Named for the mythological heavenly home of the Vikings, the stadium at East Hall High School certainly looked the part as the sun set behind the bleachers on Friday, Sept. 28.
Perhaps inspired by those tales of lore the Dawson County Tigers delivered a record-setting performance and claimed Valhalla as their own with a 64–0 victory over the Vikings.
With a backfield featuring two impressive seniors in running back Cambren Harrison and quarterback Zander Man, the East Hall Vikings have always been a challenging team for the Tigers.
“They are a good team. Look at their statistics over the last two games,” said Tigers Defensive Coordinator Brent Cox. “This is going to be a test.”
The Tiger defense had the first opportunity to take the test as the Vikings received the opening kickoff to begin the game from their own 25 yard line. East Hall ran a quick five plays to move the ball 17 yards for what would be their longest drive of the night until late in the fourth quarter.
In an absolutely dominating display of defense, the Dawson County Tigers lived in the Vikings backfield for the entire game. By the end of the night the unit had sacked Man a total of seven times, racked up an additional 14 tackles for loss, a safety, and held the Vikings to a total of eight yards rushing without allowing them to cross the 50 yard line until their last drive of the game.
After allowing the longest Viking play of the game, a 57-yard pass and catch along the sidelines late in the fourth quarter, the Tigers second-string defense buckled down on the two yard line to throw the Vikings back and preserve the shut-out.
Led by senior quarterback Vaughn Clark, who finished 4-4 with 80 yards passing and a touchdown while also gaining 32 yards with his legs, Tigers offense took full advantage of their defensive unit’s record-setting performance.
Behind an offensive line that has cleared the way for a state, leading 2,039 yards rushing over the last five games, the Dawson County Tigers were able to run the ball at will against the Vikings.
Starting with senior running back Ahmad Kamara’s two first quarter touchdowns (of his three total) the Tigers scored seven touchdowns on the ground with senior Evan Abernathy, junior Shawn Thomas, sophomore Maximos Moon and Clark all tallying one each on the night.
A 55-yard punt return for a score from senior Noah Brock rounded out the scoring and allowed the Tigers to complete a rare football feat by scoring points with every unit of the team in a single game.
With the total score of 64 combined with the shut-out the Tigers set three DCHS records: most points scored in a single game, largest margin of victory and largest shutout.
“The boys played well tonight,” said Head Coach Sid Maxwell.
Featuring a 6-0 (2-0) record for the first time in school history, the Dawson County Tigers will travel to Norcross on Friday, Oct. 5 to take on their regional opponents the Greater Atlanta Christian Spartans 4-2 (2-0).