The Dawson County Middle School football team needed a win over visiting Jasper Middle School last week to gain some momentum going into the Mountain League playoffs.
However, the Dragons used a strong running game to bounce the Tigers 38-16, Thursday.
Jasper got on the scoreboard first on a 32-yard touchdown run with 5:48 to play in the first quarter. The two-point conversion was not good and the Dragons held a 6-0 lead.
Dawson quickly answered.
Quarterback Brody Chester found the end zone on a 2-yard touchdown run to even the score at 6-6. Chester then hit Conor Woodbury for a two-point conversion that gave Dawson an 8-6 lead.
There were two plays just before halftime from Jasper that broke the back of the Tigers.
Jasper used a reverse on fourth-and-twenty eight from the 48-yard line to score its second touchdown of the half. The 2-point conversion was true and Jasper led 14-8 with 1:05 left before halftime.
The Tigers went to the air to try and set up a score of their own. Chester was intercepted and a Dragons cornerback took the pick 46-yards for the team's second touchdown in just 36 seconds. Jasper's 2-point conversion was good and gave them a commanding 22-8 lead going into halftime.
Head Coach Thomy Edwards' team added another touchdown in the second half on a run by Conor Woodbury. It wasn't enough as Dawson fell by a 22-point margin.
"Even though the score didn't reflect it, we did play well," Edwards said. "Those two big plays right before halftime really hurt us."
Edwards said he felt the offense played well.
"I thought Taylor Cronan, Conor Woodbury and Hunter Burt all ran the football well. Our offensive line did a great job. We were able to move the ball on the ground, but we struggled passing the ball," he said.
Defense, however, still needs some work, according to Edwards.
"Defensively we looked OK; however, we have to learn how to stop the big play and tackle better," Edwards said.
Despite the loss last week the Tigers should qualify for the playoffs which will start on Sept. 29.
The Tigers are currently 2-2 overall and will play at home Thursday against a very strong Fannin County team. The Rebels defeated Riverview Middle School 40-14 last week. Game time will be 5 p.m.