Time to step upPublished 9:12pm Wednesday, November 13, 2013
For Dadeville, last week was a case of better late than never.
The Tigers’ offense, which had been sluggish over the past couple of outings, showed up during their game-winning drive vs. Thomasville. On that possession, Dadeville gained half of their total offensive yards.
When Calera comes to town this Friday, Dadeville’s offense will have to arrive a bit earlier to the party.
While the Tigers’ defense has passed just about every test as of late, it doesn’t get any easier for them with Calera’s dual-threat quarterback Ronnie Clark – an All-State selection last season – and running back Shakeith Tyes heading up one of the most explosive offenses in Class 4A.
“Our kids understand that we’ve got to score some points,” said Dadeville coach Richard White. “Versus Thomasville, it was one of those situations where we struggled to do much of anything, and that happens when you’re facing a good team. We have to get settled back into what we’re doing offensively and get back to what got us here.”
For the Tigers, that is an effective running game that is complemented by a quick and efficient passing game.
White said that offensively, the team has been working on getting back to the basics.
“We like to run the ball, and we have to get back to it,” White said. “We’ve been working on simplifying things in our passing game and trying not to get too complicated.”
White added that he expects Dadeville to be able to establish its rushing attack against the Eagles’ front, which is not as physically imposing as Thomasville’s, but are feisty in their own right.
“Calera’s very physical on defense, but they aren’t as big as Thomasville up front,” White said. “Last week, Thomasville just stacked the box on us and dared us to throw it.”
With the Eagles, Dadeville will see an offense that they are quite familiar with, as the Tigers’ offense is very similar to Calera’s. White said imitating Calera’s offense during practices has helped them prepare for the challenge.
“I drew up some plays that (Calera) likes to run,” White said. “We’re trying to figure out their three or four best plays and familiarize ourselves with what they like to do.”
In addition to getting more acquainted with their offense, the Tigers are counting on another strong performance from the defense.
“Our kids go out looking for a shutout, and they were upset that Thomasville scored six on us,” White said. “We were able to bear down and hold them to six, which was good because we only scored seven ourselves. Some of the teams I’ve had would panic when they fell behind, but this team met the challenge.”
White said the team’s resiliency has been arguably the team’s most impressive quality during its recent stretch of play.
“There’s no doubt that these kids are mentally tough,” he said. “This is the physically toughest team I’ve had in a long time. I’m proud of how the kids have played. They know what they want to accomplish, and for the most part they have risen to the occasion. They’re going to have to do it again Friday night, and I think we’re ready.”
Dadeville and Calera kick off at 7 p.m. on Friday from Tiger Stadium.