Dawson County dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage in Friday night's opening game over visiting East Hall. The Tigers came away with a convincing 42-0 win.
The Tiger offense clicked on all cylinders and amassed an amazing 385 yards.
Dawson County senior quarterback Tyler Dominy threw for 252 yards. He was 18-for-26 passing and passed for three touchdowns and ran one in from 19-yards out.
With the win Dawson County took first place in Region 7-AAA.
"We are in first and now everybody has to catch us," said head coach Jeff Lee.
"Hopefully it sends a strong statement to the rest of the region," Dominy said.
Defensively, the players ran to the ball and made several swarming tackles on an athletic East Hall Viking team, according to Lee.
"The defense played amazing," Dominy said. "Best I've seen since I've been here."
Under new defensive coordinator Jed Lacey the Tiger defense held the Vikings to just 155 total yards.
The only disturbing event of the evening was the possible loss of two Dawson County defenders.
On the third play of the game, star linebacker Cody Smith went down on the East Hall sideline. Two plays later senior lineman Cale Tallant was also lost on a non-contact injury.
Both players have knee injuries and will be evaluated this week, according to the coaching staff.
Lee said that the prognosis for both players, who he called the "heart and souls of the defense," wasn't good. It was one of the few downsides to a nearly perfect night.
Dawson County's initial drive of the evening was stopped by a Dominy interception.
But on the first play from scrimmage East Hall fumbled. The fumble was recovered by Tiger defender Bruce Clark.
The Tigers wasted no time getting on the board after the turnover.
Full back Zach Martin rumbled into the end zone from 4-yards out.
After the extra point by placekicker Max Muldoon, Dawson held a 7-0 lead with 4:20 remaining in the first quarter.
Muldoon was perfect on the evening. He converted all six of his extra point attempts.
Lee's team added three touchdowns in the second quarter.
Martin tallied Dawson's second score on a 5-yard run. Martin finished the night with 30 yards rushing.
After an interception by Dawson County linebacker JP King, the Tigers found the endzone on a Dominy to Colton Chester pass from 3-yards out.
The final score of the half came off of a Dominy scramble from 19-yards out.
"We work on Tyler's running out of the pocket every day at practice," Lee said.
East Hall coach Bryan Gray was impressed with the Tigers' signal caller.
"We've got some pretty good [defensive backs], and we couldn't do anything," Gray said. "That's the best quarterback play I've seen since I've been here."
Dominy hit Clark on a 28-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 72-yard drive to open the second half. Dawson held a commanding 35-0 advantage.
The senior quarterback wasn't finished.
Dominy passed to Chris Sayler from 4-yards out to make the score 42-0.
"It was a huge win for us," Lee said. "Now we must get ready to play at Lumpkin next week. The game will be packed as we renew the rivalry with Lumpkin. It should be exciting."
The Tigers are currently 1-0 on the season going into a rivalry game against Lumpkin County Friday night in Dahlonega. Kick-off will be at 7:30 p.m.
The Tigers and Indians last played in 2009.
In that matchup Lumpkin came away with a 13-0 win. Dawson last defeated Lumpkin County in 2008, by a score of 26-23.
DCN regional staff contributed to this story.