Getting going againPublished 9:46am Thursday, November 8, 2012
Dadeville High School started as slow as any Tiger team over the last five seasons last week at Russell County.
The Tigers (9-1) were down 14 points to the Warriors in the first 24 seconds, but battle back to prevent the upset and pulled out a 35-27 win.
The regular season is now a thing of the past as the No. 6 Tigers head into the Class 4A playoffs tomorrow night vs. Corner (7-3) in Tiger Stadium.
Below are the keys to the game tomorrow between the Tigers and Yellow Jackets:
Back to full strength
The Tigers were without starting quarterback and the area’s leading passer and touchdown scorer in Kaleb Beck for majority of the game Friday night against Russell County.
Reports are that Beck is at full-strength and will be back to lead the Tigers into the playoffs.
Along with missing Beck, Dadeville was also without runningback C.J. Tolbert who continues to heal from a concussion and their leading tackler in defensive tackle Rod Crayton.
It is essential for Dadeville to get their playmakers back on the field and in action in order to be clicking on both sides of the ball heading into the playoffs, where anything can happen.
“It’s important to have some of our key playmakers back,” said DHS head coach Richard White.
“Kaleb, C.J. and Rod are all back at full force and ready to go.
“Kaleb leads the offense and Rod is the heart of our defense so obviously we’re a better team with them on the field.”
Not his first ‘go-round’
White is now in his 13th season at the helm of the Tiger program and has made the state playoffs for the past five seasons, losing in the third round for the past two.
On the other end of the spectrum, Corner head coach Zac Willis is in his first season with the Yellow Jackets and is also in his first year ever as a head coach in the state of Alabama.
Coaching experience is a big deal when it comes to playoffs and the experience that White has gained, especially over the past five seasons, will come into play.
Dadeville lost in the third round to UMS-Wright last season and the Tigers have a considerable amount of talent back from that playoff run, meanwhile Corner lost in the first round of the playoffs last season to Deshler High School 33-10.
“This is a good Corner football team,” White said.
“They aren’t a normal first round opponent because they are a good quality football team that has played well through the second half of their season.”
Set the tone for a playoff run
Heading into this season, Dadeville had a perfect amount of skills and experience returning to make a run at the Class 4A title. The Tigers even reached as high as No. 3 in the AHSAA rankings before their 33-0 loss to Central-Clay in their Region championship.
If Dadeville wanted to make the run in the playoffs that their fans and coaches know that they are capable of, it needs to begin tomorrow night in Tiger Staium by getting back to being dominant.
Before the loss to Central-Clay, Dadeville won by an average score of 40-16, since the game vs. the Vols, Dadeville has been outscored by a total of 60-35.
In some cases, the first round of the state playoffs can be the best way for a team to reestablish themselves.
“I want us to go out and play well and establish ourselves early as the football team that we know we can be,” White added.
“We had a bad game a few weeks ago and it seems like we’ve lost some respect in the state and we’re ready to go out and prove what we can do once again.”
Dadeville and Corner are set for a 7 p.m. kickoff tomorrow night at Tiger Stadium in Dadeville.