DALTON, Ga. — Dalton standout Jahmyr Gibbs actually made a mistake Friday night during the Catamounts' GHSA Region 6-AAAAAA opener against Sequoyah.
He quickly made up for it — and then some.
After a fumble on his first carry that led to the Chiefs scoring a touchdown for the game's first points, Gibbs returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown, the first of five scores for the electric senior running back in a 42-14 win at Harmon Field.
Gibbs, who has committed to Georgia Tech but has more than 20 offers from Football Bowl Subdivision programs, added touchdown runs of 39, 13, 50 and 6 yards while amassing 218 rushing yards on 17 carries as the Catamounts improved to 3-0 and avenged a lopsided loss last year to Sequoyah (1-2, 1-1).
"I'm certainly very proud of the way he responded tonight," Dalton coach Matt Land said. "I wouldn't kick to him. It's one of those things where I'm sure he didn't mean to kick to him. But that's the thing about great talents like Jahmyr. They are going to hurt you when you make a mistake.
"He's got the capability whenever he touches the ball of doing serious damage. When a guy like that keeps saying feed me, feed me, feed me, it's hard to say no."
The Chiefs controlled the game early with their wing-T offense, putting together a 10-play drive that ate nearly eight minutes on the clock before a fumble turned it over to the Catamounts. Gibbs, though, lost the ball on the next play, and five plays later, Sequoyah quarterback Colin Kaprowski scored from 2 yards out.
After Gibbs' scintillating kickoff return, the Dalton defense put together the first of a trio of three-and-out stands to keep the pressure on the Chiefs. The first two of those led to drives of 49 and 53 yards, with Gibbs scoring on 39 and 13-yard runs as Dalton took a 21-7 lead and its offensive line began dominating.
"I'm very proud of the fact that we had to face some adversity early," Land said. "Our offense got smacked in the mouth, so we had to lean on our seniors on the offensive line and Jahmyr to do what they do. We did the same thing defensively after they put together a long drive."
The final score of the first half came in a blur when Gibbs went off left tackle for a 50-yard touchdown, shaking two defenders at the line and showing his sub-4.5 speed in the 40-yard dash to reach paydirt again.
The Catamounts opened the second half with a four-play drive that featured Landon Allen's 81-yard pass to Hunter Noland and ended with Gibbs' 6-yard run for a 28-point lead they would not relinquish.
"It's exciting to avenge last year's loss to them," Land said. "We're a good team, but we're not a great team yet. I'm proud of our execution for most of the game, though we got comfortable a bit at the end, which is something we will have to correct."
Noland finished with two catches for 95 yards for Dalton, while Shawn Hayes led Sequoyah with 73 yards on seven carries, followed by Jaden Mitchell's 69 rushing yards.