The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News 2

December 6, 2013

Tanner vs. Washington County: Tale of the tape

— Predicting the outcome of high school football games during the regular season and in the first few rounds of the playoffs is sometimes a guessing a game, but can often be determined by just comparing common opponents.

Once a team reaches the state championship game, all bets are off. There are no common opponents and it’s difficult to know how the teams will fare.

There are always a few teams in the Super Six as clear favorites after steamrolling every opponent on their schedule. Tanner was one of those teams last year and took care of business against Washington County as most thought they would.

This Tanner team does not have the same unbeatable aura and could face a much tougher test in a rematch of last year’s 2A title game.

Here is a look at how the team’s match up entering today’s championship game:

When Tanner runs the ball:

Tanner will lean on senior running back Hayden Stephens, who was the MVP of the 2012 2A title game. Stephens has racked up nearly 2,000 yards this season with 26 touchdowns. Stephens averaged 7.8 yards per carry and often did not play in the fourth quarter.

Complementing Stephens is sophomore Tiquaveious Mayberry, who Tanner head coach Laron White singled out as a player who has stepped up during the Rattlers’ playoff run. Quarterback JonJon Fletcher also presents a running threat as the Bulldogs learned last year. Fletcher has 115 carries for 603 yards and 12 touchdowns.

The Rattlers will be running against a fresh defense that plays only one player on both sides of the ball. Deandra Smith leads the Bulldogs defense with 148 tackles. On the defensive line, Cameron Moss has 7 1/2 sacks this season.

Advantage: Tanner

When Tanner throws the ball:

How often Tanner throws the ball will depend on its ability to establish the run. Ideally, the Rattlers would like to throw the ball no more than a dozen times each game.

Fletcher has completed 61 of 101 pass attempts (60 percent) for 1,116 yards, 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.

The Bulldogs like to crowd the line and force teams to pass and today will be no different against a Tanner team that likes to run. Washington County Defensive backs Corey Donaldson and DeAnthony Holcombe each have five interceptions for Washington County.

Advantage: Washington County

Text Only
Local News 2
  • Local athletes lead North to soccer sweep

    East Limestone’s Dilan Sayer scored the opening goal and was named MVP of the boys game in a 3-0 win while Jordan Runion scored her team’s opening goal in a 3-1 for the girls.

    July 23, 2014

  • Davidson helps North tie

    She was one of only three North players to record a hit in the opener, which ended 3-3.
    Pitching duties were shared by Lexington’s Jessie Butler, Central-Florence’s Ashley Irons and Hartselle’s Jada Hayes along with eventual North MVP Maddie Moore of Winfield.

    July 23, 2014

  • Tedford, Potts take on the South in All-Star hoops game

    Stace Tedford has had a busy year at Athens. After leading the basketball team to a school-record 24 consecutive wins and regional finals appearance, he jumped straight into soccer season, where he took the varsity girls soccer team to another 5A state championship game.
    Wednesday, Tedford will be on the court again, coaching in the North-South All-Star basketball game.

    July 23, 2014

  • Strong local presence at state All-Star Week

    Some of the top rising seniors from the Athens-Limestone area will play in six of the games, beginning with softball and soccer games Tuesday.

    July 19, 2014

  • Chris Seibert -1996.jpg Before politics, Seibert played for the Tide

    A standout on West Limestone’s football team, Seibert’s road to Tuscaloosa wasn’t an easy one. Determined to play at the highest level, he attempted to join the Tide as a walk-on in fall 1993.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • State softball tournament begins in Athens today

    The three-day, double-elimination event begins at 6 tonight at the Athens Sportsplex.

    July 11, 2014

  • Run with goats Saturday

    Belle Chevre Creamery will hosts the first annual ‘Running with the Goats’ Saturday in downtown Elkmont. The event will feature a 10K, 5K and fun run on the certified Rails to Trails course.

    July 10, 2014

  • Softball team.JPG Athens softball team wins state

    July 6, 2014 1 Photo

  • American Outlaws1.jpg American Outlaws: Locals band together to support U.S. soccer team

    One of the newest official chapters is in North Alabama where U.S. supporters have banded together to form American Outlaws Huntsville.

    July 4, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cody McCain 1.JPG Cantering forward: McCain charged with reviving Colts' program

    Cody McCain, 28, is the youngest head football coach in Limestone County, emerging from a pool of 107 applicants to become Clements' third coach in three years in early April.

    July 2, 2014 2 Photos

Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee