Bickelhaupt hit Wyatt Frame for 11 yards and a first down, and two plays later, the twosome teamed up for a 30-yard score and a 13-3 Bulldog lead with 2:06 left.
"More of an ugly good play," QB Bickelhaupt said. "I threw it up way too high. The defender kept on running and Wyatt came back and caught it. He made a move and put it in for six."
The Bulldog defense kept the Jaguars at bay to ice the Dayton win. Dayton limited T-C Prep to 196 yards of offense, only 47 yards in the second half.
"They (Prep) didn't really step up (on offense)," Sunderland said. "We had our linebackers, Albert (Yacovelli) and Michael (Gatlin), move up and help."
Dayton improves to 1-3 overall, 1-0 in SE 2B play and hosts Waitsburg-Prescott in its homecoming Friday.
"Our special teams made some big plays for us," coach Bickelhaupt summarized. "Our defense was superior. We need to get out of where we've been (the losing streak), and this (win) is a good step forward."
Dayton 13, Tri-Cities 3
Dayton 0 0 7 6 - 13
Tri-Cities Prep 0 3 0 0 - 3
TCP - Castona 40 FG.
Day - Bickelhaupt 4 run (Schlachter kick).
Day - W. Frame 30 pass from Bickelhaupt (kick failed).
First downs 6 8
Rushes/yards 38-76 35-93
Passing yards 68 103
Passes (att-comp-int) 11-5-0 16-6-1
Punts 4-37.3 5-15.6
Fumbles-lost 5-4 1-1
Penalties-yards 5-47 9-54
RUSHING - Day: Bickelhaupt 11-26-1, Henderson 7-18, J. Frame 11-9, Yacovelli 5-16, Fullerton 1-1, Schlachter 1-(-1), Smith 2-7; TCP: Yakawich 7-25, Redmann 17-50, Westerfield 2-6, Schmidt 5-14, Cole 3-4, Pedersen 1-(-6).
PASSING - Day: Bickelhaupt 5-11-0 68 yards 1 TD; TCP: Pedersen 4-10-1 70 yards 0 TDs, Redmann 2-6-0 33 yards 0 TDs.
RECEIVING - Day: J. Frame 1-6, Fullerton 1-8, W. Frame 2-41-1; TCP: Redmann 3-37, Castona 1-33, Rivas 1-23, Schmidt 1-10.