The Dawson County Tigers were plagued by turnovers--six of them--on Friday night and their playoff hopes were dashed by the Lovett Lions with a 49-28 loss at home.
The first two possessions for both teams ended without a point scored.
On Dawson's third outing, Coey Watson hit Kolton Brumbelow on first down for a 53-yard touchdown. The Tigers took an early 7-0 lead with 1:02 in the first quarter.
Dawson defense was able to get a stop on fourth and one when the Lions went for it just as the second quarter began.
The Tigers' offense again looked proficient with another touchdown on first and 10. This time Watson connected with Nick Murphy from the 47-yard line.
The momentum was with Dawson as the D held the Lions and gave the ball right back, but that's when things began to turn. Watson was intercepted by Peyton Ringer on second down.
The Lions took over and Luke Martin shut down the offense on a sack for a giant loss. Lovett was forced to punt, but Jeremy Whalen lost the ball and the Lions went right back to work from the Dawson 42-yard line.
Lions' quarterback Brady Tindall hit Nick Jackson to get on the board and make it 14-7.
The following Tiger possession saw Watson fumble on a keeper and the Lions go back on offense at the Dawson 24.
The Lions ran a reverse and Tindall got in on a keeper to tie the game with 7:31 in the second.
When the Tigers got the ball back, what looked like a productive drive was stopped short by another interception when the ball was pulled from Ryan Glass.
Dawson dug in and and held the Lions on a three and out and then took over at their own 8-yard line after the punt.
The Tigers were able to drive the length of the field behind a long completion to Murphy, Nasser Clark's running and Watson getting in on a keeper with 2:10 until the half. The Cole Dennis extra point was good and the Tigers pulled back ahead, 21-14.
It looked as though the Tigers had things in hand when Jeremy Whalen picked off Tindall on the next Lions' outing, but the Tigers drive ended with a missed field goal.
In the second half, Dawson recovered a Lovett fumble, but could not take advantage of the turnover. Cole Dennis' field goal attempt was no good and the Lions took over.
On a long third down, Tindall found Kayle Wallace for a touchdown and tied it up with 7:56 in the third.
The next Tiger drive ended abruptly on another interception, this time by Peyton Ringer.
The Lions drive began at the 31 and was helped by a pass interference call against Dawson as well as an offsides. Lovett faked a field goal attempt when it was fourth and one. Tindall passed to Jackson for another touchdown.
The following Lions possession also ended with a touchdown, this time a reverse to Wallace sent him into the end zone untouched. Lovett led 35-21 with 11:10 in the fourth quarter.
Dawson would score once more on a Watson-to-Murphy touchdown pass for 21 yards.
The following Lions outing looked like the tide would turn back to the Tigers after a massive sack for a loss by Colin Glover, but another interception deflated Dawson and Lovett converted.
After the game Head Coach Sid Maxwell consoled his players telling them it was a great battle all the way around.
"We made a few mistakes," he said.
"What we accomplished went way beyond this season," said Offensive Coordinator Andy LeBlanc.
The Tigers finish the season at 7-3 overall and 5-1 in region play.
For complete game coverage, see Wednesday's edition of the Dawson County News.