It was only a scrimmage, but the Dawson County Tigers started the season right with a home win last Friday against North Oconee.
Dawson won 24-7.
“We have got a ways to go,” said Head Coach Sid Maxwell about the performance. “We are better than we were in the spring.”
“We missed blocks. We played too high. We missed assignments. Typical growing pains you do with new people. We have got another week to try and get that experience with repetition and go back and correct. It is an ongoing process,” Maxwell said.
The first drive of the game saw Vaughn Clark on a number of carries and multiple completions from Coey Watson to Ryan Glass.
Ethan Cameron also handled the ball on a carry and a short completion before Watson found Bearden on a touchdown pass with 6:50 in the first quarter.
“Our kids gave great effort Friday,” said Offensive Coordinator Andy LeBlanc. “We were inconsistent, but that is to be expected for a team that has little varsity experience. I look forward to watching this offense grow as they gain experience.”
The Titans started with a completed pass, but that was about all on the first offensive outing before punting the ball back to the Tigers.
“We saw many new faces on defense Friday night and am excited to watch these new players develop,” said Defensive Coordinator Brent Cox. “We will continue to improve our pursuit angles and speed to the ball.”
Dawson started its second drive from its own 33 yard line.
Watson had completions to Kyle Phillips, Glass and Bearden along with multiple carries by Clark on the way to the second touchdown when Clark ran it in from the 1 yard line.
The Tigers would score once more in the second period on a Peyton Allen field goal to make it 17-0 heading into half.
After the break, sophomore linebacker T.J. Wilson added pressure and caused a fumble in the third period giving Dawson the ball again.
“We had some people who catch the ball for us and we had some dropped balls too. We had some positives,” Maxwell said.
A Titan interception gave the North Oconee offense good field position leading to its only score on the night with 22 seconds left in the third.
Backup quarterback Trey Pruitt had completions to Phillips and Wes Hollaway. A Pruitt-to-Hollaway connection equalled the Tigers’ last touchdown on the evening with 9:20 to play.
“The big picture is to get better each week and play hard. We played hard Friday. We hustled to the ball and hustled to the blocks. We had a lot of good things we did do but again we did make a lot of mistakes,” Maxwell said.
The first official game is Friday against the 7A Forsyth Central Bulldogs.
Last season, the Tigers had a 14-9 lead over the Bulldogs at home when thunderstorms forced an early end to the game, just before half.
“We have got a big opponent this week with Forsyth Central, a big football team. It will be a good measuring stick,” Maxwell said. “I think we are looking for a challenge.”
“Forsyth Central will give us a very great challenge,” LeBlanc said. “They are always in good position to make plays, which shows how well they are coached. Friday gives us a great opportunity to improve as a squad. I am looking forward to seeing our kids rise to the challenge. It is going to be a lot of fun.”
Dawson travels to Forsyth Central for a 7:30 p.m. kick in Cumming on Aug. 25.
“We are entertaining, the way we play,” Maxwell said. “We will give you that.”