Familiar foesPublished 11:26am Friday, November 8, 2013
Usually in the playoffs, teams are facing off against unfamiliar foes.
That won’t be the case for Dadeville, which will take on Thomsaville in the postseason for the third time in the past four years.
The teams split the prior two meetings, with Thomasville (5-5, 4-3 in region) winning at home in the third round of the 2010 Class 4A playoffs, and Dadeville returning the favor in the second round of the 2012 playoffs.
DHS coach Richard White said Thomasville’s record is not indicative of the caliber of team Dadeville is up against.
“They are not your typical No. 4 seed,” White said of Thomasville. “They know we run the spread, and we know they run the Wing-T, so there’s some familarity there. But they lost some region games by one, two and eight points. They easily could have been a No. 1 or No. 2 seed, no doubt. Just from talking to coaches that have went up against Thomasville, I know they’re pretty good.”
That one-point loss was to defending 4A champion UMS-Wright.
Thomasville’s Wing-T is powered by as many as five backs capable of doing damage.
Zavier Mapp leads the team with 542 yards and eight scores.
White said the onus is on Dadeville’s speedy, aggressive defense to play fundamentally sound in order to curtail Thomasville’s offense.
“They’ve got a lot of running backs that they can throw at you,” White said. “But it all comes back to assignment football. We can’t allow ourselves to overrun the play, and we have to know where we are supposed to be.”
The Class 4A No. 5 Tigers (9-1, 7-0 in region) didn’t have their best performance – a sloppy 21-18 win over 5A playoff team Russell County – but White said the team knows that Thomasville is not to be taken lightly.
“It’s a playoff game, and coming off an emotional game against Central of Clay County, it was hard to get up for Russell County, so to speak,” White said. “But we will be focused and ready to play this Friday.”
However, the Tigers’ defense – which has shut out four of the last five opponents it has faced – will be down a key player in this matchup, as senior cornerback Roger Hicks will not play due to injury.
“We knew he was hurt when he went down,” White said. “That kid (a Russell County player) threw him to the ground pretty hard. He got dinged up, but we’re hoping he’ll be ready for next week.”
White cited that despite Dadeville’s sluggishness against Russell County, the team played well enough at times to show that it was indeed prepared to meet greater challenges.
“As emotionally out of the game as we were and as bad as our offense played, we were still able to win the game,” he said. “We held them to 122 total yards of offense, so outside of their two scoring plays, they didn’t do a whole lot. We didn’t take care of business on those plays, and we don’t like to have things like that but we’ve been working on our passing game and trying to make ourselves better. We’re focusing on Thomasville, too, but we want to improve ourselves mainly.”
Dadeville and Thomasville kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday from Tiger Stadium in Dadeville.
The winner of this game will face the winner of the Calera vs. Tallassee first-round matchup.