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FOOTBALL: Tigers complete second straight shutout in victory over Pickens
Christian Webb celebrates after his pick-six to put the Tigers ahead of Pickens in the first quarter. - photo by Rio White

In the first regular-season meeting between the Dawson County and Pickens varsity football teams in over a decade, the Tigers put away their neighbors 27-0 through yet another stifling defensive performance

Marking a second consecutive shutout victory and a 114-7 scoring margin over the past three games, the Tigers scored all of their points in the first half — a contrast to the second-half dominance seen in the previous week’s win at White County. 

While the win put Dawson at 3-0 in Region 7-3A and a 5-2 record overall, a series of second-half penalties and turnovers marred what was otherwise a stellar night.

“We played well but we just had too many mistakes and too many penalties,” head coach Sid Maxwell said. “We got relaxed [at] 27-0. We had chances to drive it home in the first half and didn’t capitalize and never really came out and played the second half.”

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The Tigers grasped momentum early in the first quarter on an interception caught by Christian Webb that was taken 40 yards back for a touchdown.

On their first offensive possession, Dawson made quick work of the Dragons defense. A long pass from quarterback Davis Glass to wide receiver Dominic LeBlanc set up the Tigers well inside the red zone. 

Glass would run into the end zone from close range to put Dawson up by two scores halfway through the first quarter.

Toward the end of the opening quarter, the first signs of penalty problems began to formulate, with both sides participating in an exchange of pleasantries that drew several flags. 

After the dust settled on that incident, the Tigers regrouped and scored a third touchdown — this time on a tight-angled pass from Glass to Doug Pagel. 

Up 20-0 heading into the second quarter, Dawson would score once more before halftime on a 65-yard scamper by Kade Moledor.

Throughout the game, the history of Dawson County High School football was highlighted on Alumni Night. 

In addition to the recognition of former team members in attendance, the video board showed group photos of each team going back to its inception in the 1960s. 

During the slideshow, team milestones were mentioned as well as the complete list of head coaches.

The final act of Alumni Night was to recognize all DCHS alumni in attendance by decade of graduation.

The second half of Dawson’s shutout win over Pickens did not display the same tenacity the Tigers performed with earlier in the game.

On three occasions, offensive turnovers and defensive penalties by the Tigers brought Pickens into the red zone. Despite two of those possessions traveling inside the 5-yard line, the Dawson defense made three fourth-down stops to prevent the Dragons from scoring.

Maxwell communicated with his team during the game about the lack of second-half execution and will be looking for a complete performance next week as Dawson visits Wesleyan.

The Tigers, now alone atop the region standings, will travel down to Norcross next Friday to face one of three teams tied for second place. As region newcomers, the Wolves have been a wild card.

In region play, Wesleyan lost to Gilmer, defeated previously unbeaten Lumpkin County and squeaked by White County.

Dawson looks for a 4-0 region mark for the first time since 2017.