The only loss for the Dawson County Tigers varsity football team last season, prior to the region championship game, was a double overtime battle at West Hall High School.
The team lost 30-23 in a hard fought outing.
This year West Hall will come to Dawson County and the Tigers have an extra week to prepare with last week’s early season bye.
“West Hall is a very good team,” said Offensive Coordinator Andy LeBlanc. “Coach Lotti does a really good job over there. They will play hard and be in a good position defensively.”
LeBlanc and Defensive Coordinator Brent Cox agree it will be a challenge that requires discipline.
“Coach Lotti and his staff do an excellent job with their team. They are well prepared and play sound, tough football,” Cox said. “We must be disciplined and stop their run.”
LeBlanc said that the Spartans are explosive up front and athletic in the secondary.
“Offensively we will have to play our best game of the year,” LeBlanc said. “I’m excited about how hard our kids have been working and know the work will pay off.”
One area of improvement for the Tigers includes penalties. Dawson County won their matchup in the home opener with Chattooga despite nine flags on the night.
“We need to keep ourselves out of negative plays and penalties,” LeBlanc said. “If we do this, we will be in much better shape.”
“It will be an exciting night of football at Tiger Stadium,” Cox said.
Dawson County hosts the Spartans at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 at Tiger Stadium.
The junior varsity Tigers did not have an off week and defeated Pickens County on Sept. 7, 37-6.
The game was a rematch as the JV team played Pickens the week prior and were unable to get the win.
“As a team we learned a lot of lessons from our loss last week,” said Coach Bradley Fowler. “First we have played really well on defense again. Those guys get to the football with a purpose.”
On the defensive side of the ball, the team had a pick six, a blocked punt and multiple three-and-outs.
Fowler said that Bryson Broadway, Walker Cox, Riley Herndon, DJ Mitchell, Daniel Brock and Raymond Vassak really stood out on the defense.
“The offensive line really improved and opened up what we were able to do offensively,” Fowler said.
Robbie Rarick, Hunter Barron and Brody Howell all got in the end zone for the Tigers.
Chandler Ingram returned the interception for a touchdown.
“Too many to mention, but we are really proud of these guys after a tough loss last week to the same team,” he said. “We came out focused on the game and played well throughout the game.”
Next up for the JV Tigers is Gilmer County. Dawson will play at 5:30 on Sept. 14 at Gilmer.
Eighth Grade Football
On Sept. 7 the eighth grade Tigers hosted Clear Creek and won 24-16.
Dawson County was down 16-0 at the half and Coach Chess Hamby was proud of the team’s response.
“I was very proud of the way the kids fought through a forgettable first half,” Hamby said. “Not a lot went our way in the first half and they kept working hard and fighting. The offense responded with 24 points in a half and the defense responded with a second half shutout.”
Andre Burt, Conley Dyer and Zach Holtzclaw all had rushing touchdowns for the Tigers.
The win makes the eighth grade team 2-2 on the season. They will face Fannin County at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow at home.