The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 15, 2013

Rattlers ready for 2nd round

By Jonathan Deal
jonathan@athensnews-courier.com

ATHENS — For some high school football teams, making it to the second round of the playoffs is an opportunity that may come around every decade. Take Tanner’s opponent tonight, North Sand Mountain.

The Bison’s only second-round appearance was 1998. They have never won a second-round game, but this is their third consecutive year in the postseason.

With an opponent itching to make history, Tanner head coach Laron White knows his team will have to be ready.

“They’ve been in the playoffs the last few years,” said White. “They’ve got a good offensive line and they’re excited about playing. They beat an extremely good Reeltown team last week.”

Tanner, on the other hand, has now advanced past the opening round for the ninth consecutive season. It is the Rattlers’ fourth consecutive second-round game to be played at home.

“We’re definitely excited to play at home,” said White. “I’ve always said I don’t mind traveling as long as we win. But we enjoy playing at home in front of our crowd.”

Tanner had one of its toughest tests last week against Woodland in a 41-29 win. The Rattlers pulled away with three third-quarter touchdowns, but it’s much different than their 55-0 victory in the first round last year.

“I think it probably makes you better,” White said about the relatively close game. “Those are the kinds of games we had early in the year. It shows you what you’re going to be like.”

Tanner and North Sand Mountain kick off at 7 p.m. in Tanner.