DALTON -- Catamounts apparently don't have short memories.
One season after being steamrolled 42-14 by the Sequoyah High School Chiefs, Dalton returned the favor Friday night at Harmon Field as the Catamounts coasted to an easy win — 42-14. In 2018, Sequoyah pounded a banged-up Dalton squad while rushing for six touchdowns, 22 first downs and 384 yards on 62 carries.
This time, Dalton running back Jahmyr Gibbs continued to run wild, racking up 301 all-purpose yards and five touchdowns. He finished the night with 203 yards rushing on 15 carries and a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that helped spark the Catamounts (3-0, 1-0 Region 6-6A).
"It feels good," said Gibbs, who now has 806 yards and 17 total touchdowns in three games. "We got smashed by them last year. A couple of starters were out so we had to pay them back this week."
The game didn't start out so sunny for the Catamounts. After Dalton defensive back Parker Adams recovered a Sequoyah (1-2, 1-1 Region 6-6A) fumble, on Dalton's first offensive play an offensive lineman knocked the ball out of Gibbs' arm and the Chiefs recovered the fumble. In business at the Dalton 24-yard line, Sequoyah took five plays to score as quarterback Colin Koprowski sneaked the ball in for a 2-yard touchdown. The extra point put the Chiefs up 7-0 with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
The lead didn't last.
Gibbs, a highly touted recruit who has verbally committed to Georgia Tech, fielded the ensuing kickoff at his 2-yard line, then weaved his way upfield. After a spin move and a broken tackle freed him from the pile, Gibbs raced to the end zone. The kickoff return helped propel Dalton to score 28 total answered points. Gibbs had three first half touchdown runs — of 39, 14 and 50 yards — to stake Dalton to a 28-7 halftime lead.
Dalton's defense eventually adjusted to Sequoyah's tough-to-defend spread option attack, and was in the Chiefs' backfield for much of the night. The Sequoyah rushing offense finished with 43 carries for 202 yards.
While Gibbs accounted for most of the Dalton offense, fellow running back Joshua Moore got in on the scoring action with a 10-yard run late in the third quarter.
"Step one," coach Matt Land said of the team's first region win. "You always want to kind of know where you stand physically, athletically and for us I think we wanted to know where we stand emotionally. I thought tonight, obviously the first two games (wins over Ringgold and Northwest Whitfield) were two big emotional tests and we preached execution and tried to get beyond the emotion of the game. But this was a game because of last year there was a part of us that wanted to come out and play well. I think we did a good job of thinking beyond that and staying with the fact that it is just the next game and we have to focus on it."
The Catamounts continue region play next Friday, traveling to Canton to face Creekview.