Continuing to dominate opponents on both sides of the ball, the Dawson County Tigers rolled to a 36–3 victory over the Lumpkin County Indians in their match-up on Friday, Sept. 21.
The game marked the 39th meeting in this long running rivalry, and the victory gives the Tigers the series lead, 20–19, for the first time in school history.
Sparked by a 74-yard touchdown gallop by sophomore running back Dakohta Sonnichsen on the second play of the game, the Tigers gained the upper hand early by establishing a solid running game. A second rushing touchdown in the first quarter, this one by senior running back Ahmad Kamara, combined with a 2-point conversion gave the Tigers a 15–0 lead and they never looked back.
The Lumpkin County Indians featured a triple-option running game which had put up just under 1,000 rushing yards in their first three games of the season. Although they averaged a little over four yards per play, the Indians were never able to break through the Dawson County defense and after driving deep for a field goal in the second quarter, they did not manage to put any points on the board.
Led by seniors Logan Barnes, strong safety, and Zac Baloga, defensive tackle, the Tigers defense racked up 85 total tackles, four for a loss, and one sack to completely shut down the Indians running game. A fumble forced by junior free safety Brody Howell and recovered by corner back Caleb Bell, senior, in the second quarter ended the Indians’ most promising drive of the night.
Taking a 15–3 lead into the locker room at halftime, Head Coach Sid Maxwell was pleased with the team’s performance overall but expressed some concern about a potential Indians passing game.
“We can’t let them get going on offense. We need to keep alert,” Maxwell said. “The guys can’t get put to sleep by the run game and let them throw one over the top.”
The second half started much like the first with Sonnichsen breaking off another long touchdown. This one covered 42 yards along the visiting team sidelines to bring the score to 22–3 and visibly deflated the Indians as they could not mount any effective drives in the second half of the game.
Tigers quarterback Vaughn Clark added another touchdown with a tough goal line run through the middle to bring the score to 29–3 at the end of the third quarter. Another long rushing touchdown by junior running back Shawn Thomas midway through the fourth quarter finished off the scoring for the Tigers and sent the Indians home with the final score of 36–3.
The victory moved the Dawson County Tigers to 5–0 on the season and put them in the driver’s seat as they enter regional play for the season.
The Tigers begin a three-game road trip with a game against East Hall High School on Sept. 28.