Dickson shines for Vandals

December 31, 2009, 8:54 AM HST · Updated December 31, 8:54 AM
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By Fred Guzman

MauiNow.com

It’s been like this for Jojo Dickson ever since his high school days at Baldwin. He was always regarded as a very good player, but never as a star — even if he always seemed to come up big in the big games.

So when he received a scholarship offer to play football at lightly-regarded Idaho following a solid prep career, and with UH merely proposing an opportunity to walk on, Dickson didn’t hesitate in accepting.

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Idaho’s faith in Dickson has been repaid. The 6-2, 229-pound junior linebacker is part of a core group of players responsible for turning around what once was regarded among the worst Division-I-A programs in the country.

Last night, Idaho capped a dream season by pulling out a dramatic 43-42 victory over Bowling Green in the Humanitarian Bowl, going from 2-10 last year to an 8-5 mark.

The Vandals fell behind 42-35 with 32 seconds left in the game, when Freddie Barnes caught a 51-yard TD pass for his 17th catch of the game for 219 yards and three scores. It was also his NCAA record-breaking 155th reception of the season

Miraculously, Idaho pulled to within one point thanks to a touchdown with just four seconds remaining when Nathan Enderle delivered a 16-yard scoring pass to Max Komar.

Instead of going for a tying extra point, coach Rob Akey, opted go all in with a two-point attempt. This time, Enderle found Preston Davis in the end zone to secure the victory.

And Dickson made a major contribution in a supporting role by registering six tackles and blocking one pass.

No surprise there. Dickson ranked second on the team during the regular season with 73 stops, including four for losses and one sack, in addition to intercepting two passes and forcing a fumble en route to earning all-WAC second-team honors.

As usual, Jojo Dickson came through when it counted most.

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