It didn’t go well from the start for Head Coach Jeff Lee’s varsity Tiger football team.
For starters, the scoreboard wasn’t working, school personnel fixed it with 11:23 left in the second quarter, then the Gilmer County Bobcats jumped out to a 21-0 lead without even scoring on offense.
Dawson couldn’t recover and Gilmer cruised to a 35-0 win in the opening home game at Tiger Stadium.
With the loss, Dawson is currently 0-2.
Gilmer moved to 1-1 on the season. The Bobcats will play their first Region 7-AAA game next week against Dalton.
Gilmer got on the board with 1:37 remaining in the first quarter. On fourth down from the 32-yard line the Bobcats lined up to punt. Instead of kicking, the Gilmer kicker tucked the ball under his arm and sprinted down the left sideline into the end zone. The extra point was good and Gilmer led 7-0.
Special teams play also led to Gilmer’s second touchdown.
At the Dawson 3-yard line the Bobcats looked like they were going to attempt a field goal. Once again it was a trick. Gilmer faked the field goal and went untouched into the end zone for a touchdown.
The Bobcats tacked on the extra point and with 8:23 remaining in the second quarter Gilmer held a 14-0 advantage.
The Bobcats scored again with 1:38 before halftime following an interception of a Tiger pass. The Gilmer defensive back snagged the interception and returned it 42-yards for the touchdown. The extra point was good and pushed Gilmer’s lead to 21-0 at halftime.
“It was 21-0 without Gilmer scoring on offense,” Lee said. “Our special teams allowed a fake punt and fake field goal that led to touchdowns. It also didn’t help that our offense couldn’t get anything going. Once we fell behind by 21 points we had to start throwing.”
Lack of offense by the Tigers was also an issue that must be addressed. Dawson managed less than 10 first downs for the game. The Dawson running game was non-existent with only a couple of positive gains by Ethan Brown and Eian Perry. Once Dawson fell behind they began throwing the football.
“Gilmer changed their coverage from the week before. They were trying to keep everything in front of them and we couldn’t outrun them. Tyler was off throwing the ball. We dropped a few passes when he did find open receivers or he just overthrew his target,” Lee said.
Dominy had a tough night throwing the ball. The sophomore quarterback was intercepted three times.
The second half wasn’t much better for Dawson County. Gilmer tacked on two more touchdowns on a 42-yard run and a 32-yard touchdown pass to extend their lead to 35-0.
Friday will be a tall order for the Tigers. Dawson will travel to Jefferson to face the 2-time reigning region champions. The Dragons have been undefeated during the regular season during the past 2 years. Jefferson lost their first regular season game last week to North Hall, 24-21.
The Dragons are currently 1-1 on the season. Jefferson defeated Commerce 17-14 in their opener two weeks ago.
“I think we are catching Jefferson at the right time. Our guys will play hard against them. It will be a challenge and should be a very physical game,” Lee said.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.