With menacing skies all around, the Dawson County Tigers held the annual spring football game last Saturday at Tiger Stadium.
Sprinkles of rain earlier in the day didn’t cause any concern for Head Coach Jeff Lee.
“We are going to play rain or shine,” Lee commented that morning.
For the most part, the rain held off. There were only a few sprinkles as the Tigers suited up for the end of spring with the game between the Gold and Maroon teams. The upcoming ninth graders also participated, dressed out in their white uniforms.
Coaches use the spring game to evaluate talent for the upcoming season. Lee used the game to find the strengths and weaknesses of next year’s team.
Lee said: “We use the game to line up and see what the guys are made of. We also would like to see how our new offense and defense looks.”
The Tigers will change from their wide-open passing attack of years past to a more conservative option running attack.
“We will win by using the run,” Lee said. “We are going to live and die by running the option.”
Ethan Brown looks to be the starting quarterback for the Tigers next season.
Brown has an uncanny sense for running the option, which is similar to the new offense brought to Georgia Tech by Head Coach Paul Johnson.
The junior quarterback played the position for both teams during the scrimmage, and despite some botched handoffs, seemed comfortable at the position.
Saturday’s game was in a setting of a festive atmosphere. The Tiger football booster club had many events planned for the game. There were booths set up for young and old. Food was abundant and bands played leading up to the big game.
“We are trying to get people excited about Tiger football again. I thought we had a decent crowd, especially with the weather predicted to be bad,” Lee said.
It was apparent that putting on full gear brought out an automatic spirited nature with both teams. The game seemed like the regular season for Coach Lee’s troops.
“I think the kids have fun with the scrimmage,” said Lee. “We could have just gone out and scrimmaged after practice one day. I want to see our guys hitting people. I’m not worried about execution yet, even though at times we looked pretty good, but we have a long way to go.”
Scoring was limited during the game on Saturday. But there were several big hits on defense. Led by defensive lineman DJ Miolen and Grant Brown, linebackers Chase Williams and Stephen King, and defensive backs Levi Wilson and Cody McGinnis, the defense delivered several explosive tackles during the game.
Offensively, the team looked good at times. Lee’s offensive line have to learn a different technique from years past. They have to get down in a three-point stance and fire off the ball.
“Our lineman have to be aggressive now,” said Lee. “Before they were up and would use their hands a lot in pass protection. Now they have to drive off the ball.”
The first score of the game came from the ninth grade team. Freshman quarterback Will Anglin ran the option to perfection, scampering 70 yards for a touchdown.
The offense on the varsity threatened all game, but just couldn’t push one across the end zone in the first half.
Eian Perry scored with about three minutes to go before half time, but it was called back due to a holding penalty.
“I was pleased with our effort. We have a long way to go, but I feel really good about our team at this point,” remarked Lee.
The team will take a couple of weeks off before resuming summer weightlifting and agilities.
E-mail Pam Jacobs at email@example.com.