Watch highlights of Buhach Colony’s 34-13 win over Gregori
Buhach Colony senior Youlas Dickson III was not only battling against Gregori on Friday, but also himself.
Throughout the evening, the 5 feet, 8 inches tall running back said he was contending with cramps with temperatures reaching 90 degrees at kickoff.
Dickson III, who plays on defense as well, drank mustard and pickle juice at halftime to loosen his muscles up and it worked as he returned a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown in the second half as the Thunder spoiled Lamar Wallace’s coaching debut with a 34-13 win.
“All day yesterday and today, I was drinking water and getting electrolytes,” Dickson III said. “Sometimes it just happens with the first couple of games (cramps) and they took me out on defense and put the backup in.”
Dickson III, who had the game’s only touchdown in the first half (a 3-yard run with 31 seconds left in the second quarter), scored on a 49-yard punt return with a little over eight minutes remaining in the fourth and a 74-yard kickoff return with 2:57 left.
“I got my drive back,” Dickson III. “I started off slow and the blockers were coming down flying and I was just trying to make something happen.”
In the punt return, he went down the right sideline and cut left, breaking free from Jaguar defenders.
“He is one of the best in the area,” Thunder coach Kevin Navarra said. “We are going to get the ball in his hands for those reasons, because he makes plays.”
The first half was a struggle for both teams as they combined for 16 penalties and five turnovers. Gregori junior safety Timmy Ruiz had a fumble recovery and interception in the first quarter but the Jaguars’ offense couldn’t consistently get first downs.
Just 6-0 after three quarters, Thunder junior tight end Nate Ruiz scored on a 25-yard touchdown run early in the fourth in what would be a 41-point quarter between the two teams.
“Defensively, we were able to stay consistent and at 12-0 (score after Ruiz’s TD), we were feeling pretty comfortable,” Navrarra said.
Thunder senior wide receiver and defensive back Trey Paster had a 27-yard touchdown reception and Gregori senior running back Titus Rhiney had two rushing touchdowns and 143 yards, most of which came late in the game.
“Our goal is to be close in the fourth quarter and hopefully get the chance to win,” Navarra said.
Dickson III had two kickoff returns for a touchdown last year and finished with 158 total yards against Gregori.