Dadeville’s season came to a close Friday night following a loss to T.R. Miller, 42-14.
Even with a 42-yard touchdown from JaVuntae Holley and a 49-yard touchdown from Christian Nelson in the second half, the Tigers in Brewton were just too much for coach Roger McDonald and his football team.
“They’ve got a really good football team,” McDonald said. “They’ve had the same coach, weight program — everything’s been going here. Sometimes you just run into a better football team.”
T.R. Miller opened the game with a 60-yard passing play followed by a touchdown on the next play. On the ensuing Dadeville drive, Dadeville quarterback Lane Smith’s pass to Avontae Wilson found its way into the hands of T.R. Miller’s Darius Webb who nearly returned the interception for a touchdown. Two plays later, T.R. Miller was in the end zone with a 14-0 lead with a little over 10 minutes left in the first quarter.
“They are the No. 1 seed with chance to win a state championship for a reason,” McDonald said. “It had nothing to do with scheme; they are just a really good team and we knew it coming in.”
Dadeville’s defense was able to settle down and stop giving up big plays, but T.R. Miller was still able to move the ball consistently on a Dadeville defense that had been a stingy against opposing offenses all season. Phil Dowdell intercepted a pass in the first half to stop the bleeding but the Tigers were not able to put points on the board following the turnover.
“One game is not going to deter what we’ve accomplished,” McDonald said. “You don’t want to quit; you want to show you’re a fighter. We are going to get our guys in the weight room and try to get to where this program as.”
Despite not getting the win, McDonald is excited and optimistic about his football team going into next season.
“I’m real excited to work with this group more,” McDonald said. “We are going to get them in the weight room, have a spring and maybe a normal year — that’s the big thing. So we are real excited. There’s only four seniors on this team so we get a chance to get a lot of these guys back and get them strong.”
According to McDonald, he knows what his team is lacking and believes it’s fixable before the start of next season.
“We’ve got to get strong,” McDonald said. “The difference between us and the teams we haven’t been able to play with were physically stronger and knocked us off the ball and controlled us on the other side.”
The fact Dadeville made it to the playoffs this season is impressive considering McDonald didn’t touch down on campus until late in the summer and had little to no time to prepare his football team for the season.