East Hall High School picked up its first Region 7-AAA win in a hotly-contested game against Dawson County on Oct. 3, holding on for a 36-29 victory.
The Vikings (2-3; 1-1) will travel to West Hall on Friday in what could be a game for the region championship.
The Vikings seemed to have the game in hand 30-14 with 2:59 remaining in the third quarter. However, the Tigers would not give up and scored twice in the fourth to make the game exciting.
Viking quarterback Devin Watson had a big night, he threw three touchdown passes to three different receivers. When Watson scored with 3:34 left in the fourth on a 3-yard quarterback keeper to make the score 36-21, it looked as if the Vikings had the game in the bag.
Yet the Tigers did not surrender. Dawson County freshman quarterback Coey Watson answered with a pass to Dalton Edwards from 16 yards out to make the score 36-27 with 2:02 left on the clock.
Coach Jeff Lee's team converted a two-point conversion when Coey Watson found Kyle Hayes, making the score 36-29.
After what looked like a recovered onside kick by the Tigers, their hopes faded when the referees awarded the ball to the Vikings.
Dawson's defense held, forcing a Vikings punt with 1:37 to go. But a roughing-the-kicker penalty gave the ball back to East Hall. Coach Bryan Gray's team kneeled down and ran out the clock.
Devin Watson completed his first six passes, two of them for first-quarter touchdowns.
The first came with 9:03 on the clock when he found Rex Purgason with a 6-yard score. The PAT was good by Junior Lee for a 7-0 advantage.
On the second score, Watson connected with Kyree Willis for a 35-yard touchdown. The extra point was missed, leaving East Hall up 13-0 with 1:08 remaining in the quarter.
Devin Watson completed 11 of 17 passes for 234 total yards and three touchdowns. He spread the ball around, connecting with seven different Vikings receivers.
Dawson answered on a Kyle Hayes 1-yard score to open the second quarter. The PAT by Peyton Allen made the score 13-7.
Devin Watson added another score just before intermission on a 23-yard bullet to receiver Jacquen Hopkins.
The extra point gave the Vikings a 20-7 lead heading into halftime.
The two teams traded scores in the last two quarters.
The Tigers tried an onside kick to start the second half but was recovered by the Vikings on their own 46. It took only three plays for East Hall to score as Jacques Ash sprinted in from 18 yards out. With the extra point, East Hall led 26-7.
Coey Watson cut the lead in half when he connected with Hayes from 5-yards out to cut East Hall's lead to 26-14.
Junior Lee from East Hall nailed a 27-yard field goal to extend the Vikings advantage to 30-14 with 2:59 left in the third quarter.
Coey Watson answered for Dawson, finding Dalton Edwards on a 25-yard scoring pass at the 6:56 mark of the final period. The extra point left the Tigers trailing 30-21.
The freshman Tiger quarterback went 17 for 19 in the air for 137 yards and three touchdowns. His favorite receiver was Jeffrey Partain, who snagged seven passes. Also catching five passes was Edwards, who also had two scores.
Ash led the Vikings in rushing with 19 carries for 92 yards.
East Hall amassed 390 yards of total offense. The Tigers managed 301 yards of offense.
Dawson County (0-5; 0-2) must make the long trip to play Franklin County in Carnesville on Friday.