The Tigers opened the 2010 varsity football season with a 27-14 loss to Pickens County High School last Friday night in Jasper.
Despite trailing 27-0 the Tigers displayed a never-say-die attitude and scored two touchdowns in the second half to make the game interesting.
Dawson had a chance for a third touchdown, but a tough goal line stand by the Dragons kept them out of the end zone.
“Our kids played hard and didn’t give up,” said Head Coach Jeff Lee. “We finally got some things going through the air but it just wasn’t enough.”
Things got off to a bad start as Pickens took the opening possession of the game and marched down the field.
The highlight of the drive was a 56-yard run by Dragon quarterback Jordan Shaw. Pickens found the end zone two plays later from 6-yards out to take the 6-0 lead with 9:45 remainng in the first quarter.
The extra point attempt was blocked by Tiger Rush Davenport.
A fumble by a Tiger running back on Dawson’s first offensive possession gave the ball right back to Pickens County.
The Tiger defense rose to the occasion and forced a Pickens fumble on the next play, which was recovered by linebacker Scott Parker.
Dawson’s offense took the field and moved the ball before Pickens stopped the Tigers on downs.
The Dragons took over on their own 32-yard line. Pickens scored its second touchdown with only 34 seconds left in the first quarter. A botched 2-point conversion gave the Dragons a 12-0 lead.
The Tigers just couldn’t seem to put anything together on offense. Despite productive runs from Perry and fullback Zach Martin, the Tigers had a hard time picking up first downs.
Pickens added one more touchdown before halftime off of a 70-yard drive.
Dragon quarterback Shaw found a receiver in the end zone for the touchdown.
This time the 2-point conversion was successful. With 6:04 left before halftime, Pickens led 20-0.
The Tigers opened the second half on offense. Perry ran a sweep on first down for 16-yards and it looked like Dawson’s offense was on track. Two plays later the Tiger quarterback dropped back to pass and was sacked, coughing up the football and giving it back to Pickens County at the 9:13 mark of the third quarter.
Pickens quickly capitalized and scored on a touchdown pass from Shaw. The extra point was good and gave the Dragons a huge 27-0 lead at the 7:33 mark of the third quarter.
The Tigers didn’t quit.
Dawson scored late in the third quarter on a Dominy to Ethan Brown touchdown pass.
The score was set up after it seemed that Dominy was intercepted by Shaw, but a roughing the passer call allowed Dawson to keep possession of the ball.
Brown tacked on the extra point and cut into Pickens lead, 27-7.
With 11:41 in the fourth quarter momentum began to shift.
Tiger linebacker Justyn Gore intercepted a Shaw pass and returned the football 12-yards, down to the Pickens 48-yard line.
Dominy led the Tigers down the field with his arm. He completed passes to receiver Bruce Clark down to the Pickens 5-yard line.
On first down, Dominy found Zack Martin for a completion down to the 2-yard line.
The Tigers tried two quarterback sneaks that took the ball down to the inch line.
After a Dawson timeout, Pickens stopped Martin on a running play and took over on downs. A touchdown would have put Dawson two scores behind. With 9:45 to go Pickens took over on downs.
Coach Van Samples’ defense showed its muscles by stopping the Dragons and giving the ball back to the offense on the 42-yard line.
Dawson marched down the field on the strength of their passing attack.
Dominy hooked up with Brown for two receptions that took the ball down to the Pickens 15-yard line. On first down, Dominy scrambled around and found Clark in the back of the end zone for a second touchdown.
The extra point was good by Brown and trimmed the Pickens lead to 27-14 with 6:13 left in the contest.
The Dragons returned the kickoff to the 31-yard line. Dawson could not stop the clock and the Dragons came away with the 13-point win.
Dawson will play its first home game this Friday, Sept. 3 against Gilmer County. The Bobcats lost to Fannin County last week, 17-14.
Gilmer is coming off a 4-6 record in 2009.
Kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium.