tallassee

 Tallassee coach Mike Battles said the battle for the starting quarterback role is still happening but the coaches want to have the decision made during the summer.

Despite falling behind in the second quarter, the Tallassee football team battled back to earn a 16-16 tie at LaFayette during Friday night’s spring game. The Tigers had some struggles with their inexperience on offense early before putting together two scoring drives in the second half.

“The offense started really slow,” Tallassee coach Mike Battles said. “There are a lot of younger players on that side of the ball and they made some stupid inexperienced mistakes early. They got it together though and starting putting some really good drives together.”

Tyler Ellis helped get the Tigers on the board, leading the first scoring drive of the night. Ellis capped off the drive with a touchdown pass to Matt Justiss before a two-point conversion from Clayton Gough tied the game in the third quarter. 

Ellis took the majority of the first-team snaps at the quarterback position but Battles said the job is still open entering the summer. Battles said Ellis did a really good job for his first time at the varsity level but still has a lot to learn at the position.

“We haven’t established a starter yet but we really have to make that decision soon,” Battles said. “Whoever is not going to be starting there can help us out at another position. We’ll take a good look at them in June and find who is the best fit.”

After LaFayette retook the lead, the Tigers got a touchdown run and two-point conversion in the fourth quarter from Marciano Smith to end the game in a tie. 

Tallassee’s defense allowed two scores but Battles was pleased with its play overall. The Tigers bring more veterans to the field on the defensive side of the ball and Battles said the team will be looking at them for more than just the production between the sidelines.

“We have a close team and have a lot of great senior leadership,” Battles said. “You’re seeing that encouragement toward the younger players and that’s what you want to see. That is very important for us.”

Battles said the team’s spring period has helped with team bonding and has closed the gap between the experienced veterans and the newcomers. The Tigers have had a lot to work on during the short spring camp but Battles said it could not have gone any better,

“I think we had a good spring period,” Battles said. “We have a lot of young kids out there so it’s going to take some time. I think everything went about how we expected it to go.”

Tallassee will return to the football field for summer camp June 10. The Tigers have planned for three days a week to prepare for the fall when they will look to make their return to the postseason. 

Caleb Turrentine is a sports writer for Tallapoosa Publishers Inc.