DALTON, Ga. — As the expected focal point of the Dalton High School football offense, Jahmyr Gibbs no doubt had to answer more than a few questions as to his lack of production in Friday night's opening half against Ringgold.
The fact that it was three days earlier probably didn't help the junior running back's mood. He needn't have worried about his role after all. When the game resumed Monday night at Harmon Field (a misinterpretation of a GHSA rule originally called the game a final), Gibbs was front and center as the Catamounts expanded their 21-10 lead into a 42-24 win.
He rushed for 107 yards on nine carries and a pair of third-quarter touchdowns and added a 53-yard touchdown catch.
"We went into the game Friday wanting to work on some things we had targeted after our final scrimmage with Cartersville," Dalton coach Matt Land said. "Honestly, what we came out with tonight was what we had planned on running in the second half Friday, but those two quarters made us a better football team.
"Certainly, the intent tonight was to do what we do best and get Jahmyr involved. Now we have a collective body of evidence of what we can do. It was good to get the guys involved and get a bunch of different looks."
Special teams continued to shine for the Cats. Tyis Love returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns Friday, and Monday he returned a Ringgold punt early in the third quarter 21 yards to set up Gibbs' 38-yard scoring run.
Dalton's defense — led by Lane Cox, Gabe Hill, Tyson Swope and Parker Adams — forced a second three-and-out, the offense taking over at the Ringgold 32. Four plays later Gibbs took a pitch and sprinted into the end zone from 18 yards out for a 35-10 lead.
Ringgold, which ended the game with 389 total yards to 215 for Dalton, put together a 12-play, 84-yard drive, capped by Dalton Green's 8-yard run late in the quarter, but the Catamounts needed just three plays (after Love's 40-yard kickoff return) to answer right back. This time Gibbs, slotted out on second-and-long, ran past the Ringgold secondary and hauled in Landon Allen's 53-yard pass.
"We came out strong, and it's something you just can't know what to expect in a disjointed game like this," Land said. "It's like one of our players said, we just had to treat this as the longest halftime we've ever had. That is one of the better offenses we will play all year. Their quarterback and receivers have great synergy, and we can learn a lot from playing them.
"We came out of the game healthy, which was my worry and the biggest reason I was upset the GHSA made us complete this game."
Ringgold's Kibler ended the game 22-for-39 for 284 yards, with Pete Brower getting 109 yards and a late touchdown on nine catches.
Contact Lindsey Young at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 423-757-6296; follow on Twitter @youngsports22