The Dawson County High School Varsity Tiger Football team is preparing this week to take on the Union County Panthers, a team that Coach Jeff Lee has never lost to.
The Panthers are currently 4-3 overall and 3-3 in region play under coach Brian Allison.
Last week, Union defeated Oglethorpe County by a 42-28 score and are presently on a two-game winning streak.
Quarterback Kolt Owenby can beat you with both his arm and legs.
Owenby threw for over 2,000 yards in just seven and a half games last season before getting injured against Dawson County.
Owenby runs Union’s spread offense with precision.
Last week, against Oglethorpe, he was 12-for-26 for 248 yards passing and two touchdowns. He also rushed the ball 21 times for 91 yards and three touchdowns. The Tigers must find a way on defense to keep him in the pocket.
The Union quarterback has two big receivers. Blake Gowder led the state in receiving last year with 77 catches and 1,453 receiving yards. Gowder is a big time Division-I recruit.
Owenby can also throw to Caylan Tanner (5-11, 165). Tanner caught the ball six times last week for 184 yards and a touchdown. He also returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.
The offensive line is a point of concern for Allison.
Last year, Union graduated three seniors, but it seems that they have found the combination of lineman to take their place.
Leaders along the line are Matthew Efrid and Gabe Miller.
Defense is a weak spot for the Panthers. The unit has surrendered 241 points this season for an average of over 34 points per game.
If Dawson can get some consistency this week they will put some points on the board.
Union will run a 3-4 type defense. Inside linebacker Michael Sossie (6-0, 190) anchors the front seven.
The secondary, with safety Wesley Adams and cornerback Tanner, could be the teams strength on defense.
Union is in place to possibly capture the number four seed in the region.
This is a big game for them as they battle Fannin County and Riverside for that spot. The Panthers folded in their last three games last season after Dawson defeated them 17-14, on a late field goal by Tiger kicker David Scully.
It seems that Dawson has Union’s number. The game could be a slugfest on offense. The Tigers must maintain possession and keep the Union offense off the field for them to have a chance.
Lee’s team has the Panthers at home. When you take Union away from the mountain they don’t play as well. Dawson County has a very good chance of coming away with a victory in this game.