In another true-to-form team effort, the Dawson County Tigers soccer team shut out Greater Atlanta Christian at home last week, positioning itself for a solid run at a region championship.
Dawson defeated GAC 1-0 on March 27.
"What a great game tonight," said Head Coach Jed Lacey. "We needed this one to set us up to win region."
The Tigers' defense was able to stop all of the GAC attacks and Lacey said that is a result of their strength at every position.
"Every game another player steps up and helps make us stronger," he said.
Goal keeper Dillon Tierney had five saves on the night and came away with his fourth clean sheet of the season.
At about 13:10 to play, he came up with an enormous save that elicited cheers from the crowd.
"I cannot say enough about our keeper Dillon Tierney," Lacey said. "He made a tremendous save late in the game that pretty much slammed the door on the final challenge from GAC. This kid is the real deal."
Dawson worked throughout to break up the attacks from the Spartans and that was evidenced by the play of Karson Pharris, according to Lacey.
"Karson is coming into his own. He has played the last three games at such a high level that it has changed the way we actually have to play our system," Lacey said.
Lacey also praised the efforts of Tim Moody, Raleigh Payne and Tyler Lawson-crediting a tradition of Dawson County defenders.
"Shutting out GAC was no easy accomplishment," he said. "This unit is big time. Coming into this year we knew we had to be strong on defense and having two new people back there after moving Nick Murphy up.
These guys back there had a lot to live up to, not saying pressure, just that this unit has always been elite and they wanted to keep that tradition alive with great play from them again this year."
The only goal of the night came at 23:48 in the second when Blythe scored his 11th goal of the season on a Tyler Lawson assist.
"Nathan Blythe's shot was a missile from 30 yards out that was blasted so hard that the GAC keeper had no chance to get to it," Lacey said.
Lacey said that the adversities the team has already faced this year will only help them as they attempt to make a deep run in the playoffs and that a win of this caliber is the first step.
"There are so many good teams this year," he said. "It will be a gauntlet trying to weave through the state playoffs this year. It will be all about positioning and winning our region on the boys side will be huge. We took the first step in doing this with the win over GAC tonight but we have work left to do."
The Tigers are now 9-0-4 overall and 3-0 in region play. Updated state rankings have Dawson County at No. 2.
Lacey said that there are three tough opponents left in Lumpkin County, East Hall and Union County.
Dawson will play at 7:30 p.m. on April 14 against Lumpkin County in Dahlonega.