TRM Tigers look to build on momentum

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, September 17, 2003

By By RANDY WINTON Sports writer
If you are looking ahead at the next four weeks on T.R. Miller's schedule, one word probably comes to mind rather quickly: cakewalk.
For in this week's opponent - Calhoun - and the three following - Andalusia, Elba and Central-Hayneville - have a combined 3-9 record in the first three weeks of the season.
Central-Hayneville is 2-1, but its wins are against 0-3 Calhoun and 0-3 Elba. The other victory was garnered by Andalusia, who beat a Gulf Shores team in Week 1 (6-0) that was pummeled in Week 3 (84-8) by Thomasville.
Maybe "laugher" is a word that comes to mind as well.
However, for Tiger coach Jamie Riggs, his focus is not on the weakness of his opponents, but on how his own team - 3-0 and ranked No. 1 among Class 3A schools - can get better.
In defeating Clarke County 23-6 last week to run its Region 1 record to 2-0, Miller was not as sharp in a few areas … areas Riggs plans to shore up over the next few weeks.
Part of that work comes from the fact the Tigers managed less than 40 yards and only two first downs in a first half that saw the Tigers go into intermission facing a 6-0 deficit.
Senior tailback Skylar Fountain had a big second half (88 yards, one TD) in leading the victory, but Riggs and his staff saw areas in which they'll spend a lot of energy over the next few weeks.
So … "Over the next four weeks we are trying to not only prepare for opponents, but improve ourselves," he said. "Practice will be geared toward that because we are missing holes in the running game, not doing well in pass protection … those 'execution' things that can come back to bite you if you don't do it right.
Barring any unforeseen catastrophe, it is natural to assume that four weeks from now, these Tigers should be 7-0. And while the Tigers certainly work toward that week to week, the real focus is on getting better as they march forward through the schedule.
Because on the other side of a combined 3-9, there is Pike County, W.S. Neal and the playoffs waiting in the wings.
INJURY UPDATE: Senior lineman Kevin Ard (ankle) is starting to run, but is still not quite ready to practice and may be 1-2 weeks away. As well, senior linebacker Keath Turner (thumb) also remains sidelined, and may still be out a couple more weeks.

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