Tatum Eagles Have Some Unfinished Business

It is the 3A game circled and highlighted on the playoff brackets.
Eagles versus Eagles. Canton versus Tatum.
We have heard about the Canton version of the Eagles this season, but it is the Tatum version of the Eagles that enters the game with some unfinished business.
Their motto is simply two words: State Champs.
"It would be nice to bring home the state title one time to Tatum since we've never been able to do that," said wide receiver Neal Dawson.
A state title would not only be a first, but the perfect ending for a team with a perfect record.
"Everybody's goal at this point is to win a state championship," said head coach Andy Evans. "So when we did not do it last year we came back with that goal this year."
For the second year, Tatum is in the regional semi-finals. In 2004, they came up short against Gilmer. A memory that has become a motivator.
"It's still in me," said Carson Blackmon. "I got that fire from it. It hurt real bad last year and I'm not trying to feel it this year."
Still feeling the sting of that loss, this years seniors feel they have something to prove after the team lost some big names.
"They kind of short-changed us thinking that maybe we wouldn't make it as far or (we) will be decent during district but would not make it as far in the playoffs," said Neal Dawson, "and we kind of proved we were a better team than they thought we were."
They have done it with a stellar defense, the team has nicknamed the "junkyard dogs."
"A junkyard dog is ruthless, nobody is getting into his territory," said Daylon McCoy, "and that's how we are nobody's moving the ball on us."
The Eagle's territory contains a case filled with trophies. However there is one missing with a simple inscription Carson Blackmon said.
"2005 State Champion Tatum Eagles."
The big game between Canton and Tatum is Friday night at 7:30 p.m. Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium.

Maya Golden reporting, mgolden@kltv.com