What started out so promising for the Senior Tigers, slowly turned sour...
DeKalb Juniors set to host Rematch of ’14 Championship with Smith County
The last time these two teams met a championship was won.
For Smith County, a 14-0 defeat at the hands of super rival DeKalb County in the championship game, on their own home field no less, has certainly been a hard pill to swallow. For DeKalb, the win propelled an offseason filled with a sense of accomplishment and excitement of knowing that, for the Juniors, one had no further to look than Smithville for Champions.
But that was a year ago, and a year later both teams enter the contest looking up at the conference leading Crossville Panthers. With both Smith County and DeKalb tied for second, many believe the winner of this game could find itself again in the championship game this year.
However in many other respects, very little has changed. Both teams enter the game with a powerful running attack and stifling defenses.
While the Tiger backfield’s makeup is different this year, it has been no less effective. With the graduation of Silas Cross to the Senior Division, the Tiger Backfield this year is much more diverse and could feature any combination of Konner Young, Mason Winter, Seth Cantrell, Chris Robinson, Conner Close and Ryan Thompson, all of which have contributed greatly for DeKalb on the ground so far this year.
But perhaps the greatest change is with the Tiger offensive line. With the departure of no less than 4 offensive lineman of 2014, this years’ line has had it’s share of ebbs and flows but has developed into one of the most formidable lines in the conference. Anchored Alex Lemons, Trey Crabtree, Kaden McPherson, Austin Estes and Luke Midgett, DeKalb’s O-line can be nasty, routinely opening truck sized holes for their running backs.
But DeKalb is by no means one dimensional.
Guided by quarterback Briz Trapp, the DC offense has proven it can strike any number of receivers at any time. Conner Close, Stetson Agee and Kaleb Spears have led the way through the air thus far throughout the season , but Trapp’s arm can find almost anyone at any time whether lining up as a receiver or coming out of the backfield.
And then there’s the vaunted defense.
Giving up, on average, only one score a game and holding teams to less than 75 yards per contest, DeKalb’s defense has been very stingy thus far. With good line and end play so far, the Black and Gold has continually found itself in the opponent’s backfield. Led by one of the year’s defensive standouts, end Gabe Hollingsworth, the Tigers have averaged more than 3 sacks per game and numerous broken plays from behind
While the 14-0 win in the championship game last year was by far the most important win of the season, coaches Ed Lemons and Brad Trapp have not let their team forget that the first time DeKalb and Smith County met in 2014, the result was a 25-7 home defeat of the Tigers. The game, which ironically occurred almost one year to the day ago from this year’s contest, saw DeKalb give up an unprecedented 392 total yards of offense to Smith County while only being able to put up 92 total yards of their own against the Owl defense and handing DeKalb its first and only loss of the 2014 season.
This year’s game will take place earlier in the day than usual with the kickoff scheduled for 10:00a.m. Admission is $4 and all proceeds help the DeKalb Junior Pro teams.