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Kenneth Boone / Tallapoosa Publishers Dadeville's Lane Smith (1) hopes to do more with his arm this week against Montgomery Academy with the intention of opening up the passing game.

Despite everything that’s gone wrong for Dadeville’s football team this season, there still seems to be hope. 

Despite the high expectations not being met and the five-game losing skid, the best thing the Tigers have going for them is they aren’t giving up.

“We’ve gotta fix this, and I’m talking everyone — coaching staff, players, everybody,” Dadeville coach Richard White said. “We have to fix this thing the best we can and try to salvage some wins out of this season. We have decent enough talent to win some ballgames, and we just have some rough patches we’ve been through.” 

Ushering in Montgomery Academy for Dadeville’s final home game and another Class 3A Region 3 clash won’t be easy, but the positive is the Tigers are still working hard at practice and during games. White believes if his team continues to do that, good things will come.

“It’s easy for when things get tough, you just tuck tail and run,” White said. “But this bunch hasn’t done that. They’ve come to practice, they’ve been there and they’ve been working hard. We just gotta keep coming to work, and I’ve told them all year long, ‘If you keep working hard, maybe something good will happen.’”

Dadeville (1-5) is going to have to be especially disciplined against the Eagles (3-3) who boast a ton of strong skill players. Montgomery Academy has been very up and down in terms of how its offense has played though. The Eagles have scored 46 points or more in their three wins but 16 points or fewer in their losses.

Going up against a fairly well-balanced offense will be a challenge for the Tigers.

“They do a little of everything,” White said. “They throw the ball well, they run it well and they got kids will get after our rear ends. We gotta force some turnovers or force them into some turnovers and we gotta be smart with what we do.”

Directing Montgomery Academy’s offense is quarterback Robert Kohn. He’s got top receivers in William Robertson and Jonathan Woodward and a pair of running backs, Jamal Cooper and Eric Doh, who are very different in what they can threaten with.

“(Cooper) runs real hard,” White said. “And (Doh), you gotta hem him up or he’s gone. He’s got good speed.”

As for its defense, Montgomery Academy typically runs a four-man front.

“They usually run a 4-3 or a 4-3; they mix it up depending on what you give them,” White said. “We have plays that I think will work against them throwing the football and we’re going to have to do that. If we’re more efficient throwing the football, it loosens up for the running game to work too.”

With playoff hopes looking slimmer and slimmer, Dadeville’s big objective this week will be to give its seniors one last moment of glory on their home field. The Tigers close out the season on a three-game road trip.

“This is the last hurrah for our seniors and I want them to go out on a positive note on their last time at Tiger Stadium,” White said. “We need some things to happen for us. We need to create some turnovers and hopefully we can do that.”

Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.