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Lizi Arbogast / The Outlook Dadeville's Cooper Childers (4) evades a tackle from Reeltonw's Tre Tre Hughley.

Although region games are what determines playoff futures and standings, it’s some of the non-region games that really stick out for the Dadeville Tigers this year. After having an open week the first week of the season, Dadeville will start out with a longstanding rivalry.

A non-region trip to LaFayette will be the midpoint of the season for the Tigers and one of the Tigers’ biggest rivalry games against Reeltown will have extra implications this season. The Rebels have moved up to Class 3A and will be in Region 4 with Dadeville.

Week 1 versus Elmore County Panthers

For many years, Elmore County and Dadeville have been in a region together. However, as the Tigers have slipped down to 3A the last few years, keeping the cross-county rivalry game on the schedule was important to both teams. Even with the Panthers making a jump to Class 5A, this game is still on the docket.

The teams have met 53 times total and faced off every year straight since 2010.

Dadeville owns the series, 34-19, but it’s been Elmore County that’s gotten the best of the Tigers the last two years. Both games, the Tigers had a chance to win but they were ousted by only a touchdown.

Prior to the last two years, Dadeville won seven of the previous eight. 

Not only will this be the season opener, but it will also be the first opportunity for Dadeville fans to see their team under new coach Roger McDonald.

Week 5 at LaFayette Bulldogs

After scheduling this game, former Dadeville coach Richard White called this game “a good gate-getter.” 

With these two schools only 25 miles apart, the teams used to have a bigtime rivalry. They’ve met 50 times on the gridiron and many of the games have been extremely closely contested. 

Dadeville leads the series, 30-18-2, but lost the last time the squads faced off, 28-14, in 2017.

Although LaFayette is only Class 2A, it’s still going to pose some tough competition for the Tigers after having quite a bit of success the last several years. LaFayette has advanced to at least the second round of the postseason in each of the last four seasons; by comparison, Dadeville has not been to the playoffs in that time.

Week 8 at Reeltown Rebels

Every year, the Dadeville versus Reeltown game is a much-anticipated one across the area. For many seasons, the two teams met up in a Thursday night game to kick off the season. However, with the advent of Week 0, that game has been moved to the second week the last four seasons.

Now, fans will have to wait even longer for this Tallapoosa County rivalry game to take center stage, but it may be even more anticipated with playoff implications possibly on the line. 

For the first time ever, the teams will be in the same region together as Reeltown makes the jump to Class 3A. 

Like LaFayette, Reeltown and Dadeville are seated extremely close together on the map, which makes for a large crowd and a fiery environment. This year, if both teams are still in the hunt for the playoffs and with this game being so late in the region schedule, it could be that much more exciting.

Although Reeltown graduated a ton of talent, the Rebels were serious playoff contenders last year and made it all the way to the 2A state championship. 

One of their most hard-fought wins of 2019 was their 28-20 battle against Dadeville. Reeltown has won the last two meetings but Dadeville won nine of the 10 prior to that. In all, the Tigers lead the series record, 37-17. 

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