KENNESAW -- Harrison High School knew how important it was to get an early lead over Dalton on Friday -- especially with the way Jahmyr Gibbs has been running the ball.
The Georgia Tech-bound Gibbs still got his yards, rushing for 215 on 29 carries, but he was held to just one touchdown after scoring six last week against Creekview.
This week, however, it was Harrison which scored six times.
Thanks largely to its defense making a pair of fourth-down stops on Dalton's first two drives, the fourth-ranked Hoyas did little wrong offensively before holding on to win 42-21 in a Region 6-6A game at Bruce Cobleigh Stadium.
Harrison (6-0, 4-0) ended up with 25 first downs and did not punt once. The first six drives of the game resulted in seven points and the Hoyas had a 28-7 cushion at halftime.
"I was really happy with the total team effort," Harrison coach Matt Dickmann said. "I told our offense all year that if you stop making the dumb mistakes, you get on a roll, and we got on a roll (Friday)."
For the Hoyas to get going offensively, the defense needed to keep Gibbs and eighth-ranked Dalton (4-1, 2-1) out of the end zone.
On the Catamounts' first drive of the game, it was all Gibbs. Four carries of more than 10 yards helped put Dalton on the Harrison 6-yard line, but on fourth-and-2, Gibbs did not get the football. Instead, quarterback Ashton Blackwell was stopped for no yards.
After Harrison marched down the field on its opening drive and scored on a 10-yard run by Malakai Taft, Dalton could not convert again on fourth down at the Harrison 39. This time, Joshua Moore was stopped for a 3-yard loss.
"We were running plays that we felt like we could run," Dalton coach Matt Land said. "This is a funny game. It's made up of decisions, and some of them are made before the play and during the play. We'll learn from that and make sure we do the right things next time."
The Hoyas made the Catamounts pay with a 58-yard touchdown from Gavin Hall to Marques Owens.
A 14-0 first-quarter lead gave Harrison early control on offense, making it tougher for Dalton to stick with Gibbs and the running game.
But the Catamounts didn't give up on him, and Gibbs managed a 38-yard touchdown up the middle early in the second quarter to cut Harrison's lead in half.
However, Harrison's offense refused to get off the field until it had another touchdown and added to its lead on a 31-yard strike from Hall to Mason Babay.
Hall and Babay connected again for a 6-yard touchdown to give the Hoyas a 28-7 halftime lead.
A three-touchdown lead made it tough on Gibbs and the run-oriented Catamounts, who did not complete their first pass until the fourth quarter.
That lead continued to expand in the third quarter when Marcus Bleazard scored from 11 yards out, carrying a pile of Dalton defenders with him. Harrison capped the scoring on the first play of the fourth quarter when Brandon Godfrey scored from 2 yards out.
Dalton continued to battle and scored twice before time expired. Blackwell scored from 2 yards out and hit Journey Boston for a 42-yard touchdown.
Owens ended up with 150 receiving yards and a touchdown for Harrison, all coming in the first half. Roberts rushed for 109 yards on 16 carries.
"Games like this are fun to be a part of," Dickmann said. "We just need to stay in the driver's seat."