WATKINSVILLE — Dawson County’s run in the Class 3A playoffs came to a crushing end Friday night.
It was billed as a battle between the Tigers’ No. 3 offense against an Oconee County defense that was one of the best in the state. But the Tigers could never get untracked and some early mistakes helped lead to a 42-7 loss on the road.
Dawson County (6-6) played the Warriors (10-0) straight-up for a quarter as the game was scoreless after the opening 12 minutes. But Oconee County used an 8-second blitz to take control.
The Warriors capped a quick drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass and then on the Tigers next play Oconee’s Dawson Houseman picked off Zach Holtzclaw for a pick-6 and a 14-0 lead.
It stayed that way until the Warriors converted a third down with a 70-yard pass to the Tigers 5 and then scored a play later for a 21-0 lead with 1:04 left in the half.
After a 40-second, three-and-out drive by the Tigers to open the second half, Oconee chewed up six minutes and extended the lead to 28-0 midway through the third quarter with a 9-yard TD pass.
Oconee capitalized on another Holtzclaw interception, this time returning it to the Dawson 1, and scoring one play later for a 35-0 lead.
After the Warriors scored on another big play, Dawson County finally scored on its final possession getting a 36-yard touchdown run from Jaden Gibson.