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FOOTBALL: Tigers cannot stop Flowery Branch in 31-7 loss
Bailey Dameron jukes out the Flowery Branch defender during the 31-7 loss on Friday, Aug. 27. Photo by akhughes Photography.

The Dawson County Tigers football team lost to the Flowery Branch Falcons 31-7 on Friday, Aug. 27. 

“The boys played with tremendous effort,” Tigers head coach Sid Maxwell said. “We made a few mistakes, we have a lot of guys that haven’t played varsity football before so they’re going to make mistakes.”

The lone score of the night was a five-yard run by senior Jackson Grindle. The Tigers only chance in the red zone was set up by a 56-yard reception by senior Bailey Dameron. Dameron led the team in receiving yards for the second week in a row for 138 yards on six catches. His 138 receiving yards was 81 percent of the Tigers’ total offense. 

“We gotta put some guys around [Dameron],” Maxwell said. “If it hits your hands, you have to catch it. We lost three receivers from last year and we’re going through a little bit of growing pains.”

Grindle’s rushing total for the night ended at just three yards after a rough second half for the Tigers. The Tigers ran for two yards in the second half. The game changed after the Falcons scored on a 97 yard touchdown run with 10:12 left in the third quarter.

“On that 97-yard touchdown run, we had one guy get out of his gap,” Maxwell said. “We were in man coverage and we were trying to make a safety happen and what could’ve been a safety turned into [a touchdown].”

Before that play, the Tigers were down by seven points. After the huge run, the Tigers gained forty yards on offense for the remainder of the game  and failed to score again. Senior Zach Holtzclaw finished the game completing 11 of 22 pass attempts for 169 passing yards and one interception.  

The Tigers defense was able to reach the quarterback multiple times on Friday night and successfully sacked him three times. The first was on the first drive of the game by junior Kade Moledor to force a third and long. 

Moledor wasn’t done harassing Flowery Branch’s offensive line, recording another sack late in the second half. Senior Will Halden also recorded a sack late in the first half that pushed Flowery Branch out of field goal range.

In 2020, the Tigers fell in a 45-42 nail-biter against the Falcons but were unable to move the ball offensive to keep up with the Falcons this year, who are ranked No. 4 in 4-A by Maxpreps. 

Next week, the Tigers (0-2) will travel to Cumming to take on the South Forsyth High School War Eagles (0-1). The Eagles lost their first game to Roswell 45-26 and had their week two game cancelled against Cambridge. Last season, the Tigers and War Eagles scored a combined 112 points in a 63-49 South Forsyth win.