Whitehaven took a 28-14 lead at halftime, following a 50-yard touchdown from Patrick Smith to Gerald Perry, who dived between two defenders and gathered in the ball just before it hit the ground.
It proved to be even a bigger play when Mt. Juliet marched downfield after the second half kickoff to make it 28-21 on a Caleb Hopkins run, then scored two plays later to tie it after recovering a pooch kickoff on another Hopkins run.
But Dodson scored on a 56-yard run using a stutter-step move at the line of scrimmage to restore Whitehaven's lead. After the Golden Bears battled back to tie it at 35, Dodson ripped off an 88-yard touchdown run to make it 41-35 following a missed extra point.
Dodson fumbled on the Golden Bears' 5 with 2:26 to go though, giving them one last chance. But the Whitehaven defense held at midfield, setting off a celebration.
Hopkins paced the Mt. Juliet attack with 148 yards rushing and three toucdowns. Fullback Contrez McCathern added 98 yards and a pair of scores. QB Nolan Chowbay completed 2-of-10 pass attempts for 35 yards.
Whitehaven advances to the Class 6A state championship game for the second year in a row -- standing 14-0. Mt. Juliet ends the season 12-2.