Second season begins for Tigers
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
In recent years, the T.R. Miller Tigers playoff slate sounds like a broken record with repeat matches against the likes of Springville, Midfield and Pike County.
This year is different. This year the Tigers are served with the theme of “Getting to know you” when they kick off the opening round of the Class 3A playoffs Friday with a 7 p.m. home game against the Holtville Bulldogs.
The Tigers are the number two seed out of Region 1 with an 8-2 overall record. Holtville is the number three seed out of Region 2 with a 7-3 mark.
All three of the Bulldogs' losses have come by the margin of a touchdown and conversion. Holtville fell in the opening week to 4A member Tallassee 28-20 and then dropped region games to Montgomery Academy 14-7 and Lafayette 28-22.
Holtville's strength during the regular season has been an offense that has averaged 32 points a game.
A big force in that attack has been senior running back Antwain Powers. Powers topped the 1,000 yards barrier (1,016 to be exact) last week when he ran for 149 yards in the Bulldogs' 41-16 win over Notasulga.
Junior fullback Patrick Adair comlements Powers in the backfield and has rushed for 450 yards.
One of Holtville's biggest keys during the regular season is also one of its biggest question marks headed into the playoffs. Junior quarterback Jacob Grizzel injured his knee early in the Notasulga game and did not return. Grizzel has rushed for 308 yards this season and has thrown for 773 yards and six touchdowns.
If Grizzel is unable to go, Holtville will use sophomore Josh Law. Law stepped in for Grizzel last week and completed three of six passes for 96 yards against Notasulga.
Senior tight end Derek Slatton has been the big force in the receiving game for Holtville, as he has caught 25 balls for 528 yards and four touchdowns.
Holtville's defense has allowed an average of 15.2 points a game as compared to 14.4 for the Tigers. Eight of the Bulldogs' 10 opponents scored at least two touchdowns.
As the T.R. Miller coach looked back at his team's regular season, he came up with both the most pleasant and disappointing aspect.
and not at other people. I felt
we bounced back well from that,” Riggs said. “On the flip side, we had so many injuries to deal with during the regular season. That prevented us from developing those people as much as we would have liked. Right now I'd say our overall team health is about 85 percent. We'd like for it to be higher, of course, but you're going to have a certain amount of knocks and bruises at this point of the season.”
Friday's winner will take on the winner of the Aliceville-Ashville winner next Friday. If the T.R. Miller wins, it will travel in either scenario.