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Big win for Tigers
Dawson outlasts defending region champs West Hall
S-Varsity Football pic1
Tiger receiver Brandon Monkus lowers his shoulder into a West Hall defender last week. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

Dawson County High School Varsity Football Head Coach Sid Maxwell's team defeated defending Region 7-AAA champion West Hall, 17-0, last week in Oakwood.

The Tiger faithful , who braved the constant misty rain on Sept. 25, watched a defense that just wouldn't let the Spartans in the end zone.

Five times the Tiger defense stopped West Hall from scoring inside the red zone.

The Spartans first drive of the game took them down to the Tiger 2-yard line before the Tiger defense stopped them on third down and forced a 24-yard field goal by Isreal Lopez that was wide with 1:48 left in the first quarter.

Then sophomore quarterback Coey Watson led the Dawson County offense down the field.

Starting in just his second game at running back, senior Hunter Mitchell burst through a hole for a 48-yard gain just before the end of the first quarter.

Watson finished the 80-yard drive with an option keep for a 14-yard touchdown that put the Tigers ahead 6-0 with 11:23 left in the second quarter.

Alan Sanchez added the extra point and Dawson County held a 7-0 advantage.

Mitchell finished the game with 23 carries for 161 yards.

"I feel like we can beat any team we play," said senior running back Hunter Mitchell to The Times of Gainesville.

Mitchell finished with 53 yards on the scoring drive alone on just his second varsity start as a running back.

The senior had played as corner for the past three years, and stepped in when the first and second-string rushers went down with injuries.

"I was probably a little nervous on the bus, but not when I stepped out onto the field," he said.

After the Spartans couldn't pick up a first down on their next possession, West Hall lined up to punt.

The Tigers took advantage of a Spartan error when Wisconsin-bound punter Anthony Lotti bobbled a snap from center, which let Dawson County set up shop on the Spartan 15-yard line.

On the second play from scrimmage, Watson connected with receiver Tucker Maxwell on a 14-yard scoring strike.

Sanchez added the extra point and Dawson County held a 14-0 lead with 8:34 left before halftime.

Maxwell finished the game with two receptions for 16 yards.

Because of some spotty punting by the Tigers, the West Hall offense had three chances within a five minute span before halftime to get points, but the Dawson County defense came up big each time.

Jeremy Whalen intercepted a tipped ball from West Hall quarterback Jacob Satterfield in the end zone with 3:39 left in the second quarter.

After a bad punt by the Tigers, Spartan running back Tristian Hester lost a fumble that Whalen recovered on the Tiger 21.

Another three and out by the Tiger defense allowed West Hall to set up shop again inside the 20-yard line. But once again Lopez missed his second field goal from 21-yards out with just 21 seconds before halftime.

"This defense had a great game, containing the tremendous athletes that West Hall has, and it's a great result for a young group," said Maxwell to The Times, who previously coached at Lambert and Sequoyah High. "We've had a tough schedule so far, so I think we're battle-tested, and the bumps and bruises we've had will make us better."

The defense ended up sacking Satterfield six times for a loss of minus 45 yards.

Dawson County also had 14 tackles for loss against the vaunted Spartan running game.

Several Tiger defenders had a great game, including: Brody Chester, Jeremy Whalen, Conor Woodbury, Luke Martin, Hunter Lebaron, Taylor Swofford and Andrew Goley.

Kicker Sanchez sealed the victory with a 35-yard field goal with 9:39 remaining in the fourth quarter to give Dawson County a 17-0 lead.

Tyrese Osborne was West Hall's lone bright spot, rushing for 120 yards on 16 carries.

The last time West Hall was shut out was in a Nov. 1, 2013 loss to White County.

With the shutout by Dawson County, the Spartans haven't scored a touchdown in 13 quarters. West Hall is now marred in a three-game losing streak and drop to 2-3 overall and 0-1 in Region 7-AAA.

Dawson County now has the edge in the Region with the huge win.

First-year head coach Sid Maxwell will lead the Tigers against another region foe, East Hall this week. Dawson County is currently 2-2 overall and more importantly 1-0 in Region 7-AAA.

East Hall thumped Lumpkin County 48-14 last Friday night. It was the first win of the season for the Vikings.

West Hall will take the week off before playing East Hall on Oct. 9.

DCN regional staff contributed to this story.