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FOOTBALL: Dominant defense and a trick play helped Dawson blank White County
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Kevin Haymond (54) and Cade Adams team up to sack the White County quarterback. - photo by Rio White

Late in the second quarter of Dawson County’s Thursday night football game at White County, the threat of a scoreless first half loomed for both teams. 

The Tigers defense had done their part — intercepting the Warriors’ quarterback on his first pass of the game and bringing on unrelenting pressure.

Knowing they needed a spark, the offense went all out.

Offensive coordinator Andy LeBlanc drew up a hook-and-ladder play that had Dominic LeBlanc catch a Davis Glass pass before shoveling the ball over to Matt Bennett, who took it 48 yards to the end zone with six seconds left before halftime.

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“Coach LeBlanc made a great call that sort of broke the game open,” head coach Sid Maxwell said. “It was hard for [White] to take that into halftime…so I think that helped change the momentum a little bit. Then we came out and did a good job.”

While that play would get the offense going for the rest of the game, the story of the night was the stifling defensive display. 

All components of the defense were working well, with the line holding the Warriors to 88 yards of total offense while the secondary caught four interceptions.

Cade Adams, Kevin Haymond and Kade Moledor all helped place pressure on the opposing offensive line while Christian Webb caught the first of those interceptions.

By the end of Thursday’s game, the combination of Dawson’s stout defense and refreshed offense resulted in a 31-0 victory and a 2-0 start to region play. The Tigers outscored those first two region opponents 87-7.

“We were very solid on defense. Coach Woodall had them ready to play,” Maxwell said. “We’re maturing and understanding the concepts. We struggled early on not doing the little things…but we’re heading in the right direction.”

The second half would see the offense find a rhythm through the one-two punch of Glass and Moledor, who combined for 178 rushing yards.

While Moledor did not score, his aggression on both sides of the ball made a siginificant impact for his team. Glass finished with 191 all-purpose yards.

Early in the third quarter, Bennett contributed on the defensive end with an interception that set up the offense in good field position, with Glass eventually punching it in to make the score 14-0. 

After a 32-yard field goal by LeBlanc, the Tigers scored just before the end of the third quarter on a 38-yard scamper by Kenny Nelson, who was set up by an interception by Tucker Caine.

Nelson would wrap up the Tigers’ scoring on the defensive end with a pick-six, taking the team’s fourth interception of the night 75 yards all the way to the end zone. 

Maxwell was pleased with the team’s most complete defensive performance thus far.

“I thought the secondary was breaking well on the ball and kept everything from getting behind [them], which is big for us,” Maxwell said. “It’s something to build on to keep improving.”

After the win at White County, the Tigers now have a 4-2 overall record and will return home to renew a local rivalry against Pickens on Friday, Oct. 7.

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