DAWSONVILLE – For the second time in as many years, the Dawson-West Hall match-up came down to a nail-biting finish. In 2016 it was a 30-23 West Hall win in overtime. In 2017, it was battle of two stellar defenses and West Hall’s Israel Lopez hitting a 20-yard field goal with fifteen seconds to lift the Spartans (4-1) to a 13-10 victory over Dawson (2-1). The two teams combined for just over 400 total yards of offense in the battle.
The game’s first score was set up a West Hall’s defense forcing a Tiger fumble at the Dawson 32. The Tiger defense answered the call forcing a 3-and-Field Goal for Lopez who connected on a 45-yarder to give West Hall the initial lead with 9:51 in the first.
Dawson’s defense answered the call on West’s second drive with Chance Armstrong intercepting West Hall to set up the games second points-off-turnover scenario. A Tiger 57-yard drive wrapped up with Shawn Thomas scampering 20 yards to put Dawson ahead with 5:08 in the first quarter. Peyton Allen’s PAT made the score 7-3, Dawson.
West Hall reclaimed the lead after their defense forced the Dawson offense into a third down punt scenario, earning possession on the Tiger 28. The second quarter, short field drive resulted in West Hall’s Michael Thompson going in from the one yardline. Lopez’s PAT extended the lead to 10-7 at the 10:19 mark of the second quarter.
The game would then see nine drives end with punts until the Tiger defense picked off Thompson for the second time on the evening. The Tiger’s Noah Brock made a play on a long midfield pass to give Dawson possession on their 44. This points-off-turnover drive ended with Dawson’s Allen hitting a 42-yard field goal to tie the game 10-10 with 11:11 remaining in the game.
Dawson’s defense presented another opportunity that saw the Tiger offense stall at the West Hall 13 yardline. This time Allen’s field goal was just missed the upright, with less than four minutes remaining. West Hall answered with the game winning drive and Lopez field goal.
Dawson travels to White County next Friday. NGSL, as always, will have all of the live action with their award winning broadcast team.
Rushing – Dawson: Thomas 13-72 1-TD, Clark 21-39, Rarick 4-15, Cameron 4-11. West: Thompson 20-150, Adams 16-45, Smith 4-2
Passing – Dawson: Clark 4-10-0 31yards, Pruitt 2-2-0 22 yards. West: Thompson 4-9-2 21 yards.
Receiving – Dawson: Glass 2-35, Cameron 2-9, Barron 1-7, Bearden 1-2. West: Smith 2-12, Shirley 1-6, Williams 1-3.
Penalties – Dawson 3-40, West 6-40