Thursday, Oct. 11 was an outstanding night for football in Dawson County as not just one but two teams of Tigers played for their shot at being declared Super Bowl Champion. Both games featured re-matches as the seventh grade Tigers were defeated by the Pickens County Dragons 38–12 and eighth grade took home the title by defeating the Rebels from Fannin County 20–14.
Opening the game with a defensive stop of the Dragons, the seventh grade team was able to mount an early drive that took them quickly into the red zone only to see the drive come to a halt with no points on an interception from the Pickens County secondary that almost resulted in a pick-six but only succeeded in flipping the field in favor of the Dragons. With the short-field possession the Dragons quickly put 6 points on the board in what was an otherwise scoreless quarter.
The second and third quarters of the game were all Pickens County as the Tigers continued to give up the ball and allowed the Dragons to start on their side of the field on almost every offensive possession. As the fourth quarter began the Dawson County team was facing a 32–0 deficit.
Rising up to the test of character, the young men from Dawson County put together two late game drives to demonstrate a fighting spirit to the very end, but ultimately time ran out on the Tigers and the Pickens County Dragons claimed victory with a final score of 38–12.
“The coaches were very proud of the team and their attitude even in defeat,” said seventh grade team Head Coach Terry Haymond. “Dawson never gave up and scored a couple touch downs at the end.”
The night’s second game featured an eighth grade Dawson County team that had run the table during the regular season and entered the game as the top-seeded team from the play-offs. They were taking on the Fannin County Rebels, who had cruised into the post season with the number two berth after suffering an opening season loss to these same Tigers.
The Tigers certainly appeared to be on their way to a decisive win as the Dawson County defense once again showed their domination along the line and held the Rebels to only 6 points in the first half. On the other side of the ball the rushing attack of the Tigers moved them efficiently down field and as the second quarter closed the score was Dawson County 20 to Fannin County’s 6.
“My biggest concern going into the game was the boys bringing focus and intensity to the game for two reasons. First, Dawson County was on fall break all week. Change in routine always has its risks. Second, beating a team twice is always much harder than the first time,” said eighth grade Head Coach Trevor Duba. “We played Fannin the first game of the season and beat them pretty decisively. I was worried players would become complacent, thinking it was a ‘sure thing’ that we were going to win the championship.”
The second half almost turned tragic for Dawson County as the mid-game adjustments by the Rebel’s coaching staff completely shut down the normally powerful Tiger offense.
Fortunately for Dawson County the defense remained strong throughout the game and held off the Rebel’s final charge to win Super Bowl II by a final score of 20–14.