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HS football previews: Week 1

POSTED: August 23, 2013 12:03 a.m.

Dawson County at East Hall

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: East Hall Stadium, Gainesville

Coaches: Dawson County, Jeff Lee; East Hall, Bryan Gray

Records: Dawson County (0-0, 0-0 Region 7-AAA); East Hall (0-0, 0-0)

Key players: Dawson County, DB Jackson Putnam (6-1, 180 Sr.), WR Chris Sayler (5-9, 171 Sr.), OL Eli Brown (6-1, 265 Sr.), OL Chase Wilson (6-1, 255 Sr.); LB Keaton Toal (6-1, 225 Sr.), DB Zach Guy (5-9, 175 Sr.), DE Logan Hayes (6-0, 225 Sr.). East Hall, LB Jorge Hernandez (6-3, 230 Sr.), WR/DB Milton Whelchel (5-9, 170 Sr.), DB/WR Quay Jarrells (5-10, 180 Sr.), LB Corey Reece (5-10, 185 Sr.), OL/DL J.D. Holloway (6-1, 270 Sr.), QB Devin Watson (5-11, 180 Jr.), RB Jacques Ash (6-0, 185 Jr.)

Outlook: The 2013 season kicks off in the area with a rare showdown between region opponents in Week 1.

Right off the bat, postseason implications are on the line between the two Region 7-AAA playoff hopefuls. Dawson County snuck in as a No. 4 seed by going 6-5 last year, while East Hall fell just short with a 5-5 record and a fifth-place spot in the standings.

The third and fourth playoff spots after Buford and North Hall in the region are expected to be wide open, with a four-team race possible between the Tigers, the Vikings, West Hall and White County. Should that battle hold up, this game could be referred to when it comes time to determine who’s postseason-bound and who’s sitting out.

Dawson County had no problem with the East Hall last season, rolling past the Vikings 42-0 in front of a home crowd in Dawsonville. Heading to Gainesville this year, the Tigers may not have such an easy time.

It’s their first game since graduating the big arm of quarterback Tyler Dominy or his surrounding talent in Zack Martin and Bruce Clark. While the new starters get acclimated to varsity tempo, East Hall will challenge them with several returning starters, including speedy running back Quay Jarrells and hulking linebacker Jorge Hernandez.

Hayesville, N.C. at Towns County

When: 7:30 tonight

Where: Frank McClure Stadium, Hiawassee

Coaches: Hayesville, Ernie Hughes; Towns County, Blair Harrison

Records: Hayesville (0-0); Towns County (0-0)

Key players: Hayesville, QB Isaac Mills (6-1, 160, Sr.), RB/DB Payton Long (5-9, 146, Sr.), WR/DB Braxton Cox (6-1, 165, So.); Towns County, QB Jackson Noblet (5-10, 205, Sr.), WR/DB Cruz Shook (5-7, 170, Jr.), RB/LB Zach Sewell (5-7, 165, Jr.)

Outlook: Tonight’s meeting is the season opener for both schools. Although this is a non-region, out-of-state contest, the schools are separated by less than 20 miles and become common opponents to one another, playing each season since 2004.

Last year, the Indians fell to Hayesville 20-12, and it started a six-game losing streak to start the season. Now, the Indians have a new coach and are looking to change the direction of their program. Towns County has plenty of returning starters from last season, 14, led by senior quarterback Jackson Noblet.

Expect Towns County to run its Wing-T offense with running back Zach Sewell getting a majority of the carries. On defense, the Indians will run multiple fronts in an attempt to slow down the running attack of Hayesville.


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