his mind a little, knowing Dinwiddie was playing Dale again.
He had some big hits defensively, and also picked up 49 yards rushing and scored Dinwiddie’s last touchdown.
“I think I’m happier than you are for you,” Dinwiddie coach Billy Mills said to Tyree.
“He’s a player, on both sides of the ball. I was never so happy for him to make that last touchdown,” Mills said. “That was scary stuff last year. What that kid’s come back from . ... He’s worked his tail off to get back. I was hoping he’d come out and have a big game, and he did.”
Dinwiddie lost 31-27 in the Class 4 state championship game to Salem last season. If the Generals are going to be back in the state title hunt this season — and there’s every reason to think they will be — they’re going to have to have their defense take the spotlight in tight games at times.
Dinwiddie came in averaging almost 55 points. The Generals had scored 60 or more points in three of their four games, with the only nail-biter a 25-20 victory over Salem.
But defense had to keep them in the game in the first half after Dale repeatedly got on Dinwiddie’s side of the field.
The Knights, who were hampered by penalties, reached the Dinwiddie 45, 37, 19 and 33 on their first four possessions. The first two drives ended in punts, and the Generals got fourthdown stops on the next two.
After shutting down the Knights at the 19, the Generals went on an 11-play, 81yard touchdown drive midway through the second quarter.
After stopping another Dale threat, quarterback K’ymon Pope hooked up with Clatrey Reese, who outfought a defender for a 40-yard touchdown pass that put Dinwiddie ahead 14-0.
“We do defense an hourand-a-half a day, maybe even two,” Tyree said. “If there’s something wrong with our defense, we get it right.
“When it’s a game like this, when our offense is down, our defense picks them up.”
The Generals got a pickme-up with the return of K’Vaughan Pope, who has committed to Ohio State. He missed the past three weeks with a badly sprained ankle. Mills said he didn’t want Pope on the field until he was 100 percent. He didn’t practice until Wednesday.
“Having him beside me is like a sigh of relief,” Tyree said. “I just play different when he’s out there. We have a chemistry where we know where the ball is going to go.”
Dale, which was averaging 36 points, had just 20 yards rushing in the second half. Dinwiddie tacked on touchdowns from K’ymon Pope (18 carries, 116 yards, two touchdowns) and Tyree. Zyan Sturdivant added 88 yards rushing on 23 carries.
“Tonight was a big step,” Mills said. “We needed that game big. We’ve just got to keep getting a little better week and play our best game in December hopefully.”
Dinwiddie’s K’ymon Pope evades two members of the Thomas Dale defense. Pope finished with 18 carries for 116 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 6 of 15 passes for 68 yards, including a 40-yard touchdown pass to Clatrey Reese.
The ball is stripped from Collin Holmes of Thomas Dale and recovered by a Dinwiddie defender.