Elmore County needed the second quarter to escape the clutches of the Dadeville Tigers Friday night for the 49-30 road win Friday night.
Some small factors in the loss could be found on the bench. There were more Elmore County players off the bench compared to Dadeville’s three. The other factor could be found in the Tigers falling behind a step after the first quarter.
Even so, the Panthers didn’t get a definitive lead until the second quarter. The opening quarter was a back-and-forth for each program. The Tigers struck first with Natori Giles but offense for each side stayed in step.
After 1:30 minutes came off the clock, each side was tied up at 5-5. The game wound up tied again in the latter stages of the first quarter but it was the Tigers who took away the opening quarter lead.
“It’s due to the pace, first half, we weren’t playing well,” Elmore County head coach Rodney Taylor said. “There was no momentum, no energy and at the start of the second half we started to pick the energy. When we picked up the energy, it changed the whole game.”
That’s where the Tigers found Elmore County pick up the pace. As the Tigers’ offense struggled to find its footing, Elmore was on a surge. Over the course of the second quarter, the Panthers posted 13 points, more than the Tiger five to take the halftime lead.
The Panthers’ lead after halftime was standing at 21-14. But the Tigers never found their footing to overcome the deficit. Instead, Elmore County began to drive away with the lead as the mishaps for the Panthers began to mount.
“I told them the first half was not fun to watch from a coaching perspective,” Taylor said. “In the second half when they started playing with that energy, that’s fun to watch. We played that way and it changed the whole game.”
Elmore County’s lead into the final quarter doubled to 15 points.
From there, it was just a matter of the Panthers keeping their lead. Dadeville turned the ball over numerous times in the quarter and Elmore County’s lead swelled to 20-points before the final buzzer signaled the end of the game.
Elmore County’s win snapped a two-game losing skid.