Six in a row? Rebels, Tigers ready to clash in ’13Published 11:13am Thursday, August 29, 2013
And so they meet again.
The Dadeville Tigers and Reeltown Rebels are once again set to mix it up on the gridiron in their annual rivalry game.
For the Tigers, they will look to push their winning streak to six straight games in the rivalry.
In last year’s meeting, the Tigers prevailed versus the Rebels by a score of 26-12.
“They only completed two passes against us last year, but both of them went for touchdowns,” said Reeltown coach Jackie O’Neal.
O’Neal said that because of the familiarity the teams have with one another, the outcome could come down to which team is best able to implement their game plan.
“It’s going to come down to who can execute,” O’Neal said. “Where they have beaten us has always been numbers. They’ve been able to wear us down.”
The Rebels will be led by Ariko Stewart, who takes over the reins as starting running back.
“He’s going to be our go-to guy,” O’Neal said of Stewart. “He played in his brother’s (Tywone) shadow a little bit last year, but now I think he’s ready to step out.”
Speaking of Stewart and the Rebels’ running game, Dadeville head coach Richard White said that keeping fresh legs on the Tigers’ front line would be key in slowing down the Reeltown offense.
“That’s one of the things we’ve been working on,” White said. “We may play as many as nine defensive linemen over the course of the game to keep our guys fresh.”
White also agreed with O’Neal in regards to execution being the determining factor.
“We have to execute offensively, defensively and in the kicking game,” White said. “We can’t turn the ball over. If we do all of that, hopefully we score more points than they do.”
According to O’Neal, while the Rebels have every intention on beating the Tigers tonight and snapping their five-game losing streak in the rivalry, he doesn’t want the team to look at the Dadeville game as the end-all, be-all for the season.
“This is a big game because it’s an in-county game, and it’s a rivalry opponent,” O’Neal said. “But it won’t make or break our season, because what matters most is what we do in our region. The main thing I want from our team in this game is to be competitive.”
White said that despite the five straight victories versus Reeltown, the thought of pushing that streak to six hasn’t crossed the team’s mind.
“We’re not thinking about the streak,” White said. “We’re going to go out there and do what we do. This is a new team and a new season.”
O’Neal said he expects the Rebels to do all it can to snap the streak.
“I’m as confident as I can be in the team’s chances to win,” O’Neal said. “I don’t schedule teams that I don’t think we can beat. But I’ve been confident for the past five years, and we haven’t won. Dadeville’s going to be the more confident team, but it’s up to us to bring them down.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Nix-Webster-O’Neal Stadium at Reeltown High School.