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Photos by Kyle Thornton

Tigers clinch playoff berth with 'Dega shutout

By Michael Butler

It was this time last year when Tallassee was about to board the buses for a pivotal region game vs. Talladega.

"COVID-19 got us," THS head coach Mike Battles said. The next two games became forfeits and Tallassee missed its post-season shot.

Fast-forward to 2021. The Tigers got their shot on the field in Talladega on Friday night and made the most of it with a playoff-clinching 34-0 win, the team's first shutout since a 23-0 win over Valley on Oct. 5, 2018. The playoff berth is Tallassee's first since the 2017 season.

"This was a big game for us because the kids knew what was at stake," said Battles. "The big thing is we're back in it."

Quarterback Tyler Ellis accounted for three touchdowns, one through the air and two on his feet. The junior was 7-for-10 with 93 yards passing. He had 59 yards rushing on eight carries.

Jalyn Daniels ran for 109 yards on 15 carries with two more scores. He is nine yards short of 1,000 yards for the season. Dontae Leonard had the Tigers' other TD on a 55-yard pass from Ellis.

"I'm proud of the way we played. They had a great game plan. They were going to run the clock. They kept the ball away from us."

Talladega did win the time of possession battle 26:08 to 21:42, but Tallassee had the yardage edge 277 to 159.

Photo by Kyle Thornton

Tallassee led 20-0 at the half on scoring runs by Daniels (26) and Ellis (5, 10). After the long TD pass from Ellis to Leonard in the third, Daniels added his 14th touchdown of the year from seven yards out in the final frame.

Talladega never reached the Tallassee red zone. The homestanding Tigers deepest threat was to the Tallassee 29-yard line.

"We didn't get anybody injured," Battles added. "We'll celebrate this one and shift to Holtville and go on the road for the third week in a row."

Holtville was part two of the COVID cancellations last year. The Bulldogs officially got the win without playing, although Tallassee has won the last seven on the field. The two teams enter this year's contest in a three-way tie with Sylacauga for second place in the region.

1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will have live coverage on the radio as well as Spectrum Channel 340 and the TuneIn app. Airtime is 6 p.m.

NOTE: Live video streaming is not permitted at Holtville, so there will be no feed via Tallassee Times TV on YouTube.

THS vs. Holtville Notes
- Tallassee leads overall series 29-3-1 (29-2-1 on the field) 
- The 90.6% win percentage is best vs. any rival (minimum 10 meetings) 
- Before last year’s forfeit, Tallassee had won 7 straight and 12 of 13 (last loss was 7-6 in 1982)
- Holtville’s wins in the series: 7-6 (1982), 14-6 (1952)
- Tie was 6-6 in 1935
- First meeting was 63-0 THS win in 1930
- Last game played was in 2017 in Holtville won by Tigers 44-28

*View Photos by Kyle Thornton