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FOOTBALL: Tigers struggle to contain Lambert in road defeat
Dominic LeBlanc prepares to catch a long pass from Davis Glass. The play would be completed for over 50 yards. - photo by Rio White

Facing his former team, head coach Sid Maxwell knew that his Dawson County Tigers needed to bring everything they had against 6A Lambert.

But the spark that helped create a comeback victory in the season opener could not be found against a ruthless Longhorns side who stoutly defended their home turf on Homecoming Night, with the Tigers falling 49-6.

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The visiting defense struggled to adjust to Lambert quarterback James Tyre’s deep passes, with the senior finishing the night with four touchdown passes and over 300 yards.

Maxwell’s assessment was that the Dawson defense made far too many mistakes for its skill level, pointing out that the Tigers have given up fewer points against even stronger opposition in the past.

“They scored quick on us because we didn’t do our job and we never recovered the whole night long,” Maxwell said. “We were like that boxer who got knocked down and was in a daze for the rest of the fight.”

For Dawson, the main offensive highlights of the night came from wide receiver and placekicker Dominic LeBlanc, who made a collection of timely catches and converted both field goals.

Aside from those consolation points, the Tigers found themselves down within seconds, as the Longhorns struck first on a long pass from Tyre to Brandon Jones — the first of three touchdown connections between the two. 

After scoring on the first play of the game, Lambert would then score on the second play of their next possession to go up two touchdowns. 

The only scoring lull of the game gave Dawson a brief glimmer of hope before the hosts continued their plunder, going up 35-3 at halftime. 

“We lost our fundamentals,” Maxwell said. “It was a total breakdown from top to bottom. Hopefully, we can wake up and recover from it.”

In the second half, the Longhorns would pick up where they left off and finish out the rout.

Maxwell will be looking for his team to make a return to clean fundamentals next week on the road against rival North Hall. 

The Trojans lost their opening game of the season to White County 35-14 but will still look to pose a challenge to the Tigers, who won last season’s meeting 26-8.

Heading into that matchup, Maxwell emphasized correct positioning as a facet of the defense that needs improvement. With proper execution, the team is less likely face experiences as they did against Lambert. 

 “You’ve got to do what you’ve been coached to do. If you want to make plays, be in the right position,” Maxwell said. “If we do our sound fundamentals, we have a chance.”

The game at North Hall is Friday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 p.m.