The annual battle between neighboring rivals Dawson and Lumpkin (Region 8-AAAA) lived up to the anticipation once again as the Tigers found a way to power their way to a 27-13 victory.
With the score knotted at 13-13 in the fourth quarter, Dawson (Region 7-AAA) began to break through the Lumpkin defense with running back Cody Lamar powering ahead for several long runs. The senior finished an outstanding effort with over two hundred yards in the game.
Senior Chris Sayler put the Tigers on top for good with a four-yard touchdown run with seven minutes remaining in the game for a 20-13 lead.
Not long after, the Dawson defense recovered a fumble on the next Lumpkin possession and senior Jackson Putnam put the game out of reach with another touchdown run just 39 seconds later.
But the final score gives no indication of the back-and-forth action that dominated most of the game.
Dawson jumped on top early as Lamar smashed his way through for a short touchdown run with 10 minutes remaining in the first quarter.
But Lumpkin answered quickly with a 45-yard touchdown run by quarterback Daniel McCrary on the next possession to cut the lead to 7-6.
In the second quarter, the Tigers pulled ahead again thanks to junior quarterback Zack Buchans 15-yard touchdown pass to junior Dalton Edwards in the far corner of the endzone.
However, Dawsons 13-6 lead only lasted one minute as Lumpkins McCrary picked up a Tigers fumble on the 16-yard line and scrambled in for the tying touchdown.
Dawson fans will want to block out the memory of the messy third quarter in which the Tigers offense repeatedly gave away the ball as the score remained 13-13 for much of the game until Dawson eventually broke through.
But the Tigers defense answered the call and rendered the Lumpkin offense ineffective for the remainder of the game.
For the second-straight year, head coach Jeff Lee has his Tigers off to a 2-0 record to start the season as Dawson will travel to North Forsyth this Friday.
The Raiders (Region 6-AAAAAA) edged Dawson 35-28 last year and began their 2013 season by dismantling Forsyth Central 31-0.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 6 in Cumming.