DIERKS – The tone was set for the Dierks Outlaws’ opener Friday night against Horatio when penalty flags flew on the opening kick-off.
The Outlaws endured a 21-8 loss to the Lions in a game that saw the home team flagged 10 times for 130 yards and their offense produce only 149 yards.
The young Dierks team, under new coach Jonathan Bates, didn’t produce much offense, but their defense did step up to keep the game from getting completely out of range.
The Lions offense rolled up 294 total yards – 54 via the pass and 240 on the ground and was turned back several times by the Dierks defense, which collected one interception and covered three Horatio fumbles.
Lion quarterback Zack Izzo hit 4/7 passes, including a 15-yard touchdown strike in the second quarter to Taylor Chavez. Izzo also rushed 21 times for 96 yards.
Chavez added seven carries for 45 yards and two TDs and Mike Jones ran 16 times for 61 yards.
The Outlaws had 44 yards of passing and 105 yards on the ground for their 149-yard total.
QB Colt Kuykendall hit 6/15 passes for all of the Dierks aerial yards with Jarrett Fox, Grant Strasner and Blayn Turner pulling in passes.
Dierks’ sole score of the game came on a trick “hook-and-ladder” play in the third quarter following a fumble recovery. Kuykendall threw to Turner, who pitched to Brayden Kirby, who raced 71 yards for the TD. (Due to the pitch involved, the yardage gained on the play was posted in the Outlaws’ rushing total.)
Fox collected the two-point pass from Kuykendall to tally the night’s eight points.
Kirby led the Outlaw rushing with eight carries for 86 yards, followed by Strasner with one carry for 10 yards.
Lane Tabler added four carries for four yards and Lowery had three carries for five yards.
The Outlaw defense was led by Cameron Pugh with 11 solo tackles followed by Kirby with nine and George Thomas and Jon Wilbanks with six each.
Adding to the tackle chart were Fox, Kuykendall, Strasner, Turner, Table, Lowery, Jackson Bearden, and Brian Burk.
Dierks lost three of three fumbles. The offense was penalized eight times for 110 yards while the defense was flagged twice for 20 yards.
Horatio lost three of three fumbles and Izzo threw one interception. The Lions were penalized six times for 48 yards, all on offense.
Strasner punted six times for the Outlaws for 186 yards and a 31-yard average. The Lions punted once.
The Outlaws will hit the road Friday for a non-conference game against the Gurdon Go-Devils, who are coming off a 21-20 win over Lafayette County.
The Lions will travel to Murfreesboro Friday for a non-conference game against the Rattlers. Murfreesboro dropped their opener to the Centerpoint Knights, 50-14.