Tallassee takes down Dadeville; Prattville stops Carver
By Tim Gayle
TALLASSEE – There was a simple reason why Tallassee rebounded from last week’s disappointing loss to Central-Clay with a better effort on Friday night at J.E. “Hot” O’Brien Stadium.
“We came in with enthusiasm,” junior linebacker Nick Talley said. “It was Dadeville. We were going to try our best against Dadeville because they’re our rivals. So we went out and tried our best and came out with a win.”
In what has become an intense, almost bitter, rivalry over the years, Tallassee forced four turnovers from heralded quarterback Shawn Jennings and upended the Tigers 28-22.
Jennings was finally forced from the contest with 8:07 left as he was trying to rally his team. Talley rushed in from the blind side and leveled the Dadeville star, knocking the ball loose in the process. Jeremy Noah scooped up the fumble and returned it for a touchdown to finish off the visitors 28-8.
“I knew it was a passing situation so basically I just got down, made a move, went outside and when I saw the open tackle I took it,” Talley said.
Tailback Margarius Buchanan took over at quarterback and ran for a pair of touchdowns, the final one with 14 seconds left, but Rodricues Williams recovered the ensuing onside kick to secure the homecoming victory for Tallassee.
“We had a plan that we put in and we stuck with it,” Tallassee coach Mike Battles said. “The only thing that changed that is if 4 (Buchanan) went to quarterback. Jennings is a great athlete. You put him on anybody’s team and they are greatly improved. I mean, he’s going to Alabama. His brother (Anfernee, currently at Alabama) was a great player. When he wasn’t on the field, all of our eyes were in the backfield. When he’s on the field, he can throw it to anybody and he’s a great player and he’s going to do some great things. We had a great plan and the kids executed it.”
Tallassee was driving on the opening possession when William Peters’ pass bounced out of the hands of Brady Hancock and into the hands of Dadeville defender Josh Crayton. On its next possession, Peters ran 55 yards to set up Kiwanis Woods’ 5-yard touchdown run on the next play for a 6-0 lead.
Tevin Brooks, who had 146 yards and a pair of touchdowns on 26 carries, added a 24-yard touchdown run on the fourth play of the second quarter for a 12-0 lead before Jennings and the Dadeville offense woke up and drove 58 yards on nine plays.
Jennings, who completed 9 of 14 passes for 107 yards and a touchdown but was intercepted three times, looked brilliant on the drive, eluding Tallassee defenders and picking apart the Tigers’ defense with a 36-yard pass to Buchanan, a 9-yard strike to Tyreke Stone and a 10-yard scoring pass to Stone.
“He’s a big part of the offense, running the ball and throwing the ball,” Talley said. “He’s good at throwing the ball. He rarely had any incomplete passes. (In the second half), we were doing more blitzes and trying to get to him faster. Our main objective this week was to contain him, don’t let him get outside.”
His running, thanks to the Tallassee game plan, had no effect on the game. He was sacked four times and finished with minus 28 yards on seven carries as the Tallassee blitz disrupted the senior the remainder of the night.
“We had to,” Battles said. “Their receivers were starting to hit us, so we had to do something. We couldn’t give him all that time back there because he made us pay for it every chance he had.”
Jennings’ third interception, tipped and intercepted by Talley at the Dadeville 31, led to a Brooks’ touchdown and a 20-8 lead.
The first quarter, we looked awful on defense and offense,” Dadeville coach Richard White said. “In the second quarter, we picked up the pace and got better, got back in the ballgame. Third quarter, we looked awful again on both sides of the ball. We’ve got kids that won’t quit, we’ve just got to piece it all together at the right time at the right place. We’ll have to go back and watch the film and see what happened. You can’t have four turnovers against a decent football team. It just wasn’t a good night for us.”
The fourth turnover, Jennings’ fumble, finished his night and may have a lasting effect on the Tigers’ season.
“He tweaked his knee and it was swelling, so they sent him on to the hospital,” White said. “He’s tweaked it earlier in the year. Hopefully, it was just a sprain.”
Dadeville (3-2) returns to region play next week, starting with a home game against Munford, followed by Leeds on the road and Elmore County at home. Tallassee (4-2) has a week off before returning to region play with games at Marbury, at home against Beauregard and at Sylacauga.
Prattville handles Carver
Kingston Davis rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown to lead Prattville to a 25-7 win over G.W. Carver on Friday in a non-region game at Cramton Bowl.
The Prattville defense held Carver’s offense in check for most of the game and got the night started off with a quick turnover that was turned into points. The Lions led 17-0 at the break, which included a 40-yard field goal from A.J. Reed.
Josh Moore also added a touchdown run for Prattville (4-1).
Carver’s lone score came late in the game on a 39-yard pass from Slade Price to Xavier Lane.