The Dawson County Tiger football team dropped its third straight game in a 44-14 shellacking by Union County last Friday night at Tiger Stadium.
With the loss, Dawson is 1-7 overall and 1-6 in Region 8-AA.
The Panthers move to 5-3 and 4-3 in Region 8-AA.
The Tiger defense couldn’t find an answer to Union’s high-powered throwing attack last Friday.
Union quarterback Kolt Owenby was on fire. The senior threw for 362 yards and six touchdowns against the porous Dawson defense. Owenby also used his legs to run for 43 yards on just three carries.
“We tried every coverage we could to slow them down,” said Tiger Head Coach Jeff Lee. “He, Owenby, had a great night and you have to hand it to him.”
Owenby finished the game completing 15 passes on 25 attempts. His favorite receiver was senior Blake Gowder. Gowder hauled in seven passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. The 6’3” Divison-I prospect scored on passes from 11 and 70 yards.
Junior wide-out Jesse Wright also had a big night for Union County. Wright caught four passes, three of them touchdowns, for 116 yards.
Union County’s offense scored seven straight times before subbing in their second group.
The Panthers had seven offensive possessions and seven scores, six touchdowns and a field goal.
Coach Brian Allison’s Panthers received the opening kickoff and marched 56 yards for the first score. Owenby hit Gowder on an 11-yard pass to get Union on the boards. Michael Akin added the extra point and Union led 7-0 with 9:17 remaining in the first period.
The Tiger offense answered.
Eian Perry took the ensuing kickoff and sprinted out to the Tiger 48-yard line before he was tackled. Ten plays later, Dawson crossed into the end zone on a three-yard touchdown by Perry on a sweep around the left end.
Ethan Brown added the point after and Dawson tied the game 7-7 with 3:19 left in the first quarter.
The Panthers answered quickly when on the first play from scrimmage Owenby found Wright open for a 57-yard pass for a touchdown. The extra point was good and Union led 14-7.
On Dawson’s next possession, Brown was picked off by Panther Garrett Smith at the 34-yard line.
Smith returned the ball out to the Tiger 49-yard line. The interception led to a field goal by Akin from 26-yards and Union held a 17-7 led.
The Panthers never looked back and scored on the team’s next four possessions.
Tiger freshman Tyler Dominy went in at quarterback on Dawson’s next offensive series.
Dominy completed a pass to Mitchell Putnam for five-yards, but just couldn’t get anything going for the Tigers before punting the ball back to Union from the 50-yard line.
Union put up more points on an Owenby to Wesley Adams strike from 10-yards out. The point after was good and the Panthers held a commanding 24-7 lead.
Behind Dominy’s arm and Eian Perry’s legs the Tigers got on the scoreboard for a second time with 2:18 remaining before halftime. Dominy was 3-for-4 on the drive that started on the Tigers’ own 34-yard line.
Dominy hit receivers Bruce Clark for five-yards and senior tight end Grant Brown for 34 yards and five-yards to set up the touchdown.
Perry rushed for 18-yards on seven carries before finding pay dirt from a yard out. The extra point was true by Brown and Dawson cut the lead to 24-14.
Perry finished the game with 20 rushes for 45 yards and two touchdowns in the first three quarters.
Union quickly answered when Owenby found Wright from 10-yards out for another touchdown. The extra point was good and the Panthers went into halftime with a commanding 31-14 lead.
During halftime, the Tigers recognized the Dawson County Park and Recreation football players and cheerleaders. The future Tigers marched across the field in their uniforms as the crowd recognized their accomplishments this past season.
The second half opened with the Tigers taking the kickoff back to their own 28-yard line. Dawson managed a first down on a scamper by Brown, who was back at quarterback. Brown missed last week’s game with a leg injury. It wasn’t enough, as punter Sam Edwards kicked the ball back to Union.
Once again, Union quickly answered as Owenby found Gowder on a 70-yard pass. The Panthers moved the score out to a 38-14 margin.
Union added one more score in the third period with a pass from Owenby to Wright from 23-yards out.
With 4:42 remaining in the third quarter, Union held a huge 44-14 lead.
The Panthers subbed in their second group on their next offensive possession.
The Dawson defense gave up 412 yards total offense for the game.
On offense, the Tigers had some positive notes.
Five different receivers caught a pass. Bruce Clark had three receptions, Grant
Brown and Eian Perry had two catches each, Mitchell Putnam and Will Anglin each had one catch. Clark, Putnam and Anglin are all ninth graders.
On the ground, Brown rushed the ball 10 times for 59 yards.
It gets no easier for Dawson this week as they play host to an undefeated East Jackson team.
It will be senior night for the Tigers as they play their last home game of the season.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m.