Riggs goes for 200th career win
Published 4:40 pm Wednesday, August 31, 2005
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
By BRUCE HIXON
While T.R. Miller Tigers coach Jamie Riggs is aware of and appreciates the personal importance of Friday's home game against the Straughn Tigers, it is the team focus point that is and always will be at the forefront.
Riggs will try to join a short list of coaches who have earned 200 career victories. Riggs picked up career win number 199 last Friday when T.R. Miller held off Escambia County 28-20.
While last week's season-opening win over Escambia County was nice, the real season starts this week with the beginning of the Class 3A Region1 campaign.
Straughn, which is coming off an 8-4 season (5-2 and tied for second with Pike County in Region 1) a year ago, got its season started on a rocky note last week when it was clubbed 35-13 by Andalusia.
The Tigers were unable to overcome a 21-0 first half deficit on three touchdown runs by Andalusia sophomore Michael Berry.
Most of the Straughn's offense in that game came courtesy of quarterback Alphonso Freeney (6-1, 215 lb. sr.), who threw a 71-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Jones (6-1, 195 lb. sr.) and had a four-yard rush for the Tigers other score.
Containing Freeney figures to be one of T.R. Miller's toughest defensive challenges, especially after it surrendered 322 yards (178 rushing, 144 passing) in total offense to Escambia County quarterback Calvin Hartley last week.
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speed to try to run around the defense," Riggs said.
Freeney will also sometimes line up as a running back. In those situations, Straughn will use Ryne Taylor (6-1, 160 lb. fresh.) at quarterback.
Josh Pettus (5-10, 175 jr.) and Josh Cottle (5-11, 165 lb. sr.) anchor the fullback slot. D'Andrea Lee (5-10, 165 lb. sr.) is Straughn's main tailback.
While Straughn will try to bounce back from a loss, T.R. Miller will look to build from its win over Escambia County. In that game the Tigers had 222 rushing yards and another 193 through the air.
Nykeem Barton's 78 yards on seven carries led T.R. Miller's running game, while Nick Puryear added 61 yards on 11 attempts. Jordan Cauley completed eight of 10 passes for 156 yards with one touchdown and one interception to lead the air game.
Riggs indicated one key contribution in Friday's win came from senior wide receiver Antonio Gomez, who hauled in three catches for 88 yards. Gomez missed most of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
T.R. Miller will be without the services of senior lineman Justin Marshall this week and possibly next week as well.