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District Champion Tatum Begins Postseason Against Godley

Tatum’s Shaq Johnson slips away from Troup defenders during their game Oct. 19 in Tatum. (Christopher Vinn,

Class 2A Division I Region III
Area Playoff

Tatum Eagles (8-2)
Godley Wildcats (9-2)

7 p.m. Friday
Bruce Field, Athens

Tatum: Andy Evans
Godley: Randy Brawner

Next week: Winner plays Franklin-East Chambers winner in a 2A Division I Region III semifinal.



  • QB Darian Brooks, Sr., 6-2, 200
  • RB Shaq Johnson, Sr., 5-5, 155
  • WR C.J. Whitaker, Sr., 5-8, 165
  • LB Kiano Lucas, Sr., 6-0, 210



  • QB Jay Mathis, Jr.
  • RB Corey Anderson, Jr.
  • RB Taylor Luce, Soph.
  • WR Kyle Samples, Sr.


Just the facts

  • Tatum is in the playoffs for the 11th straight year. Since 2001, the Eagles have a combined record of 111-32, including a 26-8 mark in the postseason.
  • The Eagles have won three straight since a 14-10 setback against Troup, during which Tatum has outscored the opposition, 110-50.
  • Tatum is averaging 31.9 points per game offensively, while the defense gives up an average of 19.7.
  • The last time Tatum dropped its playoff opener was in 2009, a 42-21 loss to Center in the bi-district round of the Class 3A Division II playoffs.
  • Godley enters Friday night’s game averaging 31 points per game. The defense allows opponents to score 14.5 on average.
  • The Wildcats’ two losses this season came against defending 2A D-II state finalist Cisco (34-33) and district champion Grandview (28-14).



Tatum QB Darian Brooks. (Christopher Vinn,


Tatum OL/DL Darius Whiting. (Christopher Vinn,

Key matchup: Godley running game vs. Tatum defensive front. It’s been Tatum’s biggest strength all season, and its defensive line will be put to the test by a a powerful Godley rushing attack, led by Corey Anderson and Taylor Luce. When quarterback Jay Mathis hasn’t made plays through the air, he’s burned opposing defense with his legs. The Eagles’ defensive line, led by Keatton Blanton and Darius Whiting (6-0, 265), will have its work cut out preparing to stop three talented ball carriers from Godley. If Tatum can slow down the Wildcats’ rushing attack, it will force Godley to try to beat Tatum through the air, which is not Godley’s strong suit.

Don’t be surprised if: Tatum comes ready to play after resting some bumps and bruises during the bye week. Some have said Tatum underachieved during the regular season despite sharing a district championship. The Eagles may use the local doubters as motivation as they strive to resemble the group that reached the state semifinals a season ago.

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