By EDDY GIFFORD
The Dade County High School Wolverine football team traveled to Blue Ridge Friday to face the Fannin County Rebels for the Region 7-AA championship. It was a perfect night for football in a beautiful fall setting and the game didn’t disappoint as the large crowd saw an outstanding football game.
The Wolverines, who have continued to improve all season, fought their hearts out as they battled the host Rebels from beginning to end. When all was said and done the Wolverines won the battle but lost the war 21-17.
Dade out–gained and out–hustled the Rebels for four quarters but a couple of turnovers late in the game turned out to be the difference.
The Rebels scored first, driving down the field midway through the first quarter and scoring on a five-yard run by the quarterback with 7:27 remaining in the first quarter. The extra point kick was good, and the Rebels led 7-0.
It did not take Dade long to answer and with 2:02 remaining in the first quarter Brody Cooper threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Brodie Swader and the Caroline Tremmier kick tied the game 7-7.
The score remained tied until just before the end of the first half when Brody Cooper threw to a wide-open David Cole for a 38-yard touchdown and the Abigail Tremmier kick made it 14-7 Wolverines with 1:19 remaining in the first half.
The Wolverine defense played their best game of the year and continually stopped the Rebel offense, keeping the Wolverines in the game.
Early in the third quarter Dade drove the ball inside the 20-yard line and on fourth down Caroline Tremmier kicked a 20-yard field goal to put the Wolverines on top 17-7 with 6:12 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wolverines continued to outplay the host but a big pass interception midway through the third quarter stopped a drive and Fannin County answered with a 51-yard touchdown run by their quarterback to cut Dade’s lead to 17-14 with 5:41 remaining in the third quarter.
The Wolverines continued to fight but early in the fourth quarter another drive was stopped by an interception and again the Rebels answered with a touchdown run of four-yards to take the lead 21-17. With 8:49 remaining in the game.
DCHS had other opportunities to score but couldn’t find the end zone and fell to the Rebels 21-17 in a hard-fought game that was probably the best game the Wolverines have played in several years.
Dade out–gained the Rebels 313-yards to 259-yards, but turnovers turned out to be the difference.
The Wolverines still managed to pick up the second seed in region and will host a first round playoff game this Friday night when they host Heard County, the third seed out of Region 5-AA. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m.
Offensive line stats for Friday nights game include Andrew Buffington, two knockdown blocks; Austin Sorrelle, one pancake, one knockdown; Isaac Pangle, one knockdown; and Zac Counts, two pancakes, one knockdown.
Defensively the Wolverines led by Everett Christiansen, six tackles, one assist, one PBU, one TFL; Dylan Dwyer, five tackles; Braylon Sullivan, three tackles; Leonard Riby, one tackle; Kade Pardue, two assists, one PBU; Eli Kimball, two tackles, one TFL; Tyler Williams, one tackle, two TFL; Dakota Whitmore, one tackle; Lucas Costley, three tackles, one assist; Isaac Pangle, four tackles, one assist, one TFL; Landon Williams, six tackles, three assists, one TFL, one QB pressure, one caused fumble; Xander Lynch, seven tackles, one assist; and Cody Williams, eight tackles, four assists, two TFL; one QB pressure.
The offense was led by Brodie Cooper who completed 13 of 22 passes for 166 yards and two touchdowns; Cayden Cooper had 13 carries for 64 yards; David Cole five receptions for 118 yards and one touchdown and Brodie Swader with four receptions for 45 yards and one touchdown.
Coach Jeff Poston stated, “I am heart broken for our kids because we deserved to win the game. We are better than Fannin County. We just made two or three crucial mistakes at the wrong time. We still have opportunity in front of us though, and we have to move forward. The new goal is to get win number eight and take a road trip in round two.”
Get out Friday night and fill the stands to support this very good Wolverine football team as they look to advance in the state playoffs. Go Wolverines!