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Football: Ringgold stuns Dalton in triple-OT

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Ringgold Tigers

The  Ringgold Tigers opened up its 2013 season with a triple-overtime, 33-27, victory  over Dalton on Friday, Aug. 23 at Harmon Field.

It  was the second Ringgold win over Dalton in school history. The Tigers had  previously defeated the Catamounts 10-6 on Sept. 30 in  1983.

Ringgold  head coach Robert Akins said it was a good night for his players and the  community. He added the win was long overdue and credited the perseverance of  his team that exemplified the “play strong, stray strong  motto.”

“Dalton  has a great football team and we knew they were good upfront,” Akins said. “They  have tradition … just to be able to beat them after 30 years is big. I think our  kids laid it on the line tonight. They sacrificed fearlessly tonight.” 

D.L.  Goins, who opened up the game with an 80-yard touchdown run on the Tigers’ first  possession, scored in the first overtime on an 8-yard, fourth-down run. Chis  Watts then kicked the extra point to give Ringgold a seven-point  advantage.

Dalton  scored next and the extra point forced the second OT.

The  Catamounts had the next possession and took a six-point lead on a seven-yard  run. However, the Tigers Dakota Baer blocked the extra point giving Ringgold a  shot at the victory.

Tigers quarterback  Slade Dale, who had scored on a 12-yard run in the fourth quarter to force OT,  duplicated the effort by scoring on a 14-yard run.

Dalton  responded by blocking Watts extra point attempt and it was on to the third  OT.

Dale  delivered again by scoring on a QB sneak to give Ringgold a 33-27 lead. But the  two-point pass attempt was incomplete.

Dalton  then fumbled on third down and Ringgold recovered to secure one of the biggest  wins in school history.

Dale,  who rushed for 224 yards on 33 attempts, said this was the perfect way for the  Tigers to start a new season.

“This  is unbelievable,” he said. “We haven’t beaten Dalton in over 30 years. To beat  them here, on Harmon Field … it will go down in history. It’s a dream come  true.”

Dale  said he never had any doubt his teammates could pull off the win. 

“We  just put our faith in God to guide us,” he said.

Akins  said prayer contributed greatly to this Ringgold football team’s success. He  said prior to overtime, Dale, and Goins led a word of prayer at the 50 yard  line.

He  said it's, "Just the kind of people they are."

“They  love God," Akins said. "They love this football team and they love the  Blue-and-White … I think it showed tonight.”

Fighting  back the tears and emotions, Goins said words couldn’t describe his  enthusiasm.

Goins  added that he and all the players are thankful to be a part of making history at  Ringgold.

“I  was just playing for God,” Goins said. “I’m super excited for the rest of the  season. I’m ready to go out and keep making history for Ringgold High  School.”