For the second consecutive season, Tallassee had its postseason fate in its hands with two region games remaining but a loss to Charles Henderson ended that. Pair that with Rehobeth’s win over Valley last week and that means Tallassee will be missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. It is just the fifth time since 1983 the program will have back-to-back years without a playoff appearance.
However, Tallassee coach Mike Battles said his team knows how to bounce back and it will continue to fight for the rest of the season despite nothing but bragging rights being on the line.
“Our kids know that it doesn’t matter if we’re in the playoffs; we will still be going to work this week and focus on Beauregard,” Battles said. “Everyone wants to make the playoffs but sometimes it doesn’t work out.”
Battles said it may help the kids to stay motivated because of the final two teams on the schedule. Next week’s big rivalry game is against Elmore County but Tallassee is hosting Beauregard first to finish out Class 5A Region 2 play as the Tigers look to finish .500 in the region for a 12th consecutive season.
Tallassee (3-4, 2-3) saw its playoff hopes completely dashed last year with a 26-21 loss to Beauregard but Battles said there is no revenge factor for the Tigers this week.
“We don’t worry about what happened last year,” Battles said. “We are focused on the team they have now and they have some talent. They have a lot of young kids and they have progressed as the season has gone along.”
Beauregard (1-8, 1-4) is coming off its first win and is looking to finish off a tough season on a high note. The Hornets racked up 435 yards of offense and scored a season-high 46 points last week.
Battles said the Hornets throw the ball about 75 percent of the time and their young quarterback has improved throughout the season. Cason Blackmon found three different receivers for touchdowns in last week’s win
“The quarterback has been more comfortable,” Battles said. “With playing experience, you tend to get better and they have. They’re playing with some confidence and we catch them at a bad time because they’re coming off that first win which can propel a team.”
With Beauregard wanting to go to the air early and often, Tallassee will want to limit its opponent’s chances with the ball. The Hornets will get their plays in but the less opportunities for the long ball will be better for the Tigers.
“The longer we hang on to the ball, the better,” Battles said. “They’re not the kind of team you want to give a lot of shots to because they’ll score some points. If they have a lot of time with the football, that’s not going to be good for us. We have to control the ball.”
PREDICTION: Tallassee 21, Beauregard 14