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Seniors Nick Talley and Jake Baker

Fans abuzz over hometown team

By Michael Butler

Excitement is at a fever-pitch as Tallassee prepares for its quarterfinal playoff game on Friday night at J. E. “Hot” O’Brien Stadium. The 7:00 game with Andalusia will mark the fourth time the Tigers have reached the third round of the post-season.

Hosting playoff games beyond the second round has happened just twice (1991, 1999). Tiger fans are taking advantage of the rare opportunity for late November football and will gather prior to kickoff for a tailgating event outside the stadium.

A staple for Friday night’s has been the Pride of Tallassee band and the Long Blue Line before the name change. This week, a good portion of the high school marching band will be missing. The band is making a trip to Chicago to participate in the 25th anniversary of the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival Parade on Michigan Avenue.

Band Director Robby Glasscock said that those not making the trip to the "Windy City" will be in Tallassee to perform on Friday night.

"25 students will be in attendance at the game Friday and ready to cheer on the Tigers," said Glasscock. "They will also be joined by a few select members of the Huntingdon college band. We will have a band at the game Friday night."

In addition, the Tallassee Athletic Club has hired a professional disc jockey to play music to enhance the game atmosphere.

"We want it to sound like a rock concert inside the stadium," Chris Lackey said. "I can't imagine the town not support this game."

Tallassee has an all-time playoff record of 15-23.  It played its first playoff game in 1983 falling to Sylacauga 20-14 in overtime. The following season, the Tigers advanced to the semi-finals in Class 4A.

THS has been to the semi-final round only one time since the 1984 run (1999). Coach Steve McCord, who coached THS in ‘84 was on the opposing sideline at Jemison in ’99 ending the Mark Rose led Tigers perfect season with a 28-14 setback at O’Brien Stadium.

Tallassee’s only other trip to the third round prior to this season came in 1991. Woody Weaver’s squad went 11-2 losing to Handley 24-21 in Tallassee.

The Tigers have been close to extending their post-seasons in second round losses since 2000. In 2005 under Phil Lindsey, the purple and gold came up short in a second round home defeat vs. Geneva 21-14.  Current Tallassee coach Mike Battles took Tallassee just missed advancing past the second round in his first season in T-town in 2012. The Tigers lost in overtime by inches on a two-point play at Dora, 41-40.

Battles is no stranger to playoff success. This is his tenth straight year in the post-season as a head coach. His deepest run was to the semis in 2010 at Bibb County.

THS is in the playoffs for the ninth year in a row. Andalusia is making its second straight post-season appearance this year.

The Bulldogs were ranked No. 1 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association final regular season poll.  Andalusia alum, Trent Taylor is in his second season.

W.S. Neal and Leeds are the only common opponents between the two teams in 2016. Tallassee beat Neal 26-21 and the Green Wave 26-13. Andalusia beat region foe W.S. Neal 35-8. They whipped the two-time defending champs at Leeds 40-0 last Friday.

This will be the third meeting between Tallassee and Andalusia. The Tigers won both times with John Edward O’Brien at the helm (27-0 in 1940, 14-0 in 1941). Tallassee’s win in 1941 was the second win in a string of 57 games without a loss from 1941-47.

Tickets for the game this week may be purchased at the stadium for $8. Gates open at 5:30.

1300 WTLS/106.5 FM will broadcast live beginning at 6:00. Audio will be simulcast on Bright House Networks cable television channel 97 and Tallassee Times TV:  Video streaming is available through the NFHS Network on a subscription basis. The broadcast is also available through the Tune-In App.







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