The DeKalb County High School Tiger football team will open play in the TSSAA State football playoffs this Friday night at McMinn Central. The Tigers, who finished 8-2 in the regular season, are the third place team out of Region 4-3A, while the Chargers, who are 9-1 on the season, were the runners-up in Region 3-3A. McMinn Central lost their first game of the season last week, when they dropped a 33-14 decision at Chattanooga Howard.
DeKalb County is in the State Playoffs for the first time since the 1996 season, and for just the fifth time since the high school opened in 1963. The Tigers first playoff berth came in 1985, when the team traveled to Marion County and lost, 40-0, in the opening round. The following season, in 1986, the Tigers returned to Marion County, but again, came up on the short end of the opening round score, 42-21. DeKalb County missed the playoffs in 1987, but returned in 1988, this time visiting Sequatchie County. The Tigers jumped on top of the Indians, 13-0, but Sequatchie eliminated the Tigers from the post-season with 32 unanswered points in a 32-13 outcome. DeKalb's final playoff appearance before this season came in 1996, when the team traveled to Giles County and lost to the Bobcats, 27-0.
This season, the Tigers own wins over Warren County, Watertown, Greenbrier, Cannon County, Pearl-Cohn, Upperman, Sycamore and Macon County, while suffering losses to Station Camp and White House. The eight wins this season are the most for the program since the 1988 season, and marked the first winning season for the program since 1999.
Friday night's game kicks off at 6:00 p.m. Central Standard Time. Directions to McMinn Central High School can be found at www.dekalbcountyfootball.com.