Both of the county’s middle schools will open their football season this Saturday, against each other. To top it off, the teams will play at Tiger Stadium on the campus of Dawson County High School.
“Both schools thought it would be great to play on Saturday night instead of our usual Thursday afternoon game. We hope to get a huge crowd like we had the last two years,” said Mark Thomason, Riverview Middle School head coach.
The two teams have been working all summer to prepare for the upcoming season.
Last season Riverview escaped with a 14-12 win over the Tigers.
Riverview came out on top in the 2009 campaign with a 4-3 record, while Dawson County closed the season with a 3-4 record.
Thomy Edwards, entering his second season as head coach at Dawson County Middle School, said: “I am excited for this weeks game. We hope it will be a competitive game with no one getting hurt. The Dawson and Riverview game is always good for the fans. It lets them see how the future of Dawson County football is going to be when all of these guys will be on the same team in the next few years. Hopefully it will give them something to look forward too.”
“I think it will be a tough ballgame. The last two years the game has been a defensive struggle. They looked good in their scrimmage game last week, they have some big boys up front with two pretty good running backs. The game will come down to who plays well on special teams and who wins the turnover battle,” Thomason said.
Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. Saturday.
In training for opening day both teams played in a preseason scrimmage at Pickens County Middle School in Jasper last Thursday.
The teams played in two 30-minute games against Jasper and Pickens County middle schools.
The Tigers scored two touchdowns on Pickens, both on long runs. Scoring first was Richard Palmer on a 50 yard scamper and the second TD was by Conor Woodbury as he rambled 62-yards for the score.
“We did well against Pickens,” Edwards said. “I was pleased with the performance of my players. All my running backs ran hard and the line blocked well for them. I thought that Conor Woodbury, Richard Palmer, Jake Leete and Corey Voyles ran well.
“The defense looked really good as well. Jake Phillips seemed to be in the backfield every down while Corey (Voyles) and Richard (Palmer) heading up the linebacker crew.”
On the other side, Thomason said: “Well to start with there was a 30 minute lightning delay, so that meant we could only play 12 plays on offense and defense against Jasper and Pickens. So our starters only got in 12 plays total.
“We found some things we need to work on and some things that we did pretty well. I really liked what I saw from our defense. Brandon Abbott made some nice plays as well as Austin Bias. We really ran to the ball hard.”
Offensively the Eagles struggled a bit. Fumbles and penalties bogged down two drives in both scrimmage games.