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FOOTBALL PREVIEW: How the Tigers stack up against region rival North Hall to end regular season
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The Tigers football team rushes out hoisting American flags before their non-region game against the Flowery Branch Falcons on September 11. - photo by Jacob Smith

Dawson County Tigers vs North Hall Trojans

When, where: 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at North Hall High School in Gainesville, Georgia.

Records, rankings: Dawson County is 5-4 (4-1 in region play) and ranked #20 in Class 3A by Maxpreps; North Hall is 5-4 (4-1 in region play) and is not ranked. 

Series history: Dawson County leads the series 3-2 all-time.

Last meeting: North Hall over Dawson County 30-27 on Nov. 8, 2019. 

What to know: North Hall’s defense allows on average 28 points a game. Dawson County’s offense scores on average 39 points a game. Statistically, that would mean North Hall defense holds Dawson County to about 33 points, if they play an average game. Tigers’ quarterback Zach Holtzclaw has thrown for over 2,000 yards this season and will be able to air it out against this North Hall secondary. On the defensive side, Gilmer County is the only other team Dawson County played this season that primarily runs the ball, whom the Tigers beat 35-0. The Trojans’ senior running back Clark Howell could have 1,500 rushing yards on the season after this game and the team has 10 other players that collected a rushing attempt this season. Both teams will be fighting for the #2 seed out of the 7-3A region, and will earn themselves a home game in the first round of the 3-A GHSA State Tournament if they prevail. The loser of this game will be the #3 seed and not play a home game. Dawson County has the slight advantage on Maxpreps, but expect this to be a grueling, hard-fought, close game. 

Keys to the game 

Dawson County: Health. The Tigers have played in three games this season that have been determined by one score or less. At the end of their games, there always seems to be two or three guys with nagging injuries who cannot finish the game. This matchup is poised to be a close game, so the Tigers will need to keep their starters healthy and on the field. 

North Hall: Clock Management. North Hall could be in a position where they need to put points on the scoreboard quickly and might not have enough time due to their run-heavy offense. The coaches will need to make sure the game remains competitive at the end of both halves so they have a chance to win the game late.