The St. Pius X Golden Lions hosted the first round of the 3-AAA playoffs Friday night against the Dawson County Tigers and won handily 72-28. The Golden Lions scored early and often throughout the game and the Dawson County defense looked confused and out of place all night.
The St. Pius triple option took no time to put up the first points of the game, and scored on a 35-yard touchdown run by junior running back Brandon Mitchell with 10:44 remaining in the first quarter.
After a Dawson County punt the Golden Lion option went back to business where Mitchell scored again on a 9-yard touchdown. The score was 14-0 St. Pius with 6:06 left in the first quarter.
The St. Pius and Dawson County offenses then traded blows to bring the score to 21-7 in favor of the Golden Lions.
On the following St. Pius possession, senior fullback Ryan Braswell punched in from 14 yards out with 7:12 left in the first half.
Dawson County then answered with a touchdown of its own, scoring on a pass play from 27 yards. With the score 28-14 Dawson County appeared to be climbing back in the game, but a 34-yard touchdown run by junior running back Nick Ruffin gave St. Pius a 35-14 lead at the half.
St. Pius resumed their offensive domination after cornerback Nick Ruffin intercepted a Tiger pass. Fullback Braswell then scored again on a 3-yard touchdown which gave the Golden Lions a 42-14 lead. Dawson County answered with a touchdown on their following drive, shrinking the St. Pius lead to 42-21 with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
The St. Pius offense then padded the stats and added to the scoreboard virtually at will for the rest of the game.
Scores by Nick Ruffin, Ryan Braswell, and a fumbled snap recovered by junior linebacker Ian Flinn for a touchdown gave St. Pius a 65-21 lead.
Once both teams rested their starters, St. Pius and Dawson County both added scores to the final tally and the final score ended with St. Pius ahead 72-28.
After the game, Coach Paul Standard was very satisfied with the way his team played.
“They gave us some things defensively that we were able to take advantage of,” he said.
St. Pius will host the second round this Friday against Hart County. Coach Standard commented on Hart County’s ability saying, “They have a great football tradition and they are certainly a good football team.”