After what seemed like a slow start, the Dawson County Tigers dominated on both sides of the football—getting a region win on the road over Union County 52-21 Friday night.
In the first quarter, the Tigers and Panthers exchanged possessions, but on Dawson County’s second outing, an interception thrown by Coey Watson gave the Panthers a short field, a touchdown four plays later and a bit of false hope.
The offensive line for Dawson kept control on the next Tiger drive and Vaughn Clark carried nine times on the way to a 23-yard Peyton Allen field goal.
On the next Union possession, Logan Barnes and Nate Umberger had tackles for losses for the Tigers to force a 56-yard Panther field goal attempt that was no good.
The Dawson offense went to work again behind Clark’s running. Robbie Rarick carried in the first touchdown of the night for the Tigers from about 18 yards out.
With 6:07 in the second, Dawson led 10-7.
The Tiger D picked up a three and out after a Zac Baloga tackle for loss.
On the next Dawson drive, Clark carried five times for 43 yards. Watson also found Ethan Cameron, Shawn Thomas and Hunter Barron through the air.
Watson went 16-for-24 for 195 yards.
Clark would run it in from about 14 yards out to add to the lead making it 17-7 with 3:14 until the half.
Another solid stand by the Tiger defensive front forced a punt to the 49.
The Dawson offense did not let up with completions to Cameron and Ryan Glass and carries again from Clark before Watson hit Cameron over the middle to add six more.
Dawson took a 24-7 lead to the half.
In the second half, the Panthers first possession was short-circuited by two sacks on quarter back Cole Wright by T. J. Wilson and Baloga.
Starting from their own 38, Dawson County would again drive the field and a Watson pass to Thomas would add another touchdown. The lead was 31-7 with 7:14 in the third.
The Panthers again went three and out and Dawson’s next drive was brief—Clark scored on a 53-yard run to make it 38-7. Clark would end the night with about 200 yards on the ground.
Union started their next drive from their own 4 after mishandling Allen’s kick. Three incompletions gave the Panthers no breathing room and Wilson blocked the ensuing punt. Noah Brock picked up the ball and ran it in. With 5:12 still in the quarter, the Tigers were up 44-7.
Yet another three and out forced by the Dawson D gave the ball right back to the offense.
Robbie Rarick got his turn behind the offensive line. Rarick rushed for a touchdown and another Allen extra point made it 52-7 just before the end of the third.
The Panthers would finally add to their score in the fourth on a Wright to Hemphill throw and again with 1:52 to play with the backup quarterback Pierson Allison in the game.
The final from Blairsville at 52-21 gives Dawson County their second region win and moves them to 4-2 overall and 2-0 in Region 7-AAA.
Next up for the Tigers is Fannin County. Dawson will host the Rebels at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 13.
Check Wednesday’s edition of the Dawson County News for the full story.