published Monday, November 18th, 2013

Greater Chattanooga area prep football player of the week Slade Dale gives Ringgold playoff success

  • photo
    Ringgold Tigers senior quarterback Slade Dale, this week's Times Free Press Player of the Week, drops back to pass during a game against Dalton earlier this season.
    Photo by C. B. Schmelter.
    enlarge photo

13 for '13 -- Week 13

Raekwon Bunion, Cleveland: 179 total yards, 138 rushing.

Slade Dale, Ringgold: 164 rushing yards, 220 passing, 4 rushing TDs, 3 passing TDs.

Alex Darras, Notre Dame: 164 passing yards, 3 PAT kicks, 27-yard field goal.

Austin Jackson, Boyd-Buchanan: 143 rushing yards, TD.

James McClellan, Signal Mountain: 251 rushing yards, 3 TDs.

Matt Milita, East Hamilton: 127 total yards, 67 rushing, 1 TD.

Jajuan Lankford, South Pittsburg: 192 rushing yards, 3 TDs.

Haasan Miller, Tyner: 141 rushing yards, 4 TDs.

Zach Miller, Polk County: 164 rushing yards, TD.

T.J. Parker, Cleveland: 116 rushing yards, 1 TD.

Christian Plott, Ringgold: 94 receiving ayrds, 2 TDs.

Isaiah Robinson, Hixson: 102 rushing yards, TD.

Blake Zeman, Marion County: 173 rushing yards, 3 TDs.

Slade Dale may be headed to the University of Georgia on a baseball scholarship but that doesn't mean he's quite ready to turn his back on football.

The senior quarterback that's headed to the Bulldogs, likely as a second baseman, turned in another stellar performance Friday, leading Ringgold to a comeback 55-54 victory over North Hall.

Dale ran for 164 yards and four touchdowns and passed for another 220 yards and three more scores to earn Times Free Press Player of the Week honors.

The victory was the first in the postseason for Ringgold.

"Yeah, it reminds me of the old days," said Ringgold coach Robert Akins, the architect of Boyd-Buchanan's rise to football prominence.

Ringgold had been close on several occasions, making the playoffs in 2009 and 2012.

The Tigers won Friday when a last-second field goal hit the cross bar and bounced awry, and it reminded some of the Ringgold veterans of their 1989 game when Cedartown kicked a late field goal that also hit the cross bar but bounced over.

It was long before the 5-foot-10, 175-pound Dale could hold or much less throw a football, something he proved again Friday that he could do.

"I've often wondered if maybe he ought to talk to [Georgia football coach] Mark Richt," Akins said. "He has a great arm and a great set of legs, and he makes great decisions. He's intelligent. He has the intangibles, those things you can't coach. He knows where to be and when."

The Tigers put Dale on the opponent's best receiver weekly and against touted Cartersville, Dale drew touted T.L. Ford, who has committed to Kansas State.

"He frustrated him," Akins said. "I think Ford had one catch all night, a slant route down near the goal line. Part of that is Slade being extremely quick, part of it is him being really smart and part of it is him knowing how to get leverage."

Contact Ward Gossett at wgossett@timesfreepress.com or 423-886-4765. Follow him at Twitter.com/wardgossett.

about Ward Gossett...

Ward Gossett is an assistant sports editor and writer for the Times Free Press. Ward has a long history in Chattanooga journalism. He actually wrote a bylined story for the Chattanooga News-Free Press as a third-grader. He Began working part-time there in 1968 and was hired full time in 1970. Ward now covers high school athletics, primarily football, wrestling and baseball and University of Tennessee at Chattanooga wrestling. Over a 40-year career, he has covered ...

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