By Bob Christian
For the Forsyth County News
DAWSONVILLE — The Denmark Danes found themselves in an unusual position as halftime approached in Dawson County on Friday night. They were trailing the Tigers by a score of 10 – 7 and facing third and 20 with less than three minutes remaining in the second quarter.
That’s when senior quarterback and Auburn commit Aaron McLaughlin did what he does best.
Using his legs to extend the play, McLaughlin scrambled to the right, he spotted junior Casey Gunn breaking free from coverage and launched the ball 55 yards through the air for the touchdown, giving his team a 14 - 10 lead as they headed into the locker room.
A lead they never relinquished, despite a determined effort by Dawson County in the second half.
Most of the second half was a defensive battle as both teams struggled to move the ball and neither team managed to cross the 50 until the final drive of the quarter when McLaughlin once again connected with Gunn on Dawson County’s 9-yard line. There, the drive stalled, and Denmark settled for a field goal on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
After a three-and-out from Dawson County, McLaughlin went back to work, leading three scoring drives in the final 7:30 of the game, including a pair of 61-yard strikes to fellow senior and Auburn commit Ze’vian Capers, to give the Danes the victory by a final score of 38 – 24.
“You have to have a short memory,” McLaughlin said. “We played good in the second half and we got the win.”
In game that saw his team rack up 16 penalties, head coach Terry Crowder saw several things that his team needed to work on as the team prepares for their upcoming regional slate of games.
“We played well against a really good football team; except for the first six minutes, we played really well,” Crowder said. “This is truly our first four-quarter game, and it was a battle from start to finish.”