Archived Story

Tigers dominate Rebels with run game, defense

Published 10:00am Wednesday, September 4, 2013

While it wasn’t Dadeville’s cleanest performance, it was a convincing one, as the Tigers shutout their rival Reeltown 28-0 to start their season off on a high note.
This marks the sixth consecutive victory over the Rebels (0-1, Class 2A No. 3) for the Tigers (1-0, Class 4A No. 6)
The Tigers used a strong running game and a smothering defense to put the clamps on Reeltown’s ground game. In spite of three turnovers and 11 penalties, Dadeville outgained the Rebels 372-36 in total offense.
“I’m glad to get that one over with,” said Dadeville coach Richard White. “I was a nervous wreck going into this week because even after the jamboree at Horseshoe Bend, I still didn’t know what we had. Our kids played so hard on defense, and offensively we got after them. We have to cut out the mental mistakes and the penalties. Once we do that and take care of these nagging injuries, we’ll be okay.”
247 of the Tigers’ offensive yards and 21 points came by way of the Tigers’ rushing attack (199 in the first half).
Dadeville senior Jay Foster led all players on the ground with 121 yards rushing (104 in the first half) and one touchdown on five carries.
Tigers quarterback C.J. Tolbert accounted for 157 total yards (126 passing). With four minutes left in the first quarter, Tolbert scored the game’s first touchdown from three yards out.
Roughly three minutes later, Tigers’ wideout Cal Jones took an end around handoff 31 yards for another Tigers touchdown. A two-point conversion pass from Tolbert to Anfernee Jennings put Dadeville up 14-0.
Foster made the score 21-0 midway through the second quarter with a four-yard plunge into the endzone.
Defensively, the Rebels had no breathing room as Tamarcus Russell, Anfernee Jennings and D.J. Morgan led a stellar defensive effort.
“We expect our kids to line up correctly and be in the right place, and they were,” White said. “They got after it, and I was glad to see that.”
The dagger came at 6:58 of the third quarter. After Jennings had sidelined Rebels quarterback Cody Spivey with a hit, Morgan picked off  a pass and promptly raced to the endzone for a 41-yard pick-six. Morgan also had seven tackles.
Russell led all Dadeville defenders with 10 tackles. Jennings had four tackles and one sack. He also had two receptions for 41 yards to go along with his two-point conversion.
“Tamarcus was all over the field,” White said. “He made his reads correctly and took the proper angles. D.J. made his reads. They did a good job for us tonight.”
Reeltown coach Jackie O’Neal said there was no excuses for the Rebels’ loss.
“What happened was that we got out-played,” O’Neal said. “We got out-executed and we didn’t do a very good job in anything during the ballgame. They were better prepared to play than we were. Dadeville was more physical than we were. When you put the uniform on, you’re supposed to be ready to play.”
Reeltown’s Ariko Stewart only mustered 14 yards on 11 carries for the Rebels. Spivey was 2-for-12 for only six yards through the air. The Rebels’ receivers dropped three passes.
Dadeville will host Elmore County next Friday, while the Rebels will host Horseshoe Bend in a region game.
“We don’t have to regroup,” O’Neal said. “We have to get started. We will come back Monday, go back to the fundamentals and find us 11 players that want to pay the price to play the game.”