Jeff Brewer

JACKSON TWP.: There is no truth to the rumor Jackson standout Dillon Dingler was spotted selling 50-50 raffle tickets Friday night at Robert Fife Stadium.

Playing both ways, sometimes taking direct snaps from center, and punting, Dingler made every play the Polar Bears needed in a 36-13 win over Akron East in the season opener for both teams.

Leading 13-6 at halftime, the Polar Bears dominated the third quarter for a 30-6 lead.

“We came out with some nerves,” Jackson coach Tim Budd said. “Maybe we came out a little too hyped up. East did a great job running the ball [in the first half]. They were extremely physical. We challenged our guys at halftime.”

Dingler, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior, had two first-half touchdown runs, an 84-yard punt, and then climbed the ladder to snare a pass batted straight up in the air for a 17-yard completion on third-and-4 to keep a decisive drive moving in the third quarter.

“It was a great start to the season,” he said. “We started off a little slow, but made some adjustments for the second half. We really put it to them in the third quarter.”

Dingler (six carries, 40 yards, two TDs) is headed to Ohio State on a baseball scholarship.

“[Dingler] is one of the best athletes in the school, a three-sport star,” Budd said. “We’re going to ask him to make a lot of plays this year.”

It was a deflating contest for East, which is hoping to contend for a City Series championship and a Division III playoff berth.

“We’ve had a hard time running the ball against this team in the past, but I thought we had our way with the front line [in the first half],” fifth-year East coach Marques Hayes said. “Turnovers were the name of this game. They were drive killers for us.”

The Dragons coughed it up four times, while Jackson had a clean sheet.

The Polar Bears marched to a 16-6 lead on a 27-yard field goal by Trey Wright to start the third quarter.

Then with East gasping to stay close, Dingler’s remarkable catch, taking the ball away from several East defenders, resulted in senior Jack Dear’s 9-yard scoring run and a 23-6 lead with 46 seconds left in the third.

“I couldn’t even see the ball when I jumped up,” Dingler said. “I was trying for us not to get a turnover because they had some momentum at that time.”

East immediately lost a fumble and Dear (15 carries, 112 yards, two TDs) ran for another score from 15 yards out to make it 30-6 with seconds still to play in the third.

East sophomore quarterback Ryan Collins connected with junior Daishawn Brimage on a 15-yard scoring toss in the fourth.

Jackson senior defender Gary Parsons picked up a fumble and waltzed seven yards for a late touchdown.

East completed one pass for 16 yards in the first half, but ran the ball for 169 yards on 31 snaps.

Senior Jemarulin Suggs, committed to the University of Akron, rushed for 132 yards in the first two quarters and finished with 159 yards on 31 attempts to lead the East attack.

His 16-yard touchdown burst with 4:31 left in the half got the Dragons back in the game after falling behind 13-0.

Junior Devanier Floyd added 70 yards rushing on 15 tries.