For the first time in a long time, Dawson County jumped into the playoff picture on the first weekend of postseason football action.
As one of the final 32 teams in the state in Class AAA, the Tigers found themselves matched up against Region 6-AAA Champion St. Pius X.
After securing its first winning season in seven years, Dawson earned the fourth and final seed from Region 7-AAA.
No stranger to high-powered opponents, the Tigers have faced several intimidating offenses this season, but none quite like top-seeded St. Pius X, a team ranked No. 7 in the State.
After four quarters in Atlanta, the Tigers and the Golden Lions combined to score 100 points.
However, the balance of power began to shift away from Dawson as St. Pius X effectively utilized its multi-headed beast of a running attack right from the beginning.
All across the state, when number-four seeds match up against number-one seeds in the opening round of the playoffs, the results can be unpredictable.
And Friday nights results were not what any Dawson County fan would have predicted, as the Lions ran up a 72-28 victory over the visiting Tigers.
The first quarter was all St. Pius X, as the Lions jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but Dawson began the second quarter with a 31-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Tyler Dominy to senior wide receiver Bruce Clark.
With just under four minutes to play in the half, Dominy and Clark hooked up again for another touchdown pass as St. Pius X led 28-14.
After the Lions put two more scores on the board, Dominy found senior wide receiver Mitchell Putnam in the endzone for an 18-yard touchdown reception to cut the lead to 42-21 halfway through the third quarter.
For the remainder of the third and into the fourth quarter, the St. Pius X offense found a comfortable rhythm and scored four touchdowns and a field goal to break the game wide open.
In the closing minutes, Clark hauled in his third touchdown pass of the game as the clock ran down to the close of Dawsons season.
The Tigers were able to score more than three times the average number of points given up by the Lions this season, but it wasnt enough against a St. Pius X team that is accustomed to playoff football in recent years.
Head coach Jeff Lees Dawson County team closes out its 6-5 season by making the playoffs for the first time in eight years, while the Lions (9-2) advance to take on Hart County in the second round.
It was the final game for Dawson Countys outstanding group of seniors, including Dominy, Putnam, Clark, Will Anglin, Cole Knight, Brandon Seay, Zach Martin, Justin Sams, Cody Smith, Matt Hammond, Harley Vaughan, Blake McDaniel, Cale Tallant, Christian Hebert, JP King, Levi Samples, Trent White, Jacob Wilkie, Brenden Fitzgerald, and Cole Waters.