A familiar place to bePublished 9:46am Thursday, November 15, 2012
It was the third round of the state playoffs last year where Dadeville High School took the bus ride down to Mobile to play at UMS-Wright.
The Tigers and Bulldogs went toe-to-toe right down until the end of the game before UMS-Wright pulled off a 28-21 victory and advanced to the semi-finals.
But 2012 is a different season, and the stakes are probably higher.
UMS-Wright comes into the game having won their Region and standing at a 9-2 mark with their only losses coming to McGill-Toolen and St. Pauls in the first and second weeks of the season.
Dadeville’s only loss came in their region championship in week nine against Central-Clay and holds a 10-1 mark.
Below are the keys to the game tomorrow night for Dadeville at UMS-Wright:
Use the athleticism
The Dadeville Tigers won’t blow teams away with size, but where they lack in a little bit of size, they make up for in athletic ability.
The Tigers have a dynamic quarterback in Kaleb Beck, who has thrown for over nearly 2,000 yards and accounted for 34 total touchdowns and is good on his feet as well.
Beck has junior tailback C.J. Tolbert, wideouts Terry Toler, Jamal Crayton and Demarius Gilbert, as well as tight end Anfernee Jennings all to his disposal Friday night.
The Bulldogs haven’t had the greatest success against teams with strong athletic talent including McGill-Toolen and St. Paul’s, as well as a narrow win vs. Thomasville, 49-42.
UMS-Wright probably has the advantage on size, but the Tigers will be faster and quicker.
“We feel like we’ve got athletes all over the field that can make plays,” said Dadeville head coach Richard White.
“I like what we are doing and what we can do offensively, so we need to go down there and take care of some business.”
Staying away from Pettway
UMS-Wright senior safety Sam Pettway has three interceptions and 111 total tackles for the Bulldogs this season, and has received scholarship offers from Tulane, Marshall and Northern Iowa.
The 6-foot-1, 180 pound Pettway is one of the most dynamic players in Class 4A and if the Tigers decide to throw his way, it might be best to look toward the 6-foot-4 Toler or a strong 6-foot-5 Jennings to overmatch Pettway.
Pettway is a playmaker on the field for UMS-Wright and if the Tigers can find a way to minimize what he can do, their chances will be much better offensively.
“(Pettway) is a big time player that we are going to try and stay away from if we can,” White said.
“Hopefully we can work on throwing quick routes and out routes and then take a shot around the middle of the field if we think he won’t be there.”
Dadeville D Line stopping Bulldog run game
UMS-Wright sophomore runningback Troy Dixon averages 150 yards per game and has rushed for 1,658 yards and 19 touchdowns so far this season.
Luckily for Dadeville, one of their biggest strengths is defensive lineman Rod Crayton, who is one of the top recruits in the country at his position.
In playoff football, the team that can run the ball most effectively and eat up clock will have a better chance to win the ball game.
If the Tiger defensive line and linebackers D.J. Morgan and Tamarcus Russell can get through the line of scrimmage and make tackles, the Tigers will have defensive success tomorrow night.
“We’ve got to stop the run and keep him hemmed up because he’s a good compact runningback,” White added.
“Defensively, we’ve got to wrap up when we get our hands on him and not let him bust big plays.”