Dawson County High School Head Football Coach Sid Maxwell recorded his first win at the helm of the Tigers program Friday night.
Overcoming injuries, the Tigers came away with a 23-9 win at Gilmer County in what was a hostile environment.
Dawson County was 0-7 against Gilmer County before Friday night's game.
The game proved to have many story lines, ranging from penalties to injuries to highlights.
Penalties played a big role in the game.
Refereeing is a difficult job, but Friday night it seemed as if every positive gain by the Tigers was nullified by a flag.
One obvious penalty was after Tucker Maxwell scored and was tackled several seconds after entering the end zone.
Maxwell then picked up a penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct after reacting to the call.
On the tackle in the end zone Maxwell injured his shoulder and was unable to return in the second half.
The injury was big because the senior had already hauled in two touchdown passes in the second quarter, both from quarterback Coey Watson.
The first touchdown was at 9:58 of the first quarter on a 9-yard slant from Watson. With the extra point from Alan Sanchez the touchdown put Dawson County ahead 10-3.
The second touchdown came on a 44-yard strike from Watson.
Maxwell caught the pass in stride and sprinted past the Bobcat defense into the end zone where he was tackled.
The point after was no good after a bad snap, but the Tigers took a 16-3 lead into halftime.
Dawson County also lost talented player Logan Hurst early in the game due to an ankle injury.
Hurst caught a pass from Watson for 6-yards when he went down awkwardly after being tackled.
The game started with Gilmer choosing to kick off to the Tigers and defer to the second half.
Andrew Goley fielded the kickoff and broke up the right hash mark for a huge gain just to have the ball stripped and Gilmer County recover.
Dawson County's defense stiffened.
Bobcat kicker Alix Lopez connected on a 36-yard field goal to give Gilmer a short-lived 3-0 lead with 4:53 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers answered with a drive of their own from the 14-yard line.
The drive stalled and Alan Sanchez came on to blast a 35-yard field goal to tie the score 3-3.
With both Maxwell and Hurst down, quarterback Watson put the offense on his back.
Watson completed 18 of 33 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.
The talented sophomore also rushed for 43 yards on 11 carries.
While Watson was carrying the offense, the Tiger defense was great for most of the game.
The defense allowed just 145 yards total offense by Gilmer County.
The Bobcats managed just 36 yards on 35 carries on the ground while their quarterback completed 13 of 24 passes for 109 yards.
Dawson's defense recorded eight sacks and six tackles for losses.
Gilmer County got on the board in the third quarter on a 6-yard run by talented Thaddeus Bowers.
The extra point was unsuccessful and Dawson County still held on to a 16-9 advantage.
Sanchez had a 23-yard field goal blocked with 2:12 left in the third quarter.
Dawson County iced the game on a 23-yard interception return by Goley. The point after was good by Sanchez and Dawson County celebrated a 23-9 victory.
Payton Myers led all Tiger running backs with 15 carries for 58 yards.
Also picking up yards on the ground were Nick Murphy with two carries for 11 yards.
Eight different receivers caught passes from Watson.
Austin Young led all receivers with eight catches for 129 yards.
Maxwell scored two touchdowns on two catches for 54 yards. Also catching passes were Brandon Monkus and Barry Thurmond with two catches each.
Up next for the Tigers will be a home game Friday night against Heritage-Catoosa.
Heritage will come into the game with a 1-1 record, following a 49-14 win over Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe last week. The team opened the season with a 36-34 loss to Ringgold High School.
Last season Dawson County lost a close game by a 10-7 score.
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Tigers Stadium.