DAWSONVILLE— West Hall took a huge first step toward a Region 7-AAA playoff spot on Friday.
The Spartans used their run-heavy offense to wear down Dawson County’s defense in a 26-3 win at Tiger Stadium.
West Hall coach Tony Lotti’s defense allowed just 203 total yards of offense: 160 on the ground and only 43 yards in the air.
“We made plays when we needed to make plays,” Lotti said. “We ended up settling down a little bit, and we stayed with the game plan.”
Kwon Williams put West Hall (4-1, 1-0 Region 7-AAA) on the board first with a 2-yard touchdown run with 6:00 left in the first quarter. The score was set up by a 47-yard scamper by teammate Tyquan Statham on third-and-6 from the 49-yard line. Bradley Hodgson added the extra point to increase the score to 7-0.
In the second quarter, West Hall added another score from Statham on a 9-yard burst into the end zone. Although two Dawson County (0-4, 0-1) penalties put the ball inside the 1-yard line, the Spartans were unable to convert a 2-point conversion and settled for a 13-0 lead with 9:48 before halftime.
Statham finished the game with nine carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns.
Hodgson added a field goal from 35-yards out with 3:45 remaining in the second quarter, allowing West Hall to take a 16-0 lead into halftime.
The Tigers began the second half recovering an onside kick by Nick Murphy.
“We were actually talking about it, and we were in a formation for an onside kick,” Lotti said. “Hats off to their kicker. It spun and spun and spun and looked like it was going to go out of bounds, and it spun at the last second on the white line and they jumped on it.”
The Tigers then began a 10-play drive that led to their only points of the evening on a 29-yard field goal by Zach Buchan, cutting the Spartans lead to 16-3.
West Hall responded on the next drive. The Spartans used seven plays to cover 56 yards and notch their third score of the evening. Williams scampered into the end zone from 29 yards out for his second touchdown of the game with 8:34 left in the third. Hodgson added the extra point to give West a 23-3 lead.
Williams carried the ball 11 for 69 yards and two scores for the Spartans. The Spartans had seven different ball carriers rush for a total of 224 yards on 40 carries.
“The kids didn’t panic, and we got big plays out of some kids that we really rely on,” Lotti said. “I’m happy we were able to get this one done. I think this region is exactly what I thought it would be, where any team can beat any other team.”
The final score of the night came on a Hodgson field goal from 33 yards out with 4:07 left to play.
For Dawson County, running backs Andrew Goley ran for 44 yards and Kyle Hayes for 43. Freshman quarterback Coey Watson also picked up 44 yards on the ground. Watson threw 13 times but connected only three passes against the Spartans defense.
After a bye week, the Spartans will play host to East Hall. The Tigers host East Hall next Friday.