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Defense records shutout
Tigers remain undefeated
DCHS Football pic1
Tiger defensive player Matt Hammond sacks the Lumpkin County quarterback. The Tiger defense has not allowed an opponent to score a point so far this season. - photo by Ryan Coker Dawson Community News

Defense is the talk of every Tiger fan.

The Tiger "D" provided another shutout Friday night against Lumpkin County.

The game was the second of the season and the second shutout by the Tigers.

The Tigers defeated Lumpkin County on the Indians home soil in Dahlonega, 35-0, in front of a huge crowd.

According to coaches, it has been since 2006 that a Dawson County team has locked out an opponent, and that was over a 10-game season.

"Coach [Jed] Lacey [defensive coordinator] has done a great job," said Head Coach Jeff Lee. "He has provided a new energy on that side of the ball. Right now we're 2-0. Our defense is giving us a chance to win now. Credit to the defensive staff and players. They're all in right now."

Despite losing senior defensive leaders Cody Smith and Cale Tallant, both are lost for the season with knee injuries, the Tigers have allowed just 205 yards of total offense in two games this season.

On Friday, the defense smothered Lumpkin County's ground game, allowing seven yards on 20 carries.

The crowd was electric on Friday night. At kickoff fans were still filing in and finding seats.

Lee's offense sputtered to begin the contest.

Lee jump-started his team by going for a fourth and eight on Lumpkin's 26-yard line. The crowd was in disbelief until quarterback Tyler Dominy found receiver Will Anglin for a touchdown with just 1:02 left in the first quarter.

Max Muldoon added the extra point and Dawson held a 7-0 lead.

The play seemed to get things rolling for the Tigers.

"Coming into this game we knew we had to weather what was coming through those gates," Lee said. "We knew that Lumpkin was going to play hot and emotional. I turned to my staff and asked: ‘Guys do you want to win or not?'"

Anglin had a huge night for the Tigers both on offense and defense. The senior finished with four catches for 51 yards and he also had 40 yards rushing on the night.

The Tigers pulled some tricks out of the bag on the ensuing kickoff.

Muldoon placed a perfect onside kick, in which the Tigers recovered around midfield.

But the trickery was spoiled as Dominy had his only hiccup of the game, throwing an interception on first down to Indian defensive back Jonathan Gilreath.

The Tiger defense held.

Lee gambled again on his next possession.

Once again the Tigers went for it on fourth and six in their own territory.

Dominy found Chris Saylor for a 66-yard touchdown.

Saylor had a spectacular run, breaking several Lumpkin tacklers on his way to the end zone. Muldoon tacked on the extra point and Dawson led 14-0 with 10:12 remaining before halftime.

Muldoon was a perfect 5-for-5 on extra points. The junior kicker is 12-for-12 on the season.

Dominy threw for two more touchdowns before halftime to his favorite receiver Bruce Clark.

The first came from 33-yards out on a beautiful fade pass that just got over an Indian defenders outstretched hand.

The second connection capped a 70-yard drive where Dominy hit Clark on a 36-yard pass to make the score at halftime, 28-0.

Dominy was 9-for-14 in the first half for 210 yards and four touchdowns. The senior finished the game completing 10 of 15 passes for 240 yards.

Lee's team worked on the ground game and the clock in the second half. A continual pounding from fullback Zach Martin seemed to take the fight out of Lumpkin County.

Martin completed the night with 100 yards on 13 carries.

It seemed fitting that Dominy scored Dawson's final touchdown of the game in the fourth quarter. This time the score came from his legs rather than his arm.

Dominy scrambled out of the pocket and avoided several Indian tacklers to score from 15-yards out. With the extra point, Dawson put the game out of reach, 35-0.

"We have to get better. We're not where we want to be," Lee said. "We'll keep working on our fundamentals. We've got a big Class AAAAAA school, North Forsyth, coming in next week. And I expect a huge crowd next week."

Lumpkin County is currently 0-1 on the season and will travel to play White County on Friday night.

The Tigers will be at home against an undefeated North Forsyth on Friday. The Raiders picked up a 10-7 win over Forsyth Central in the team's season opener on Friday night.

This is a big game for both teams. It has been since 2002 the Tigers have won their first three games of the season.

For North Forsyth, they haven't won back-to-back season opening games since 2009.

A big crowd is expected for the match-up. Lee suggests that Tiger fans get there early and avoid long lines getting into Tiger Stadium for the 7 p.m. kickoff.