What started as such a promising season turned into a tough one for the Dadeville Tiger football team in 2018. But the Tigers will be looking to put that behind them this year as they settle into Class 3A Region 3.
After starting the 2018 season with a 2-1 record, Dadeville went on to lose six straight, breaking that streak only with a season-ending victory against Prattville Christian. One of the only bright spots for the Tigers was just how close they were to getting quite a few more victories. All six of those losses came by two touchdowns or less and two of them were within five points.
But one of the first games the Tigers always circle on their calendars comes before region play ever begins.
Week 1 at Reeltown Rebels
Murphy’s Law was well at play for Dadeville in its annual Battle of Highway 49 game against Reeltown. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Tigers, especially in the early goings.
On the opening kickoff, the Tigers coughed up the ball and Reeltown received it just 32 yards out of the end zone. Dadeville looked to stop the Rebel offense but on fourth down, Khoner Davis found Trey O’Neal for a 12-yard touchdown pass. The ensuing kickoff ended the same with Dadeville fumbling the ball, and Cameron Faison, who recovered this miscue, scored two plays later.
Before the Tiger offense even touched the ball, it already trailed by 14.
That was the first sign of Dadeville’s mental game not being up to snuff, as it was obvious things fell apart for the Tigers. They ended with just 73 yards of offense, 45 of those coming on the final drive.
Every part of Dadeville coach Richard White will want that game back, as he called it an embarrassment at the time. Especially with a road game on the docket for this year, the Tigers will look to stop Reeltown’s threatening offense and they’ll be hoping to hold it together if things don’t go their way from the start.
Week 3 vs. Bullock County Hornets
This game starts a long homestand for Dadeville, which will play four games at home in the middle of the season before ending the year with a three-game road trip.
While playing at Tiger Stadium has usually been a big advantage for Dadeville, last year that wasn’t the case. The Tigers went 2-3 at home, and this year, they’ll hope to turn that mark around. This game against the Hornets also started the six-game skid for the Tigers last year after they had started with a 31-13 victory over Southside Selma in region play.
White felt as if his squad definitely should’ve had this victory especially as they entered the favorites over a struggling Bullock County team. Despite leading for most of the game, the Tigers allowed the Hornets to claw back into the game and they took a 22-17 lead they didn’t surrender with only four minutes to play.
Max McClendon had a standout game defensively for the Tigers during this game, and he’ll look to lead that charge again.
Dadeville will be settling into a new quarterback this season after the graduation of two-year starter Slade McCullers, so the defense will once again be called upon to keep Dadeville in games.
Week 7 at Pike Road Patriots
Pike Road was a bit of an unknown last year. The Patriots were playing their first varsity football season, and teams didn’t know what to expect. But Pike Road proved to be a game changer, capturing the final spot in the Region 3 playoffs with a 4-3 record.
Unlike the Bullock County game, the contest against Pike Road will mark the beginning of a long road trip for the Tigers. But similarly to its game with Bullock County, Dadeville felt it could’ve defeated Pike Road and that could’ve helped push the Tigers into the postseason.