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FOOTBALL: Can Dawson County pull off another upset in the second round of the GHSA State Tournament?
Football 10-30-20
Tyler Lane runs for the end zone on his 68-yard touchdown reception in the 38-21 victory at West Hall on Oct. 30. - photo by Jacob Smith

After beating Adairsville, the Dawson County Tigers will face the undefeated Oconee County Warriors in the second round of the GHSA 3-A state tournament. 

Dawson County Tigers vs Oconee County Warriors 

When and where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, at Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Ga.

Records and rankings: Dawson County is 6-5 and ranked #21 in Class 3A by Maxpreps; Oconee County is 10-0 and ranked #2 in Class 3A by Maxpreps.  

Series history: The teams have never played each other. 

What to know: Oconee County has a great pass defense. The team has combined for 12 interceptions in 10 games and are led by Liam Lewis’ four interceptions. Their defense only allows on average 8.5 points to opponents every game and has not let any team score over 16 points this season. To put this into perspective, Dawson County has scored over 16 points every game this season, other than their 23-7 loss against Cass High School early in the season. The Warriors keep the ball on the ground too. Running back CJ Jones has over 500 rushing yards this season. The Warriors scored thirteen passing touchdowns and sixteen rushing touchdowns this season and are within 300 yards of total offense through the air and on the ground. The real matchup will be how effective Oconee County’s defense is against a Dawson County offense that has scored over 40 points in six of their 11 games this season. 

Keys to the game 

Dawson County: Offensive Line. Zach Holtzclaw has thrown over 2,700 yards this season. If his offensive line can give him time and space to find the open receiver, Dawson County’s chances of combating the staunch Oconee County defense with some points on the scoreboard increases tremendously. 

Oconee County: Jake Johnson. On Maxpreps, Oconee County’s tight end Jake Johnson is listed as 6’6” and 220 pounds. When Dawson County played South Forsyth earlier in the season, they had no answer for the 6’7” Devin McGlockton. If Johnson is the same type of athlete, it could look like the Warriors are playing 11 v 10.