Breaking News

Dalton High School Catamounts

November 16, 2013

Bowing out

Dalton defense hangs tough, but Alexander kicks FG for victory

All season long, Dalton High School’s football team could say it hadn’t lost a game that would affect its championship dreams.

The Catamounts lost that privilege Friday — and, likewise, lost those dreams.

Alexander kicker Jeremiah Michel’s 27-yard field goal as time expired gave the visiting Cougars a 13-10 win at Harmon Field in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. The result broke many hearts inside the stadium and crushed all hopes Dalton had of catapulting a Region 7-4A championship into a deep postseason run.

“I’m heartbroken,” Dalton coach Matt Land said. “You spend so many hours and so many late nights and early mornings ... and I know (our players’) hearts hurt.”

Dalton finished the season 8-3. Alexander (7-4) — the No. 4 seed from Region 5 — advances to play Lanier (9-2), which beat Carver-Atlanta (7-4) 26-7 in another first-round game.

Trailing 10-7 in the fourth quarter, Dalton drove from its own 35-yard line to the red zone, but a costly penalty prevented the Catamounts from taking the lead. On first-and-goal from the Alexander 10, Zek Cobb rushed to the left and found his way to the end zone, but the officials flagged Dalton for holding, pushing the ball back to the 20. Four plays later, Dalton settled for a 29-yard field goal from Kiko Rodriguez to tie the game with 3:25 remaining.

“That’s a play that will hurt,” Land said of the holding call, “because it’s a four-point swing. ... It didn’t just hurt our drive; it cost us points.”

The Cats needed a stop from their defense, but the Cougars and running back Mikell Lands-Davis had their eyes on a game-winning drive. Lands-Davis, who finished the game with 176 of his team’s 180 rushing yards on 38 carries, rushed eight times for 43 yards on the final possession. After a 9-yard run from Lands-Davis, Michel came on to seal Dalton’s fate.

Alexander, which entered averaging 32.3 points, was held to its second-lowest scoring output of the season. The Cougars gained 311 yards, while the Catamounts gained 227.

“If we had done enough to win,” senior linebacker Lyle Durham said, “they wouldn’t have scored at all. It wasn’t enough to win.”

Dalton enjoyed its best regular season since 2007, the last time the program won a region championship. Similar to this year, the 2007 Catamounts also saw their season end in the first round and on the last play of the game, 21-19 against Cherokee.

Dalton started the 2013 season with losses to non-region opponents Ringgold and Gilmer — both games without standout junior running back Kelvis Rhodes, who saw limited action Friday due to mononucleosis, Land said — but the Cats proved those losses unimportant with eight straight wins, including five sub-region games and a victory at Gilmer for the Region 7-4A title last week.

Alexander was searching for its first postseason win since the 1996 season. The Cougars’ closest regular-season win was a 33-19 victory against LaGrange.

“To be able to win a close football game and to grind it out is huge,” Alexander coach Matthew Combs said. “They’ve never done something like that. We could’ve folded a lot of times.”

After a scoreless first quarter, Lands-Davis entered the end zone on a 6-yard run with 3:11 to play before halftime. Dalton didn’t waste time responding as tight end Chase Westfall found an open spot in Alexander’s zone, quarterback Payton Veraldi found him and Westfall tied the game with a 46-yard touchdown catch with 1:07 left before halftime.

Michel’s first field goal, a 36-yarder, gave Alexander a 10-7 lead with 10:20 left in the game.

Dalton running back Tyler Noland had nine rushes for 34 yards, while Veraldi had eight carries for 42 yards along with 83 yards passing. Rhodes finished with 3 yards on a pair of carries.

1
Text Only
Dalton High School Catamounts
  • NW at DHS baseball (g3) 1 mlh.jpg Whatever it takes

    Northwest Whitfield High School’s baseball team has been successful this season. But at the same time, no one said success would be easy.
    Several times this year, the Bruins have fallen behind early in the first few innings before answering with a rally to ensure the wins keep coming. On Friday, that formula delivered a Sub-region 7B-4A championship for the second year in a row.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • DHS at SE soccer 7 mlh.jpg Prep Roundup: Unbeaten streak rolls on for Cats

    Replicating the start of last year’s Class 4A state title match, Dalton High School’s boys soccer team needed just four minutes to score its first goal at Southeast Whitfield on Friday.
    The Catamounts scored five more — and again defended their crown of dominance in the sport.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Bruins power past Cats for key victory at home

    TUNNEL HILL — Similar to Wednesday’s Sub-region 7B-4A baseball series opener at Dalton High School, Northwest Whitfield fell behind early Thursday versus the Catamounts.

    April 11, 2014

  • NW at SE baseball 7   mlh.jpg Prep Baseball: Looking for a leader

    Dalton High School baseball coach Shane Ramsey only needed one word to sum up what he expects from this week’s three-game series with Sub-region 7B-4A foe and intracounty rival Northwest Whitfield.
    “Intensity,” he said. “If you can’t get up for this series, then why are you playing?”

    April 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Dalton golf teams in form at Fields Ferry

    Even in wet and muddy conditions, both the Dalton High School boys and girls golf teams are sharpening their games at the right time.
    With the Region 7-4A tournament scheduled in two weeks, both the Catamounts and the Lady Cats finished second during play at the Fields Ferry Invitational in Calhoun on Monday. Despite the soggy conditions, Dalton’s Jacob Brown tied for medalist honors with a 2-over par 74 to lead the Cats to a 313 combined score in the six-play, four-score format. Dalton finished three strokes behind tournament winner LaFayette.

    April 8, 2014

  • Wrestler of the year 2014 2 mlh.jpg All-Area Wrestling Team and Wrestler of the Year: Winning another title was the only goal for Wheeler

    When Dalton High School wrestler Sidney Wheeler won a state title for the first time two years ago as a sophomore, he admitted he became a little complacent about what it would take to replicate the feat — perhaps not noticeably so to most observers, but enough to take success for granted. Wheeler believed it a matter of course that he would win state again, and he thought the second title would simply be the middle child in a high school three-peat.

    April 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep Roundup: Behr finds his stroke in Vidalia

    Dalton High School golfer Allen Behr shot a 3-under-par 69 during the second day of the Indian Invitational in Vidalia to lead the Catamounts to a top-10 finish in the event Saturday.

    April 6, 2014

  • dhs v lafayette baseball1.jpg Out of control victory

    Dalton and LaFayette high schools are on spring break this week, and on Monday their baseball teams’ pitching took a vacation when it came to throwing strikes.
    The teams combined for 14 walks and four hit batters in a Sub-region 7B-4A game at Dalton, although most of the damage belonged to the host Catamounts, who won 5-4 despite their control problems.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • dhs baseball signing sane1.jpg Prep Baseball: Sane taking his drive to Chattanooga State

    Grant Sane isn’t a player who is concerned with his stats or his individual accomplishments. He is more interested in doing whatever he can do for his Dalton High School baseball team to be successful.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ridgeland at DHS baseball 3 mlh.jpg Sharp enough to win

    Dalton High School freshman pitcher Sam Stepp found himself in a jam a lot during Wednesday’s home game against Ridgeland.
    He always found a way out.

    March 27, 2014 1 Photo