Top-ranked Elba (14-0) and third-ranked Tanner (14-0) will meet in the 2011 AHSAA Class 2A state championship at the Super Six on Friday, Dec. 2 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa. Elba captured the Class 2A, Region 2 championship this season. Tanner on the Class 2A, Region 7 title. The 2A state championship game is the only Super Six championship where both teams are 14-0 this season.
Elba and Tanner will meet for the first time in history.
Elba head coach Scott Rials has compiled a 63-30 (.677) record in his nine seasons at Elba. He has guided the Tigers to three straight 10-win seasons in which the Tigers have compiled a 36-3 (.923) ledger since the 2009 season.
Rials has led the Tigers to three straight region championships and a 21-game region winning streak. Overall, Rials has compiled a 108-53 (.671) record, including a six-year stint at South Montgomery Academy. He was 45-23 at South Montgomery Academy, including an 11-2 mark as the AISA Region title in 2000.
Tanner head coach Laron White has compiled a 91-20 (.820) in his ninth season with the Rattlers. He has seven 10-win seasons. White has led the Rattlers to four region titles (2003, 2008, 2010 and 2011), including each of the last two years.
Tanner has posted a 29-1 region record in the last four seasons. White is 14-8 (.636) and led the Rattlers to nine straight AHSAA playoff appearances.
White will serve as the offensive line coach for Alabama in the 25th annual Mississippi-Alabama All-Star Game next week in Montgomery. He played football at Alabama under Gene Stallings from 1993-96, where he was a part of three SEC Western Division championships. His father, Louis White, Sr., and uncle, Mylun White are in the AHSAA Hall of Fame. His brother, Louis, Jr., is the head coach at Dothan High School.
Elba is playing in its fifth state championship game and seeking its third state championship this season. The Tigers are 2-2 in their previous state championship game appearances. This is Elba’s first Super Six appearance.
Elba finished the season ranked No. 1 in ASWA poll. The Tigers won their 16th region championship this season, including three straight region crowns for the second time in school history. Elba also won three straight region titles in 1988, 1989 and 1990.
Elba joined the AHSAA 500-win club with a 59-20 victory over Vincent in the second round of the playoffs on Nov. 11. The Tigers became the 35th school in AHSAA history to record 500 wins. Cullman, Athens, Fort Payne, Oxford and Auburn also joined the list this season.
Elba advanced to the 2011 Super Six with four straight wins over Houston Academy, Vincent, Flomaton and American Christian Academy. The Tigers have scored 176 points (44.0 ppg) in four playoff games, including a 59-30 win over Vincent in the second round. Elba advanced to the Super Six with a 49-41 win at American Christian in the semifinals.
Elba is 36-21 (.632) in 24 all-time playoff appearances. The Tigers are playing in their fifth state championship game, posting a 2-2 record in the finals. Elba has reached the state playoffs five straight years. The Tigers also made five straight appearance from 1992-96.
Elba has set school records for wins (14) and points scored (718) this season. Elba’s high-powered offense is averaging 51.8 points per game this season. Elba also set the school record for most points in a game with an 80-6 thrashing of Red Level on Oct. 21, 2011. The Tigers had scored 75 points in a 75-14 win against Geneva on Sept. 23. The Tigers have scored 40 or more points nine times, 50 or more points seven times, 60 or more points five times, 70 or more points twice and 80 points once.
Elba has piled up 5,832 total yards (416.8 per game) on offense this year. Elba has scored 94 offensive touchdowns. The Tigers have rushed 459 times for 3,623 yards and 61 touchdowns. Elba is averaging 258.8 yards per game and 7.89 yard per attempt this season. The Tigers have completed 98-of-155 (.632) passes for 2,209 yards and 33 touchdowns this season.
Junior quarterback Austin Johnson is a dual-threat for the Tigers. He has completed 87-of-140 (.621) passes for 1,965 yards with 30 touchdownss and five interceptions. On the ground, he leads the team with 92 rushing attempts for 531 yards (5.8 ypc) and eight touchdowns.
Senior running back Michael Lindsey has 88 rushing attempts for 870 yards and 21 touchdowns to lead the Tigers in rushing yards and touchdowns this season. He averages 62.1 yards per game and 9.89 yards per carry. He is also the Tigers leading receiver with 33 receptions for 748 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Overall, Lindsey has 1,618 yards and 31 touchdowns for the Tigers.
Sophomore Derrean Burks is the second-leading receiver with 24 receptions for 683 yards and nine touchdowns. He averages a team-best 28.46 yard per catch.
Elba has allowed 14.8 points per game (207 points) this season on defense. The Tigers have held 10 teams to 14 points or less this year. Elba allowed six points in wins over Red Level and Houston Academy. The Tigers posted a 65-0 shutout of Zion Chapel on Oct. 7.
Senior defensive lineman Martin Henderson and senior safety Tyler Anderson both have recorded 100 tackles this season. Henderson leads the team with 151 stops this season, including 100 solo tackles. He also has five sacks. Anderson has 104 tackles, including 73 solos and four sacks. Senior defensive lineman Timothy Caldwell has recorded 99 tacklesSophomore linebacker Darrean Burks leads the Tigers with seven sacks.
Tanner is seeking its first-ever state championship. The Rattlers are playing in their first state championship and first Super Six. Prior to this season, Tanner’s deepest playoff run came in 1994 when the Rattlers dropped a 9-8 decision to Gordo in the semifinals.
Tanner won the Class 2A, Region championship this season. It was the school’s 15th region championship and third (2008, 2010 and 2011) in the last four years.
Tanner advanced to the 2011 Super Six with four straight wins over Sand Rock, Reeltown, Woodland and Lineville. The semifinal win over Lineville was the final game in the history of Lineville High School, who will merge with Clay County to form Clay County Central HS next year.
The Rattlers have scored 130 points (32.5 ppg) in its four playoff wins. Tanner has yielded only 10.3 points (41 points) per game in the school’s four playoff wins. The Rattlers shut out Woodland 38-0 in the quarterfinals.
Tanner is 22-23 (.489) in its 24 AHSAA playoff appearances. The Rattlers are making their 10th straight playoff appearance, which extended the school record. Tanner’s first playoff appearance came in 1976 and its first win came in 1981.
The Rattlers have set school records for wins (14) and total points (618) this season. The current 14-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history. The school record is 15 straight wins by the Rattlers from Oct. 29 1993-Nov. 25, 1994.
Tanner has scored 30 or more points 12 times, 40 or more points nine times, 50 or more points four times and 60 points once this year. The Rattlers scored a season-high 62 points in a blowout win over Cold Springs (62-13) on Oct. 7. The 62 points fell short of the single-game record set last year in a 67-8 win over Cold Springs.
Tanner has allowed 143 points (10.1 ppg) this season. The Rattlers have held 10 opponents to 13 points or less this season. They have held seven opponents to single digits this season, including a pair of shutouts against Falkville (56-0) and Woodland (38-0).
Senior quarterback Landon Stephens is having a successful playoff run for the Rattlers He led a second half comeback last week at Lineville in the semifinals as the Rattlers erased a 10-point halftime deficit. It marked the first time Lineville had trailed all season Stephens completed 13-of-20 passes for 145 yards and one touchdown against Woodland. In the second round win over Reeltown, Stephens ran 27 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns. He had a one-yard run and 16-yard touchdown pass in the first round win over Sand Rock.
Senior all-purpose threat Jevin Thatch has 10 kickoff returns and punt returns for touchdowns this season. He has five kickoff returns, including a 79-yarder against Sand Rock in the first round. He also added five punt returns for touchdowns this year. He also had a 24-yard touchdown catch in the win over Sand Rock.
Junior Kyle Shoulders has scored three touchdowns in the playoffs for the Rattlers. Shoulders had two touchdowns in the win over Sand Rock, scoring on a three-yard run in the first quarter and a two-yard run in the second quarter.
Junior defensive back Fredrick Rich has also scored three playoff touchdowns. He had a one-yard touchdown run against Reeltown in the second round. In a quarterfinal win over Woodland, Rich scored on 23-yard run and 90-yard interception return. The Rattlers forced six turnovers (five fumbles) in the win over Woodland.
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