In a matchup that eventually felt much like the Tigers opening game against East Hall, the Dawson County varsity football squad put on another display of offensive mastery and defensive domination against rival Lumpkin County on Friday night.
It was the Indians season opener in Dahlonega but the Tigers spoiled the party with a 35-0 annihilation, as the Dawson defense earned its second shutout in as many games.
The Tigers have had three years to think about the last time the two rivals met, when Lumpkin enjoyed a 13-0 victory.
Since then both teams have moved up in classification, with Lumpkin joining Region 8-AAAA and Dawson going to Region 7-AAA.
But a non-region game between the two schools is still just as intense and both squads took the field to the wild cheers of a huge crowd at LCHS.
The first quarter proved to be a tight battle until the Tigers took advantage of good starting field position on a drive that was punctuated by senior quarterback Tyler Dominys first touchdown pass of the night, a fourth-down strike to senior Will Anglin to put Dawson up 7-0.
Early in the second quarter the Tigers struck again with a long touchdown catch by junior wide receiver Chris Sayler to quickly double their lead.
On the next possession, senior Bruce Clark came up with a quarterback sack for the Tigers to force a punt by Lumpkin.
Then it was Clark again on offense, catching a 33-yard touchdown pass from Dominy to give Dawson a 21-0 lead.
Dawson senior defenders Matt Hammond and Zach Martin helped force Lumpkin into another four-and-out situation as both broke through for quarterback sacks.
It didnt take long before the Tigers blew the game open as Clark caught his second touchdown of the game, a long pass from Dominy with 2:25 remaining until halftime.
After the intermission, neither team could get anything going offensively during a back-and-forth third quarter.
But Dawson put together one final scoring drive to begin the fourth quarter as Martin stiff-armed a Lumpkin defender to the ground as he pounded his way to the 16-yard line.
Dominy then took matters into his own hands as he reached the end-zone on a quarterback keeper with ten minutes remaining in the game, giving Dawson a 35-0 winning margin.
With the victory, the Tigers improve to 2-0 as they prepare for a big non-region test against North Forsyth this Friday night.
The Raiders (Region 6-AAAAAA) are coming off a 10-7 win over Forsyth Central last week.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at Dawson County High School.