The 2012 football season has come to an end for Dawson County.
The Tigers traveled to Atlanta to face St. Pius X in the first round of the state Class AAA playoffs on Friday night.
The game did not end the way Head Coach Jeff Lee intended. The Tigers lost the game, 72-28, ending Dawson's season.
Dawson County's defense just couldn't find a way to stop the explosive offense of the Golden Lions.
St. Pius scored on every offensive possession in the game, except the last possession when they were running out the clock.
The Tigers just couldn't find a way to stop fullback Ryan Braswell.
Braswell led a trio of 100-yard rushers for St. Pius. The senior running back scored four touchdowns on 11 carries for 127 yards.
Senior quarterback Jack Spear had 148 yards on 11 carries, and junior tailback Branden Mitchell added 104 yards on 14 carries.
The Golden Lion offense set a school record with 525 rushing yards for the game and 538 yards of total offense.
St. Pius didn't throw a pass until 1:38 remained in the second quarter. The team completed only one of four passes in the game.
Dawson County came out with some new formations to begin the game. On the Tigers' first two possessions the team tried to establish a running game to no avail.
The Tigers finished the game with 14 rushes for only 13 yards.
Lee's offense abandoned the run and began doing what it does best, throwing the football.
Playing in his final game as a Tiger, senior quarterback Tyler Dominy finished the game with 321 yards. He threw four touchdowns.
Three of those touchdowns were to senior wide out Bruce Clark.
Clark caught touchdown passes from 31, 27 and 18 yards out.
Catching the other touchdown pass for Dawson County was Mitchell Putnam on an 18-yard throw. Putnam finished with three catches for 91 yards.
St. Pius coach Paul Standard's team jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead.
Mitchell scored the first two touchdowns from 35 and 9 yards.
The third touchdown was scored by Braswell from 14-yards out.
Kicker Thomas O'Leary added each extra point.
Dominy found Clark early in the second quarter to finally get Dawson on the scoreboard. The extra point was good by Max Muldoon.
St. Pius answered on a 14-yard run by Braswell to make the score 28-7.
Once again, Dawson County went to the air.
Dominy connected with Clark in the back of the end zone on a tipped ball to cut the Golden Lion lead in half, 28-14.
On the next possession by St. Pius, it looked like the Tiger defense was going to make a stop, but on third and long, wingback Nick Ruffin ran a sweep then cut back across the field into the end zone to make the score 35-14.
The score was from 33-yards out with only 44 seconds remaining before halftime.
The momentum was back on the side of the Golden Lions.
The Tigers scored two touchdowns in the second half, but it wasn't enough.
One highlight of the second half was a blocked extra point by Bruce Clark.
"We just don't want to be satisfied with making the playoffs once every eight years," Lee said. "We want to get in every year."
Lee said next year's team will really miss this year's seniors.
"We are really going to miss our seniors. They have put so much hard work into this program since they have been with us. I wish the result would have been different for them tonight," Lee said.
Dawson County will graduate 20 seniors from this year's squad according to the team's roster.
Those seniors are: Mitchell Putnam, Tyler Dominy, Will Anglin, Cole Knight, Brandon Seay, Zach Martin, Justin Sams, Cody Smith, Matt Hammond, Harley Vaughan, Blake McDaniel, Cale Tallant, Christian Hebert, JP King, Levi Samples, Trent White, Jacob Wilkie, Cole Waters, Bruce Clark and Brenden Fitzgerald.
St. Pius (9-2) advanced to the second round. The Golden Lions will play host to Hart County next.
The Tigers finished the season with a 6-5 record.