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Football: Scrimmage games bring Friday night lights back to Dawson County
Football scrimmage Aug. 21
Receiver Jaden Gibson lines up for a play in the Dawson County High School ‘maroon against white’ scrimmage held on Friday, Aug. 21. Gibson scored a rushing touchdown as quarterback in the game. - photo by Jacob Smith

On Friday, Aug. 21, Dawson County High School hosted a night of scrimmage ‘maroon versus white’ football games to kick off the season, ahead of the season opener against Cass High School in Bartow County scheduled for Sept. 4. 

Lightning was supposed to strike Dawsonville throughout the evening, but inclemate weather held off and games played as scheduled. Three games were held throughout the afternoon and early evening, with players from every skill level. 

The first game mixed sixth and seventh-grade players, and by half time the maroon team was down 14-0. Maroon team quarterback Sean McCarron led a comeback with his hail mary touchdown as time expired to bring them within two points. McCarron then rushed the ball into the endzone for the two-point conversion, making the final score 14-14. 

The seventh and eighth-grade game was lopsided from the beginning. The maroon team was up 22-0 at halftime and finished with a final score of 38-8. Preston Bannister led the way for the maroon team with two interceptions, a rushing touchdown and a receiving two-point conversion. 

Coaches decided not to have a running clock on the high school scrimmage, instead, they ran multiple game-like series where different offenses and defenses matched up against each other. 

The defense shined in the high school game. Both quarterbacks Zach Holtzclaw and Jaden Gibson started the game with rushing touchdowns and were unable to convert any extra points after the scores, tying the game at 6-6. Tate Westerlund also had an interception that he ran back for a touchdown.

Multiple players were unable to play on Friday due to quarantine for possible COVID-19 exposure, something that many high schools may struggle with this season. 

Overall, the game gave the coaches a lot to look at to get ready for the first game of the season against Cass High School. According to coaches, the team’s offense will continue to improve once the players are exposed to more time working with each other.