Tigers end spring on high notePublished 11:51am Thursday, May 22, 2014
Whether it’s the spring or the fall, a win is a win.
Dadeville picked up a victory in its spring jamboree versus Sylacauga, winning 21-19 on the strength of a big first half from a new face under center. Shawn Jennings gained a leg up in the race for starting quarterback – fellow hopeful starter Cal Jones was held out of action for precautionary reasons – by tossing two touchdowns in the victory.
“Anytime you get a win in anything, it’s a good thing,” said Dadeville football coach Richard White. “We know we have a bunch of areas to improve on, but this gave us someone to look at besides ourselves. We have a better overall idea of what we need to change heading into fall camp.”
After the Tigers fell behind to the Aggies 3-0, Dadeville drove down the field thanks to Jennings’ legs and plays made in the air.
The Tigers got on the board when Jennings floated one up to his older brother Anfernee, who was able to get behind two defenders and make a sprawling one-handed grab for a score. However, a miscue by the younger Jennings in the form of a lost fumble led to an 18-yard scamper for a score by Sylacauga quarterback Jordan Daniels with 7:17 left in the first half.
Dadeville responded however, as a late drive engineered by the hopeful signal-caller culminated in an easy pitch and catch to Michael Miller from 17 yards out, making the game 14-10 Dadeville. From there, the Tigers held off the Aggies enough to come away with the win.
White said he was pleased with Shawn’s outing.
“I think he played well. He made a lot of good decisions,” White said. “He also made that one poor decision, but this was the first time where everything was on his shoulders. He showed command of the offense and did what we asked him to do. He’s going to get better.”
In addition, another strong point of the outing was the linebacker play, according to White. With the Tigers replacing multi-year starters and All-State performers at the position, the veteran coach said the play of the new linebackers would be under heavy scrutiny. White added that he liked what he saw.
“I was really watching the inside linebacker position. We’re pretty young there,” White said. “I saw a lot of good things, and they came up to make a lot of good hits. I was pleased with their play.”
While there were a few reasons to be optimistic, White said the contest also put a spotlight on things the team will work to correct.
“Sylacauga was able to get outside, and our defense is designed not to let people get outside on us,” he said. “That comes with reading our keys and repetition. We’ll definitely harp on that during the summer. Secondary-wise, our first team played well, but our second team needs some work. But these are things we can fix, and we have time to get it done.”
Dadeville returns to pre-season preparation on June 9 when the Tigers begin their summer workouts.