Tigers shut out Vols for region championshipPublished 11:26pm Friday, October 25, 2013
When the Dadeville Tigers stepped on the field Friday night, it was obvious they had something to prove.
With the memory of last year’s 33-0 defeat to Central of Clay County still fresh in the minds of both coaches and players, the Tigers came out strong, laying down a 14-0 shutout to claim the Class 4A, Region 3 championship.
“A lot of these kids were on the team that walked off the field last year after that fiasco, and they were embarrassed,” said Dadeville head coach Richard White. “Any time you have a chance to redeem yourself, that is what you need to do. We redeemed ourselves tonight.”
The Clay-Central Volunteers received first and started grinding it out on the ground. However, the Volunteers first drive was cut short by the likes of D.J. Morgan, who recovered a fumble on second down to give Dadeville their first possession.
Dadeville got their first drive going with a 11-yard pitch and catch to Jay Foster. Then, the Tiger ground game got going. C.J. Tolbert strung together seven keepers, aided by some short runs by Foster.
A strong goal-line stand by the Vols put the Tigers at fourth and goal, but Dadeville elected to go for the fourth-down conversion. The gamble paid off, as Tolbert slipped into the endzone for the first touchdown of the game. With 2:27 remaining in the first, the Tigers led 7-0.
The second quarter was marked with a fury of punts and not much offensive success from either squad.
The Tigers managed to come within six yards of the goal line, but after two quarterback scrambles, the Tigers lined up for a 20-yard field goal attempt. The kick sailed wide left, and the score remained 7-0 going into the half.
The second half was again a defensive grudge match. The Tigers nearly scored on a fourth-down conversion attempt, but a 31-yard pass was slapped out of the hands of the Dadeville wide out in the end zone.
The Volunteers’ last chance hinged on a possession from their own 33-yard line. The Tigers bitzed hard, however, and the Volunteers had to face a fourth and 21.
Roger Hicks put the nail in the coffin, intercepting the last ditch offensive effort from the Volunteers and running it back for 6. The PAT was good and with 2:15 left in the game, the Tigers had a comfortable 14-0 lead.
Again, the Volunteers attempted to put something together offensively, but Jaquan Alvies picked off an errant pass, allowing the Tigers to run out the clock.
“I expected a low-scoring game,” said White. “They had a real good defense, but we got a pretty good defense ourselves. I knew it would be a defensive ball game. “
The win secures the region and also forces White to make good on a promise he made to his players last week.
“They know any time we shut someone out, we will feed them hamburgers,” White said. “I told them going into this game, if you shut out Clay-Central, we will feed you steaks.”
Following their steak dinner and a week of practice, the Tigers will face Russell County at home next Friday.