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Tigers host Jay in playoff tuneup

By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
It comes after the two highly emotional and important games against Pike County and W.S. Neal and prior to next week's playoff opener against Holtville.
That scenario is something that concerns T.R. Miller Tigers coach Jamie Riggs, as his team gets ready to close out the regular season Friday with a 7 p.m. home date against the Jay (Fla.) Royals.
While T.R. Miller (7-2) assured itself a postseason berth with last week's 34-22 win over W.S. Neal, Jay added another chapter to a frustrating season with a 48-0 loss to Port St. Joe.
The Royals come into Friday's action with a 2-6 overall record, 2-4 in Florida's Class 1A District 1.
Part of the Royals struggles can be attributed to youth. The Royals have just five seniors.
It could also be youth that has played a key role in Jay's other main Achilles heel this season, a lack of offense. The most points the Royals have scored in any game this season are 15.
The Royals tend to keep the ball on the ground with tailback Michael Wade leading the way. Wade has been both effective and a workhorse throughout the season. In Jay's win over Sneads, Wade carried the ball 30 times for 156 yards. Fullback Josh Marshall also gets quite a bit of work.
While the Royals prefer to keep the ball on the ground, quarterback Brandt Hendricks has come up with some key plays. Brad Lowery has been his go-to receiver.
Even though they are non-region members, compete in bordering states and last year's meeting scheduled at Brewton Municipal Stadium was cancelled due to Hurricane Ivan, Riggs said the T.R. Miller-Jay series has quickly developed into a good one.
Friday marks the last regular season home game for seniors Antonio Gomez, Laine Lucas, Mikel Riggs, Jordan Cauley, Wade McCall, Briddell Jones, Nick Puryear, Patrick Reeves, Brooks Fussell, Hayes Peace, Justin Marshall, Daniel McNamara, Julius Harris, Javaris Drakeford and Jason McCreary.