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Dayton just falls short to PN-G 42-35

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    Ashanti Allen and Holden Campbell swarm the Indians runner. (The Vindicator | Amanda Jordan)
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    Dayton's Trace Owens cues in on the Port Neches-Groves ball carrier. (The Vindicator | Amanda Jordan)

The Dayton Broncos played well on Friday night and had a chance to tie or win the game in the closing minutes, but the Port Neches-Groves defense got a stop, and the Indians held on for a 42-35 win in district play at Houston Methodist Field at Bronco Stadium. Dayton finished with 385 yards of total offense, with quarterback Blayne Denton passing for 271-yards and four touchdowns. Ashton Garner had three of those touchdown receptions and finished with seven catches for 99-yards. Donavan Orebo added nine catches for 92-yards. PN-G took the game's opening kickoff and marched 75-yards on 15-plays, with Cole Crippen hitting Landon Guarnere on a 10-yard score to make it 7-0. After both traded possessions, the Broncos got a big play on offense, with Denton connecting with Camron Cooper on a 59-strike to tie things up at 7-apiece with 2:00 left in the opening quarter. The Indians needed less than a minute to regain the lead, with Crippen finding Cooper Faircloth from 57-yards out to make it 14-7. Dayton then put together a nice 72-yard 11-play drive to even the score again, with Denton finding Garner from 8-yards out with 9:03 in the second quarter.
PN-G then got the next two scores to build a two-touchdown lead as Crippen hit Chance Prosperie from 8-yards out and then Guarnere on a 16-yard score, and the lead was up to 28-14 with 1:36 left in the first half. That proved to be too much time for Denton and Company as the Broncos quickly went 75-yards on just six plays, with Denton firing a strike to Garner from 30-yards out, and Dayton was within 28-21 at the half. The Indians added to their lead late in the third quarter as Koby Trahan scored on a 3-yard run to make it 35-21, heading into the fourth quarter. Back came the Broncos to get closer as running back Daveon Washington scored on a 12-yard burst to make it 35-28 with 9:51 remaining in the game. Washington finished the game with 119-yards on 18-carries. PN-G then padded to their advantage as Trahan scored on a 3-yard run to run the lead to 42-28. Dayton was not done yet, and it was Denton-to-Garner again, this time from 39-yards out, and the deficit was down to 42-35 with 3:15 left. The Broncos defense then got a Cooper sack on fourth down, and the offense took back over at their own 48-yard line with 2:08 on the clock. A couple of big turned out to be big on the final drive, and Dayton turned the ball over on downs, and the Indians had held on for the win. The Broncos will travel to Santa Fe on Friday night, looking for their first district win.