Head Coach Jeff Lee's varsity Tigers football team can't seem to catch a break. Dawson County scored what looked to be the winning touchdown with 31 seconds to play at Banks County last Friday, just to see an official throw a flag for holding.
"I didn't see the hold, even after we watched the film," Lee said.
Banks County jumped out to a 12-0 lead early only to see Dawson County take 21-12 lead at halftime Friday night. But the Leopards rediscovered their early success and did not allow the Tigers to score in the second half while rallying for a 27-21 victory.
The Tigers scored what they thought to be the winning touchdown with less than 40 seconds remaining just to see it be called back on a holding penalty.
"The kids did a good job of responding and weathering the storm," Lee said. "In the second half, turnovers and penalties disrupted our pace on offense."
The Leopards scored first on a pass with 9:28 left in the first quarter to take a 6-0 lead.
Banks then made it 12-0 less than four minutes later.
Dawson rallied with three straight touchdowns in the second quarter.
Dawson County's Andrew Goley scored on a pass from freshman quarterback Coey Watson with 11:20 left before half.
Goley scored his second touchdown at the 8:36 mark from 5 yards out to give Dawson a 14-12 lead.
Dawson County scored again on a Watson to Nick Murphy 55-yard pass at the 2:04 mark to lead 21-12 at half.
Watson finished the game completing nine out of 22 for 191 yards and two touchdowns.
Dalton Edwards led the Tigers in receiving with four catches for 59 yards. Nick Murphy also had a big game hauling in two passes for 64 yards.
The Tigers offense had 130 yards on the ground and 191 yards in the air.
Kyle Hayes led the ground attack with 13 carries for 76 yards.
Teammate Goley carried the ball 10 times for 47 yards.
Banks trimmed the lead to 21-19 on a 15-yard run.
The Leopards took the lead on a 45-yard score. Banks added the two-point conversion. The play was set up by a Dawson County interception.
"Defensively we couldn't slow Banks County down enough in the third quarter. We were able to slow them down in the fourth quarter which enabled us to mount two drives inside their 20-yard line," Lee said.
The Tigers allowed 346 yards on 52 plays. The Leopards picked up 207 yards on the ground on 36 rushes. Banks County passed for 139 yards.
Dawson County is 1-7 overall and 1-4 in Region 7-AAA play. Banks County moved to 5-3 and 2-2 in region play.
Up next for the Tigers is a trip to Dahlonega to play region rival Lumpkin County. The Indians are 5-3 and 2-2 in region play. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Lee is asking that all fans wear white to Friday night's game.