TRM football to head to Midfield Friday for second round of state playoffsPublished 5:00am Thursday, November 14, 2013
After their 54-28 win over the American Christian Academy Patriots Friday night at home in the first round of the 2013 class 3A state playoffs, the T.R. Miller Tigers will get their second batch of Patriots this week in round two when they travel to face off against the Midfield High School Patriots.
As for his team’s 26-point win over ACA Friday night, Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said it is always good to win the first round playoff game. T.R. Miller leads all teams with 31 first round wins. The Tigers are also closing in on Hazlewood’s record of 85 playoff wins with 83 of their own.
“I thought that American Christian really had a good game plan and that they fought really hard during the game,” Riggs said. “There was some time periods that I thought we really made some poor plays, but there were times that we really made some good plays. I thought that we again showed some toughness in some aspects and thought in particular that we had not seen some passing in awhile and we looked really rusty. Hopefully we will get better at that in a hurry.”
Midfield defeated Slocomb 36-13 on the road Friday night in their first round game.
The Patriots enter the game with T.R. Miller with a 7-4 record and is averaging 28.8 points a game while allowing 12.9. They qualified for the playoffs as the third seed in class 3A region four.
The Patriots have made the playoffs 26 times and have an overall record of 23-25 and is 3-2 at home in the second round of the playoffs. One of those wins comes over T.R. Miller last year as they took down the Tigers 22-20. T.R. Miller owns a 2-1 edge in games with the Patriots after winning 28-14 in the third round at Midfield in 2004. In 2003, T.R. Miller met Midfield in round one at home and claimed a 49-12 win.
T.R. Miller is 11-6 on the road in second round games.
“They are similar to the way they were last year,” Riggs said. “They are very fast and very skilled on offense. They really have some nice size in places and they have some big linemen. They have a quick quarterback that can run and throw the ball in No. 10, Aaron Gaines. That can always cause you some problems when they get in the spread offense. I think their running back, No. 5 Ladarius Young, is as skilled as anyone that they have got. He has speed and really good moves. Their entire offense and skill group as the opportunity to make you miss. They cause you to miss a lot of tackles and make you silly trying to tackle them. We have to simulate the best we can in practice this week and try to handle it well on Friday night.”
Riggs said on defense that Midfield has several people returning from their defense from last year.
“They certainly have some size,” Riggs said. “But most importantly they have great team speed over there. They can really fly to the ball. We are going to have to find some answers to that. In the playoffs, you have to do a good job of handling the trip and hopefully we will do that and hopefully we will take a good crowd up there with us Friday night.”
After making six straight trips to at least the semifinals from 2000-2005 and making 11-out-of-12 trips from 1994-2005, the Tigers have only made it to the semifinals once after the 2005 season—that being the 2008 season.
The Tigers lost in the first round in 1999 and also lost in the first round in 2007. In 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012, the Tigers have lost in the second round. T.R. Miller lost in round two last year to Midfield 22-20, to Handley in 2011 by a score of 21-19, Trinity in 2010 (21-14), Luverne in 2009 (19-14) and Elmore County in 2006 (28-10).
The Tigers are 0-4 in their last four second round games (2009-2012) with all four losses coming by a total of 15 points—the last two losses by a total of four points.
Of the last four losses in the second round, three have come on the road at Midfield, Handley and Trinity.
Riggs said although his team lost to Midfield last year in the second round and has struggled in the second round as of late, that does not affect this year’s game.
“This game has nothing to do with last year’s game or last year’s team,” Riggs said. “It is about us right now. Whether we can prepare and have the will to prepare and play our best game of the year against Midfield. That is what we are going to talk about.”
Colbert County has won 22 second round playoff games. Deshler and T.R. Miller follow closely with 20 wins each. The Indians also have more playoff appearances than any other team with 36.
With a win Friday, T.R. Miller would host Fayette County in the quarterfinals of the class 3A state playoffs or they would travel to face Leeds.
Game time for Friday’s game with the Patriots is set for 7 p.m. at Winfred E. Jackson Stadium in Midfield on the campus of Midfield High School.
Directions to 1600 Midfield High School Rd, Birmingham, AL 35221 (according to Yahoo! Maps):
• Once on I-65 N toward Montgomery, take the interstate 162 miles to exit 255 for Lakeshore Drive for 0.2 miles.
• Turn left onto W Lakeshore Dr/Lakeshore Pkwy. Continue to follow Lakeshore Pkwy
for 1.6 miles.
• Take a slight left onto W Lakeshore Pkwy for 2.1 miles
• Turn right onto Wenonah Oxmoor Rd. for 0.6 mi
• Turn right onto Venice Rd. for 0.8 mi
• Continue onto Wilson Rd. SW for 0.5 mi
• Turn left onto Rutledge Ave. SW for 0.4 mi
• Turn right onto 40th St. SW for 0.4 mi
• Continue onto By Williams Sr Dr. for 0.3 mi
• Turn left onto High School Rd/Midfield High School Rd
• Continue to follow Midfield High School Rd. Destination will be on the right