Friday night was the final tune-up for the Dawson County High School football team, but the game with North Hall at Tigers Stadium didn't go exactly as Head Coach Jeff Lee had planned.
The Tigers stumbled around on offense not scoring until Peyton Myers crossed the goal line with 6:09 remaining in the fourth quarter. By that time Dawson County was trailing 19-0.
With Myers score, from 2-yards, the Tigers were able to muster another drive with only 1:07 to go in the game. Quarterback Zach Buchan found Dalton Edwards on a 48-yard strike.
The extra point was good but Dawson County fell 19-13 to a very inexperienced North Hall squad.
"Our offense had to many missed opportunities with good drives stopped by interceptions and penalties," Lee said. "We did see much improvement in our offensive line and running backs. Our defense was able to stop North Hall in the first half, but allowed two long drives in the second," Lee said.
The Dawson County defense was out on the field for much of the game. The Tigers did cause four Trojan turnovers. Fumble recoveries by Richard Palmer, Brandon Monkus, Taylor Cronan and Jeffrey Partain helped the Tigers mount their only two touchdowns.
On the flipside, the Tigers also had a difficult time holding onto the football. Buchan was intercepted three times.
"We just made some poor decisions on reading the secondary. We will get better at it. This will give us something to work on this week before Friday's game at Central," Lee said.
It was a defensive battle in the first half. Both teams had difficulty driving the football against some pretty stingy defense.
North Hall finally broke through on a 69-yard touchdown pass with 2:42 remaining before halftime. The extra point was up successful and the Trojans held a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The Trojans scored a second touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter on a 49-yard touchdown run. This time the PAT was good and North Hall held a 13-0 advantage.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans kicked an onside kick and recovered setting up shop on the Tiger 49-yard line. North Hall then went on a 12-play drive scoring with 8:17 left in the game.
"We improved from the first scrimmage to the second and I expect to see improvement for the Central game," Lee said.
The regular season opener will see Dawson County traveling to south to face 7-AAAAA opponent Forsyth Central Friday night.
Second-year Bulldog Head Coach Shane Williamson is looking for his team to rebound from a 2-8 season. Williamson has changed his offense from the spread to the flex bone this season (similar to the offense run at Georgia Tech).
Region 7-AAAAA is composed of 14 teams. Central will play in division-B with the likes of Kell, Riverwood, Sprayberry and North Atlanta.
"This will be a tough match-up for us," Lee said. "We will have to prepared and be disciplined on defense. On offense we must hang on to the football and make good decisions."
Dawson County defeated Central, 23-20, last season.