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Tigers seeking another region championship
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With the Tigers' win over Lumpkin County last week, the team set up what many are calling the biggest regular season game in Dawson County football history.

The 54-8 victory over the rival Lumpkin County Indians means that the team's region record is unspoiled as the No. 1 class AAA team, Greater Atlanta Christian (8-1, 5-0), comes to Dawsonville on Friday.

"You've got No. 10 versus No. 1," said Defensive Coordinator Brent Cox. "What an environment. It's pretty awesome."

Last season at this time the Tigers had already secured a region championship and were headed to play Johnson High School in a game that was irrelevant.

"We are trying to make sure we take our shot," said Head Coach Sid Maxwell. "We don't want to regret. You don't want to have your guns loaded and not fire any bullets.

"We aren't doing anything different. We aren't trying to recreate anything."

Offensive Coordinator Andy LeBlanc said that last year's team relied more heavily on explosive plays.

"This year, we are more methodical," LeBlanc said. "Last year it was common for us to have touchdown drives of five or less plays, where this year we are having drives of 10-plus plays. You can see the experience of last year in this year's team."

Maxwell and Cox agree that the second year in the system is helping this year's team settle in.

"We are more consistent this year than we were last year because of the second year in the program. I think that's big. The boys are more comfortable in what we are doing. Better understanding, it's just more football knowledge. So that's helping and we are still building on that," Cox said.

"We are going to keep doing what we do. If I had magic beans and I could plant them and make success, I would," Maxwell said. "There are no magic beans."

The players know it takes work and believe they are ready.

"We have been preparing for this moment since spring practice," said senior linebacker Luke Martin. "We will fight for each other every time we step on the field and Friday night will be no different."

Martin and many of his teammates have been together for years. He said this is what they have played for.

"It's huge. As a player you dream of playing games like this. I have been playing with most of these guys since I was 8. I am thankful for this team and the bond we have. I consider these guys my brothers," Martin said.

Coaches and players alike have prepared as they have done all season, but recognize what they are facing with GAC.

"If we beat GAC, it'll prove to people all around how good of a team we are and how much potential we all hold," said senior wide receiver Kolton Brumbelow.

The Spartans' balanced offense is averaging 180 yards receiving and 191 yards rushing per game.

"GAC has been ranked first in the state all year for a reason. They are very well coached and have tremendous players on both sides of the ball," LeBlanc said.

The team also has 13 sacks and 10 interceptions on the season.

"They are a balanced attack. Their quarterback is the No. 2 quarterback in America, No. 1 in the state. The tailback is a junior. He is incredibly talented. We have got to be fundamentally sound. If we do what we do we should be fine," Cox said.

"We don't have their athletes, but we definitely have a lot of heart," Cox said. "I will take that 100 percent."

The Tigers have already earned a spot in the state playoffs and home field advantage for the first game on Nov. 11.