DECATUR – Facing the defending state champions, who are in the middle of a 22-game win streak, in the Sweet 16 proved not to be the best scenario for the Dawson County Tigers on Friday night. The Tigers fell 58-13 to the Cedar Grove Saints, who appeared to be poised for another deep run through the playoffs. Despite the loss, the Tigers completed a season for the record books, advancing to the second round for the second time in three seasons and third for the Tiger football program.
For the Tiger graduating class, they will end their career as the most successful class in Tiger history, surpassing the graduating class of 2002-03. These seniors finish their careers with a 26-19 record, three consecutive state playoff appearances, boasting the programs first region title and advancing to the Elite 8. The 02-03 graduating class finished with a 23-20 record and two state playoff appearances.
The evening also saw junior running back Sevaughn Clark enter the record books with a 108-yard rushing performance that placed him at 1806 yards on the season. At release time, the new single season performance record for Dawson had not been confirmed. Also, senior quarterback Coey Watson will finish his career scoring the most touchdowns in Tiger history at 105 and the record for games started at 44
Cedar Grove quickly took the upper hand in this match-up, scoring on their first two drives to take a 14-0 lead with 8:06 remaining in the opening quarter. Once the Tigers got into their routine, they assembled an 83 yard drive that ended with a Ethan Cameron sweeping in from the two-yardline with 3:07 remaining in the quarter. After the missed PAT, Dawson was posting a respectable 14-6 deficit.
The momentum appeared to shift Dawson’s direction when the ensuing kickoff was fumbled and Logan Barnes got the recovery to give the Tigers possession at the Saint 48 yardline. The opportunity to tie the game was quickly quietened as the Saints defense forced the Tigers to punt the possession away.
Cedar Grove answered the turnover with a display of offensive efficiency by adding scores on their next three possessions. The Saints scored on a 56-yard pass, 42-yard run, and 80-yard run to build a 35-6 halftime lead.
The defending champions built the score up to 58-6 in third quarter, but Dawson was able to close the game a 75-yard drive that ended with Coey Watson connecting with Sevaughn Clark on a 9-yard pass play to set the final score with 10:14 remaining in the game.
Dawson finishes the season 8-4.
Dawson 0 0 0 7 – 13
Cedar Grove 14 21 23 0 – 58
Q1 08:21 CG: Dennis-Hazelwood 64yd Pass (Cousins Kick) 0-7
Q1 08:06 CG: Neal 29yd Run (Cousins Kick) 0-14
Q1 03:07 DC: Cameron 2yd Run (Kick failed) 6-14
Q2 11:20 CG: Dennis-Spivey 56yd Pass (Kick Failed) 6-20
Q2 04:47 CG: Wright 42yd Run (Cousins Kick) 6-27
Q2 00:32 CG: Spivey 80yd Run (Run Good) 6-35
Q3 03:30 CG: Dennis-Hazelwood 24yd Pass (Cousins Kick) 6-42
Q3 03:17 CG: Safety 6-44
Q3 02:27 CG: Neal 40yd Run (Cousins Kick) 6-51
Q3 00:59 CG: Sterling Pass (Cousins Kick) 6-58
Q4 10:14 DC: Watson-Clark 9yd Pass (Allen Kick) 13-58
Rushing – Dawson 56-233: Clark 27-108, Watson 26-118, Cameron 3-7. Cedar Grove 24-331
Passing – Dawson: Watson 9-19-2 103 1 TD; Cameron 0-1-0. Cedar Grove: 8-8-0 260.
Receiving – Dawson: Clark 4-37 1TD, Cameron 2-20, Baron 2-44, Bearden 1-2