Ryne Gallacher / For Tallapoosa Publishers Dadeville’s Daquan Doss (12) makes a spin move on a Pike Road defender.

Dadeville traveled to Pike County on Friday to take on the Patriots for Pike’s very first home game in its new football stadium. It was a high-energy atmosphere for the Patriots who left with a 42-0 shut out of the Tigers, who will be looking to find some positives to close out the season.

The Tigers (1-7, 4-0) received the opening kickoff but couldn’t get a drive going, which was the theme of the night for the Tiger offense. 

The Tigers came out strong in the first quarter on defense and held the Patriots (8-0, 4-0) out of the end zone for the majority of the first quarter before a roughing the kicker on a missed field goal gave the Patriots the ball inside the Tiger 15-yard line. Pike Road punched it for the first score of the game. 

The ensuing kickoff spelled disaster for the Tigers as the ball hit just short of the end zone causing confusion for the receiving team and a recovery for the Patriots at the Tiger 10-yard line. 

Two plays later Pike Road was in for a touchdown, putting the Patriots up 14-0. 

“Our kick coverage hasn’t been good all year,” Dadeville coach Richard White said. “The kickoff they took from us let all the air out of our balloon.” 

If Dadeville had a game plan, it went out the window down 14-0. White couldn’t go to his potent running attack and instead had to put the ball in quarterback Lane Smith’s hands. Unfortunately it came too soon as the first play was intercepted and put a tired Tiger defense right back on the field. 

After establishing the run in the first quarter, Pike Road decided to do some throwing of its own and quarterback Baron Brack found wideout Harrison Wallace all alone in the end zone. 

Up 21-0, the Patriots got the ball back when Smith dropped back to pass on third down and threw his second interception of the day — this one going 20 yards to the house for a Patriot touchdown. 

“Our group of guys are young and these are the growing pains you have to go through when your roster is mostly lower classmen,” White said. “It’s up to our seniors these last two games to lead these guys and show some pride.” 

The Tigers finally got a groove going late in the second quarter when Smith completed two 20-yard passes to get into Patriot territory for the first time all night, but a third down sack ended the promising drive. 

The Tiger defense was on the field most of the first half but wasn’t giving up the big play  until Patriot quarterback Brack took a carry 65 yards. Two plays later the Patriots were in for a touchdown to make it 35-0 at the half. 

The second half saw a lot of play from the younger groups on both sides. Dadeville held the Patriots to seven points in the second half but still couldn’t get anything going itself. 

“These next two games are important,” White said. “We want to end the season on a win and send our seniors out on a positive note. We are gonna hit practice hard on Monday and we are going to be focused for Beulah.”

Ryne Gallacher is a regular columnist and correspondent for The Outlook.