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Tigers making playoff push
DCHS soccer 04-10
Senior Dennis Pyetsukh dribbles around three Flowery Branch defenders at Tigers Stadium on February 20, 2018. Pyetsukh's return from injury could be what gets the Tigers in to the playoffs. - photo by Colin Ochs

Despite a 4-6 overall record, the Tigers could find themselves in the playoffs by the end of the week.

Depending on the outcome of today’s game against Fannin County and Greater Atlanta Christian, the Tigers (4-6, 2-2 Region 7-AAA) could be squaring off against the Rebels (10-3, 2-2 Region 7-AAA) Friday at Tigers Stadium with a chance to clinch a playoff berth should the Rebels lose to GAC, who is currently 5-0 in region play.

If you look at the Class AAA ranking, Dawson County should lose Friday’s matchup vs. Fannin, but those rankings don’t take into account the return of senior Dennis Pyetsukh who missed a good chunk of the season before making his return last game in the Tigers 2-1 win over Lumpkin County.

“(Pyetsukh’s) a real difference maker with the amount of pressure he’s able to put on a defense,” Coach Derek Waters said.

With the pairing of Pyetsukh and Nathan Blythe, who scored both goals in the win over Lumpkin, the Tigers have a formidable attack that can hang with anyone in the region.

On the backend, freshman Caleb Bonesteel has been a welcome addition for the Tigers on defense, while goalkeeper Braden Davison has made great saves all season.

Dawson County defeated Fannin, 4-1, last year and a repeat of the performance would all but ensure the Tigers a spot in the state tournament. However, should the Tigers fall short on Friday, the scenarios get a lot more complicated.

After Fannin County, the Tigers close their season at East Hall, who is undefeated in region play so far this season. A 2-4 region record will not be good enough for a playoff berth, but a single win over either Fannin or East Hall will put the Tigers in really good shape.

Lumpkin County (3-3) is done with region play with the Tigers holding the tiebreaker over the Indians. North Hall is (2-3) with one game remaining against GAC (5-0). If North Hall wins that game, they hold the tiebreaker over Dawson County by virtue of a win against the Tigers earlier in the season, so the Tigers could theoretically finish 3-3 and miss the playoffs, however, that is an unlikely scenario.

With two weeks left in the season, it’s a four-way race for two playoff spots between Dawson County (2-2), Fannin County (2-2), Lumpkin County (3-3) and North Hall (2-3). Several scenarios and multiple tiebreakers are still in play, but if the Tigers handle their business and win one of their next two games, it is very likely that their season will continue into the playoffs.