DALTON — Plymouth’s postseason run may have come to an end but the Big Red didn’t go down without a fight.
Dalton tailback Tate Geiser rushed for three touchdowns and the fourth-seeded Bulldogs knocked off No. 13 Plymouth 21-0 in the second round of the Division VII, Region 25 playoffs Friday at McFarren Field.
The Big Red (4-4) forced a pair of first-half turnovers, but couldn’t get anything going against a stout Dalton defense.
“We came out and did a nice job of moving the ball and we just didn’t finish drives,” Plymouth coach Mark Genders said. “We created a couple (turnovers) and we knew we needed to against these guys. We just couldn’t finish it off.”
After a scoreless first quarter, the Bulldogs (5-2) got on the board early in the second when Geiser blasted in from 3 yards out. The first of Adam Knetzer’s three PATs made it 7-0 with 9:56 to play in the opening half.
It looked like Dalton might add to its lead late in the second quarter, but the Bulldogs fumbled at the Plymouth 20 with 31 seconds remaining and the Big Red recovered.
Dalton extended its lead to 14-0 on the first possession of the second half. Geiser scored on another 3-yard run with 7:45 to play in the third quarter.
“My guys answered, though,” Genders said. “We drove down again … we just couldn’t get it in.”
The Big Red turned the ball over on downs at the Dalton 10-yard line with 1:38 left in the third quarter.
The Bulldogs put it out of reach when Geiser scored his third rushing TD, this time from 7 yards, with 6:28 remaining in the game.
“We wanted to play Dalton Bulldog football,” Dalton coach Broc Dial said. “That was a great response by our kids in the second half.
“We needed to execute better and we did that in the second half.”
Plymouth was in the playoff for only the second time ever. Last week’s 46-12 win over Lisbon David Anderson was the first postseason victory in program history. The Big Red will play at least two more regular season games in the coming weeks.
“We still got a lot to play for,” Genders said. “We’re trying to make as many memories as we can with these seniors. I know they’re going to take this loss pretty hard.”
Dalton will host No. 5 Malvern in the regional quarterfinals next week. The undefeated Hornets beat South Central 35-26.
“Our defense has played well,” Dial said. “We’re going to have to hang our hat on our defense.”