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Daniels runs wild in Tallassee’s 34-13 win over rival Reeltown

Tallassee running back

Story by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

Photos by Lizi Arborgast | CAScoreboard Writer’s Club

REELTOWN – It’s fitting that a game known as the “Battle of the Tallapoosa” would be sloppy as a steady rain christened the field at Nix Webster O’Neal Stadium Friday night. Mother Nature’s intrusion aside, the game came down to one simple question: Could Reeltown’s Defense stop Division One recruit Jalyn Daniels?

No. The answer became more emphatic during the second half as the senior Tiger broke a series of long touchdown runs to put the game out of reach. Daniels finished the season-opening showdown with 314 yards rushing and three scores and fueled the Tigers’ offense as Tallassee defeated Reeltown on the road for the first time in 22 years.

“I told these seniors when ya’ll come back here in 20 years for your reunion, they may not remember much about you, but they’ll remember you’re the bunch that beat Reeltown,” said Tallassee Coach Mike Battles. “It was a big game, cross town rival and that’s what make it fun.”

Tallassee – celebrating their 100th year football — started the game playing from behind as Juicy Hughley broke free on a 68-yard touchdown to start the game. The Tigers answered as Daniels – with a series of carries – moved the ball 62 yards down field for the score. With the point after the game was even, 7-7.

Hughley, on the next Reeltown possession, appeared poised to take the game over, slipping free on a 10-yard run and then a 4-yard run before being hammered in the backfield on a third down, coughing the ball up and into the arms of Cade Everson. Everson – playing defensive back – never broke stride on his way to the end zone for the score. With the kick, Tallassee pushed ahead 14-7.

“We had a lot of things we wanted to see … but we’ve got to execute,” said Reeltown Coach Matt Johnson. “Hats off to (Tallassee) they won the game. We’ve got do a better job of preparing to execute or get somebody in there that can.”

Reeltown answered with a short touchdown run tying the game at 1-1. The 14-13 mark stood through the intermission.

“We made some halftime adjustments, nothing big,” said Johnson. “I looked at the film in the lockerroom and it all came down to execution. You can’t beat good teams when you’re busy beating yourself.”

Battles – however – had a few tricks up his sleeve, realizing he needed to be creative on offense with a starting quarterback.

“We put in that offense, we had a quarterback out and the guy that backed him up is a receiver, so he really only had three days to learn to do the job. We put in a set that I got from some friends in Georgia and the kids believed it and he did what he does. He’s a division one athlete and he’s a really good person and kid and showed everyone what he could do, and I look for great things from him for the rest of the season.”

Hughley finished the day with just over 80 yards on six carries. Matt Knox (11 total tackles, 10 solo), Dee Griffin (eight total tackles, six solo) and AJ Ellis (six tackles) were the Rebels defensive leaders.

Tallassee – next week – hosts 6A Wetumpka while Reeltown travels to St. James. 

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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