Dawson County High School Varsity Football Head Coach Jeff Lee left the field Friday night shaking his head.
His Tigers lost for the third week in a row, this time to Banks County by a 32-21 score.
“It’s a work in progress,” he commented. “We are playing so many ninth graders.”
With the loss, Dawson falls to 0-3 overall and 0-2 in Region 8-AA. The team will try and get their first win this Friday night when the team plays host to Fannin County.
Fannin comes into the game with a 1-2 record and are also 0-2 in the region.
The Rebels dropped a 35-21 decision to East Jackson last week.
Both Dawson County and Banks County entered the contest Friday night looking for their first win.
“We were two teams who hadn’t won yet. Dawson County always gives us a fight every time we play them.” Banks County Head Coach Blair Armstrong said.
The game quickly turned into the Dylan Lackey show for the Leopards.
Lackey rushed for 231 yards on 21 carries and four touchdowns before sustaining a leg injury late in the fourth quarter. Lackey also caught three passes for 52 yards.
The Dawson defense couldn’t slow down the Leopards Wing-T style offense. Banks finished the game with 434 total yards of offense and 18 first downs.
Both teams fought it out pretty evenly in the first half. The teams left the field tied at 14-14 at half time.
Banks County fumbled on the second play from scrimmage to start the game.
Tiger defender Scott Parker recovered the fumble at the Leopard 41-yard line.
The Tigers couldn’t get anything going on offense. Banks took over on downs at their own 33-yard line and marched on an eight-play drive.
Lackey scored from 29-yards out for his first touchdown of the contest.
The extra point was good and Banks led 7-0 with 6:59 left in the first quarter.
Lee and his offense quickly answered.
Quarterback Ethan Brown scampered untouched into the end zone from 48-yards out. Brown kicked the extra point and Dawson had tied the score at 7-7 with 1:25 left in the first quarter.
The Leopards turned the ball over again on a fumble recovery by Tiger linebacker Sam Edwards with only 31 seconds left in the first quarter.
The Tiger offense quickly turned the ball back over to Banks. Brown threw an interception on the Leopard 14-yard line to free safety/quarterback Kane Duncan.
Banks scored a touchdown with 3:50 left before halftime.
Lackey rambled for 55 and the touchdown. The extra point split the uprights and Banks took a 14-7 lead.
With only 46 seconds remaining before half, Brown took a busted play and scampered 14-yards to tie the score at 14-14 going into the locker room at half-time.
Brown had a big night on both sides of the ball for the Tigers.
He finished the night with 139 yards rushing and completed five of 12 passes for 51 yards. Brown also had seven tackles from his free safety position on defense.
The Leopards took control of the second half. On their second possession of the half, Duncan connected with Lackey for a 34-yard completion, down to Dawson’s 22-yard line. Lackey finished off the drive on the next play with a 22-yard touchdown run. The extra point was no good.
Banks scored again with 9:40 remaining in the contest.
Lackey scored his fourth touchdown of the evening on a 4-yard run. The 2-point conversion was no good and Banks held a commanding 26-14 lead.
Dawson would not give up easily. On the ensuing kickoff, Parker fielded the kick at the 20-yard line and sprinted 35-yards down to the Leopard 45-yard line.
Six plays later Dawson found the end zone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak by Brown. There were a couple of big plays on the drive, which included an 18-yard scamper by Brown and a big 12-yard run by fullback Chase Williams.
The extra point was good by Brown and Dawson had trimmed the lead to 26-21.
The Leopards flexed their muscles on the next drive.
The Leopards took over on the 10-yard line and marched 90-yards on 10 plays using up over five minutes of the clock.
The team was rewarded when halfback Clay Frink scored from 34-yards out.
Once again the 2-point conversion was not successful, but Banks held on to a commanding 32-21 advantage. The drive saw Lackey suffer an injury to his right leg.
The game ended when Brown suffered three straight sacks as time expired.
“I was really disappointed with our line the last three plays of the game. They really didn’t give us a chance,” said Lee.
Tiger wide receiver Levi Wilson was a bright spot on offense with three catches for 36 yards.
This week’s kickoff with Fannin County will be at 7:30 p.m.
Dawson lost a close game in Blue Ridge last season to the Rebels by a 20-17 score.