Last week's scrimmage against Greater Atlanta Christian School was not the kind of start Head Coach Jeff Lee hoped for at the newly renovated Tiger Stadium.
On the first play from scrimmage, the visiting Spartans ran a toss sweep on the Dawson County defense. Eighty yards and eight seconds later, DaSean Daniels from GACS was in the end zone.
Currently ranked No. 9 in the first preseason coach's poll, GACS proved they are a good team. The Spartans also boast four potential Division I signees.
GACS players Chase Roberts (Georgia Tech) a lineman, Lavondre Nelson (Air Force or Yale) a running back and wide receiver, DaSean Daniels (Navy) running back and linebacker and Jonathon Ford (Yale) a tight end and linebacker will all play Division I football after graduation from high school.
Spartan Head Coach Tim Cokely and his team posted a 9-3 record last season after reaching the second round of the state playoffs before losing to a very talented Carver-Columbus team, 21-7.
"We won't see a better team this season until we get to the crossover game in week 10," Lee said. "GAC does so many things well on offense and defense."
Dawson County put together an impressive drive of its own on the second possession of the game. Quarterback Tyler Dominy hit wide receiver Bruce Clark on an out pattern on third and 8 yards from the team's own 35-yard line. Clark turned the corner on the GACS corner back and scampered 25-yards before being pushed out-of-bounds.
Fullback Zack Martin ran hard on several trap plays right up the middle on the Spartan defense to move the football downfield.
On third and long, Dominy scrambled out of the pocket down to the GACS 1-yard line.
One play later Martin, lowered his head and ran over a GACS defender, to score a touchdown.
The extra point was good and the Tigers tied the score 7-7 at the 4:21 mark of the first quarter.
It was all the scoring Dawson would do with their varsity offense against a very tough GACS team.
The Spartans scored the next three touchdowns to stretch its lead to 28-7 before halftime.
With four minutes left in the second quarter both teams got a chance to work on goal line situations. Each team was given the ball inside the 10-yard line with four plays each.
Once again GACS looked dominant. The team scored twice while stopping the Tigers each of their possessions.
After the first offensive possession for each in the second half, the younger players got some action in front of a loud crowd in Dawsonville.
"After looking at the game film several times, I thought the offensive and defensive linemen played well," Lee said. "The mistakes we made on the offensive line are easily corrected. We had several offensive linemen, like Harley Vaughn and Chase Wilson, that put a GAC defensive lineman on their back. I also thought Keaton Toal did a good job down blocking."
Offensively, Dawson had some positive plays but just couldn't string two or three good plays together, Lee said.
Wide receiver Bruce Clark made some nice catches and Zack Martin ran the ball hard from his full back position.
Lee said that there were some blown coverages on defense that have to be fixed by the first regular season game.
"We made some mistakes on defense, but overall I thought the defense played OK at times," he said.
The Tigers lost its entire defensive backfield to graduation last season.
"Overall, I saw a lot of bright spots. We did what we had planned to do on offense and defense. One of our major concerns now is to make sure over the next two weeks that we make some personnel changes that will help us out," Lee said.
The Tigers will have two weeks off to make changes before hosting Pickens County High School at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 26 in the first game of the regular season.