Miller faces tough test in second round
By By SCOTT COOPER – Sports Writer
Judging by Friday night's 35-0 opening-round victory over Dadeville in the Class 3A state playoffs, the T.R. Miller Tigers appear to be primed for a run at the state title.
The Tigers, with a 7-3 overall record after the win, dominated the action on both sides of the ball the entire game. While the defensive unit prevented Dadeville's high-powered offense from crossing midfield into Miller territory, the offense consistently moved the chains and controlled the ball along with the clock most of the contest.
Miller head coach Jamie Riggs said the win over Dadeville was the Tigers' most complete performance of the season.
Miller entered the season with the Class 3A top ranking, but dropped out of the top ten after three narrow losses suffered over the course of the season. However, Riggs has repeatedly stated the rankings are virtually meaningless because of the playoff system that is in place. Instead, he stressed to his players the importance of getting better throughout the season to meet the demands of postseason competition.
Riggs said that while the Tigers have some talented teams in the way of achieving their ultimate goal, he likes what he presently sees in his team.
In they are to continue advancing toward the championship, the Tigers must be able to get by Tarrant, this week's second-round opponent and owners of a 10-1 season record. Tarrant held the Class 3A No. 1 ranking for most of the season before a 14-0 loss to Cleburne County, the top-ranked team in Class 4A, knocked them from that position.
Tarrant lost in the Class 3A title game last season and enters the matchup against Miller on the heels of a 49-6 opening-round playoff win over St. Clair County.
As good as Tarrant is on the offensive side of the ball, Riggs indicates the strength of their team is an aggressive, stingy defense.
As the Tigers prepare to meet the challenge Tarrant will present, Riggs outlined several factors that are vital to a Miller victory.
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Brewton Municipal Stadium.