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Sunday September 20th, 2020 6:50AM

Dawson shocks Westminster, 27-3

By AccessWDUN Staff

ATLANTA — Dawson County coach Sid Maxwell was very pleased after his team's impressive 27-3 upset win over No. 2-seeded Westminster Friday night on the road. 

He was most happy with the physical style in which the Tigers completely dominated the Wildcats, holding them to just 128 total yards of offense, to advance in the Class 3A playoffs. 

"We were very physical tonight," Maxwell said. "I think that was the biggest shock to Westminster. Our guys just really let it fly. We were in the right spots, whipped their hips and just ran right through them. It was a game that we actually brought something with it. It was fun to see."

The Tigers will travel to Region 2-3A No. 1 seed, Jenkins in Savannah, on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Shawn Thomas led a Tiger ground game -- 128 yards on 16 carries and two TDs -- that racked up 218 yards. Isaiah Grindle (9-43), Zach Holtzclaw (7-37), Dakohta Sonnichsen (2-11) and Jaden Gibson (2-6) all logged yards on the ground. 

But Maxwell said the passing game is really what opened up the ground game. 

"We opened it up with the passing game, staying balanced," he said. "Zach was able to run through his progressions and do the right thing with the football. When that happens, good things happen."

Holtzclaw was 9-of-16 with 87 yards. Brody Howell was the top receiver with two catches for 36 yards. Hunter Barron finished with a catch for 24 yards. 

It was a special teams game in the first quarter, however, with Dawson's Caleb Bonesteel hitting a 32-yard kick and Westminster's Alex Bacchetta booting a 45-yard try to end the first 12 minutes knotted at 3-3. 

Then it was all Dawson County. 

Grindle scored on a 1-yard dive in the second quarter to end the half up 10-3. 

In the second half, it was a combination of the kicking game and Thomas. Bonesteel nailed his second field goal from 38 yards out in the third quarter, and Thomas rushed for his two scores in the fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. 

"We challenged the young men to come out and let it fly and play the game," Maxwell said. "It was a very physical game tonight."

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