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After Friday night’s 30-0 loss against Montgomery Catholic (2-1), Dadeville (1-1) wants to get back on track when it travels to Pike County (1-1) this week.

Although the Dadeville offense was held scoreless against the ranked opponent, the Tigers aren’t discouraged. Coach Roger McDonald was glad to see how well his team fought despite going up against one of the better teams in all of Class 3A.

“Everyone knows what we were up against,” McDonald said. “(Catholic is) a good team and don’t have many weaknesses, if any. We are going to continue to do what we have been and aren’t going to change anything, just continue to work hard. They played hard so there is no letdown. We told them that if they come out and play hard that we wouldn’t be disappointed in them.”

The loss for the Tigers came after an impressive first week win against Elmore County, where Dadeville pounded the ball on the ground with the inside and stretch zone runs to control the clock. This along with the opportunistic way the Tigers played defense by forcing turnovers and making stops when they needed it most will be key for the Tigers’ success this season. Although they have the athletes to take the top off the defense every now and then, McDonald wants to pound the football with the I-formation offense he uses. And why not when you have Christian Nelson and Juvante Holley in the backfield running the ball. 

This week the Tigers will need to stick to that mantra on doing what they do best and not changing because Pike County has yet to play a game on the field this season, limiting the knowledge McDonald and the Dadeville staff have on the Bulldogs.

“They have a lot of pride and tradition over there,” McDonald said. “I know coach (Frederick) Holland personally and I know he will have them ready to play come game day. As far as what they want to do, we don’t know because they haven’t played yet. This will be our first look at them.”

Coming into this game the Tigers will have a big advantage on the Bulldogs for the simple fact they’ve already played two games. That field time has helped the Tigers get rid of some of the growing pains of the offense, find somewhat of a rhythm, get through the cramps that come with the first couple games and all those other little things teams can’t prepare for. Pike County on the other hand may not quite know the identity of its football team is right now. 

This week Dadeville enters a very crucial part of its schedule. The Tigers’ next three opponents in Childersburg, LaFayette and Goshen are all winless so far. Pike County, Childersburg and Goshen are regional opponents for Dadeville and are much needed wins after last week’s loss.

But from what McDonald has preached, the Tigers won’t be looking ahead but rather playing every opponent the same and focusing on what the Tigers do best instead of worrying what their competition does.

Ryne Gallacher is a sports writer for The Outlook.