Crayton Makes Head's-Up Play, Names Leaders

Rod Crayton talks about his game-saving play against Reeltown on Thursday night and names a pair of early leaders in recruiting.

Reeltown, Ala.—Dadeville was clinging to a 21-13 lead. Reeltown had possession of the ball with just under a minute left, 24 yards from Dadeville's end zone and the officials needed a measurement on the third down play.

The ball was marked short—4th down. The call for Reeltown was a hurry-up quarterback sneak. In a strange twist, the head umpire let the Rebels snap the ball even before the chains were off the field. Only one of 11 Dadeville defenders got set, but fortunately for the Tigers it was the defensive tackle Rod Crayton, who made the stop and ended the scoring threat.

"I was thinking that I had to do something," Crayton says. "When he snapped it I had to get him. I was surprised that I got him.

"I just thought in my head that I've got to do this for my team," he continues. "We've got to win the game. I had to time the snap to get back there in a hurry. The guard tried to step down and block me and I beat him through the A-gap. I used a slap-rip (move)."

"It feels pretty good," he says of making the game-winning play. "I owe it to my team though."

Dadeville didn't lead the contest until 6:15 remaining in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 7-7 and 13-13 as the Rebels' Tywone Stewart found holes on the edges of Dadeville's defense.

"We had to fight down the line of scrimmage all night," Crayton says. "They were running to the outside all night.

"Coming into the game our coaches were stressing that we had to stay low, come hard off the ball, fight down the line of scrimmage and don't get caught too far up field," he adds.

"We went to our 50 front and we had our nose going through the A-gap, our defensive tackle at the three (technique) and another at the four," Crayton continues. "We just shadowed (Stewart) real hard."

Despite losing 4A Back of the Year Kyle Caldwell, the quarterback from last year's 13-1 squad, Crayton predicts that the 2011 team can be even better than the last.

"If we play to our potential we can be better than that team last year," he says. "We just have to play to our potential and do what the coaches tell us to do. I feel like we have a strong team."

Crayton, 6-1, 290 pounds, is likely to be one of the top prospects in the state in 2013. So far he claims offers from Memphis, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Florida Atlantic.

"A lot of college coaches have been calling Coach Harrison about me," he says. Dadeville defensive line coach Matt Harrison handles recruiting at the high school. "Auburn called me down there, Michigan has been talking to Coach Harrison, Arizona or Arizona State.

"My top would have to be Ole Miss and Mississippi State," Crayton adds.

Click the link below for highlights of Crayton versus Reeltown.

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