Tallassee’s championship dreams came to end in Centreville on Friday night, November 17. The Tigers lost to Bibb County 41-16 in the second round of the playoffs.
In an interview with Michael Butler of WTLS-AM 1300 and FM 106.5, Coach Mike Battles, Jr., reviewed the season.
“We knew coming in it was going to be tough,” said Coach Mike Battles, who was at Bibb County four years prior to taking the Tallassee job. “Our kids fought. They were outweighed 50 pounds a man.”
Baynes threw for 1,696 yards with 18 touchdowns during his senior season. A dozen players are hanging up their purple and gold jerseys for a team that won 10 games, most by a THS team since 1999. It is just the third time in school history that Tallassee has reached double-digit wins in a season.
“I know they’re upset, but they’re going to look back and see it was a great year. They’ve won 19 ball games the last two years,” Battles added. “The saddest thing is the season’s over. We got beat by a better football team tonight. The thing about the playoffs is unless you win it all, you’re going to end with a loss. This group of seniors has represented Tallassee exactly how they’re supposed to.”
The off-season should be eventful. The Alabama High School Athletic Association is in a transition year with reclassification and realignment for the next two-year cycle. The question that remains is will the 1.35 multiplier for private schools remain intact and are other changes being considered.
Tallassee has teetered between Class 4A and 5A over the past decade. The last significant change by the AHSAA was four years ago with the expansion from six to seven classifications.
Tallassee struck first with a 56-yard scoring pass from Casey Baynes to Kalvin Levett to take 7-0 first quarter lead. The Choctaws would counter on their next possession with a 70-yard run by Darryl Harris.
Bibb County hit the Tigers with big plays all night. Four of their touchdowns went for more than 50 yards.
Trailing by 21 in the third quarter, Baynes and Levett hooked up again for a 60-yard touchdown to cut the lead in half at 28-14.
It looked as though Tallassee might have another comeback in mind, like the 22-point deficit they overcame at T.R. Miller earlier in the season. The Choctaws thwarted those thoughts with back-to-back scores. The Tigers recorded a safety in the final minutes.