The Cass Colonels (3-5, 1-2) fell to the Dalton Catamounts (5-3, 3-0) on Friday night by a score of 31-28.

Cass received the opening kickoff and started the game with a bang, getting inside the red zone in just a few plays before Brodie McWhorter threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to put the Colonels ahead 7-0 Dalton couldn’t score on its first possession and Cass took advantage. Mac Nelson scored a 2-yard rush to give the Colonels a 14-0 lead with just 21 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

It looked like Cass would have a two-possession lead heading into the second quarter, but Dalton returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. It was certainly a momentum changer for both teams. The second quarter would continue to be trouble for the Colonels as Mac Nelson lost a fumble on Cass’s first possession giving Dalton the ball in Cass territory. The Catamounts took advantage of the takeaway, scoring a 41-yard rushing touchdown to make the score 14-14 with 9:06 to go in the second quarter.

Both defenses held strong for most of the quarter, but Dalton had one last chance to score right before halftime. The Catamounts attempted a deep pass to get into Cass territory, but the Colonels intercepted the throw, giving themselves one last chance to score before the second quarter ended. They got into field goal range and attempted a 40-yard field goal, but the kick was no good as the teams took a 14-14 tie into the half.

On the Colonels’ opening drive, Nelson fumbled for the second time. Dalton recovered with a chance to take its first lead of the game. The Catamounts got inside the red zone on the ensuing drive, but Sacovie White intercepted a pass and returned it 85 yards for a touchdown.  Dalton didn’t quit after the turnover, scoring a 21-yard rushing touchdown on their next possession to tie the game at 21. Dalton continued to move the ball consistently in the fourth quarter, and the Catamounts took their first lead of the night with 8:20 remaining in the game as they scored a 16-yard passing touchdown to go up 28-21. The Colonels’ offense continued to struggle, and they were forced to punt midway through the fourth quarter. At this point, Dalton could run a lot of time off the clock and increase their chances of winning this game.

The Catamounts, however, lost a fumble giving Cass possession down seven points with around four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. The Colonels’ offense came to life when they needed it most as McWhorter threw an 18-yard touchdown pass to make the score 28-28 with 2:51 remaining in the game. Cass got the ball back late in the fourth quarter with the score tied, but unfortunately, freshman running back Braylon Hill fumbled inside the Colonels’ 20-yard line, and Dalton recovered. The Catamounts took advantage of the untimely turnover, making a 31-yard field goal as time expired to win 31-28.

Cass will look to rebound and regroup as it battles for a playoff spot. It will need to defeat Hiram next week or else the Colonels will be eliminated from playoff contention.