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Wednesday April 1st, 2020 4:14PM

Gaining the Edge: Holtzclaw's 387 yards and five TDs leads Dawson over Fannin

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor

DAWSONVILLE — Dawson County quarterback Zach Holtzclaw continues to put his mark on the Tiger football program.

The sophomore quarterback is doing just fine as a first-year starter in Sid Maxwell's offense, passing for more than 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns this season and leading the Tigers to a 6-2 mark.

But he's not always played the position. As Maxwell says, he first saw Holtzclaw playing fullback and linebacker in middle school.

"In ninth grade, we started alternating him at quarterback," Maxwell said. "Really, I saw Zach as more of a linebacker, to be honest with you. But he just throws a nice pass and it's on target ... an easy ball to catch. He knows when he has to throw it hard, and when he has to lay it up. He's way ahead of his time considering where he's at now as a sophomore."

Holtzclaw was 20-of-24 passing with 387 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-7 blowout win over Fannin County to keep the Tigers' hopes of a home playoff berth alive. If the Tigers beat Cherokee Bluff and North Hall, they'll secure their fifth straight home playoff game. 

Regardless of the accolades, Holtzclaw credits offensive coordinator Andy Leblanc for his rise to the starting quarterback position.

"Coach Leblanc is the one that helps me," Holtzclaw said. "I've only been playing quarterback for two years and he pushes me every day to get better. That's why I'm where I am right now." 

Maxwell agreed. 

"You've got to have a mentor and Coach Leblanc does a great job with our quarterbacks," he said. "He's learning more and more of what we do and he's becoming more comfortable with it." 

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