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Tigers sharp, HBHS improves over course of 7-on-7s

Published 9:01am Friday, July 5, 2013

It was a gloomy day at Tiger Stadium punctuated by the constant threat of rain, but the Dadeville Tigers shined all day during their 7-on-7 tournament last week.
The Horseshoe Bend Generals were a little slow from the start, but seemed to find a rhythm as the afternoon went on.
When the day began, Major Abernathy struggled with his timing and accuracy, but according to Generals head football coach Jason Franklin, Abernathy improved after settling in.
“I thought we started flat,” Franklin said. “I thought the intensity really turned up as the day went on, and we got better as it went, which is really what you want to do in these kinds of events. We’re trying to find some depth, and overall I was pleased. When Major started relaxing and progressing through his reads, he played a lot better. Getting him reps is going to be the main thing.”
The receivers struggled in the first couple of outings, notably against Russell County, but Franklin said he felt the Generals may have found some reliable targets later in the afternoon.
“We dropped several balls all afternoon,” Franklin said. “But Brady Fuller made a couple of catches for us, and Jordan  Funderburke had a couple, too. The early struggles might’ve had a little something to do with the pressure our young kids feel to keep up the production we had last year at those positions.”
The secondary wasn’t too sharp for the Generals, but Jackson Sexton was a bright spot for Horseshoe Bend. Sexton made two picks on the day, and Braxton Pitts was in on numerous pass defended.
“We gave up a lot of deep balls, but that comes with us being young and inexperienced,” Franklin said. “But as I said, we got better as the day went on. I think we’re going to be all right.”
As for Dadeville, C.J. Tolbert and the Tigers offense hummed along smoothly for much of the afternoon, showing off an effective quick-strike offense.
Anfernee Jennings and Cal Jones each hauled in catches at the tight end and wideout position, respectively.
“Overall, I was pleased with how we performed,” Dadeville head football coach Richard White said. “C.J. threw the ball well and our receivers caught some good passes. But we need to work on our route-running and becoming more consistent in catching the ball.”
White was particularly impressed with Tolbert’s touch during the afternoon.
“He threw the deep ball really well,” White said of Tolbert. “He’s doing a good job of making his reads, and he’s going to give us that extra dimension back there in the pocket.”
The Tigers’ back seven had its moments during the day, but White said the secondary, while it made some progress, still has improvements to make.
“We played better, but we’ve got a ways to go,” White said. “We still need to work on learning our coverages and disguising them, as well as our positioning during coverages. But that’s the reason why you do these 7-on-7s, so you can see what you need to work on. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I think this was a good start to the summer.”
Dadeville and Horseshoe Bend’s next scheduled 7-on-7 scrimmage will be later this month, the date of which was unavailable as of press time.

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