Tigers get their shot at number one
Published 12:43 am Tuesday, November 15, 2005
By By BRUCE HIXON – Sports Editor
In order for the T.R. Miller Tigers to have a chance to be number one at the end of the postseason road, they must first beat number one.
That opportunity comes Friday when the Tigers host the Oneonta Redskins in the Class 3A state quarterfinals at Brewton Municipal Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m.
The Redskins not only are the top ranked team in Class 3A this season with a 12-0 record, but Oneonta is the defending state champion with a 27-game winning streak. The Redskins have not tasted defeat since they lost 30-7 to Pike County in the 2003 state championship game.
Both teams have cruised through the first two rounds of the playoffs. The Tigers have ambushed Holtville 56-13 and last week Aliceville 48-18. Oneonta has taken care of West Blocton 35-14 and last week Montgomery Academy 28-14.
With the opportunity for advancement comes the opportunity for revenge for T.R. Miller. It was Oneonta that ousted the Tigers in last year's playoffs 21-14 in the semifinals. That game was also played at Brewton Municipal Stadium.
While the Redskins lost perhaps the heart and soul of that team with the graduation of running back Miguel Hurtado, who was named the 3A Player of the Year, Oneonta still has plenty of cogs back from last year's state champs.
One of those key cogs back is running back Anthony Mostella (5-10, 171 lb. sr.). Mostella quietly racked up 1,200 yards in Hurtado's shadow last year. This year he has become an even bigger force, as he has amassed 1,880 yards rushing on 212 attempts and scored 27 touchdowns.
Matt Gibbs (5-10, 207 lb. sr.) has stepped into the fullback position and been a highly effective blocker. He has also added 236 yards rushing on 56 carries and scored twice.
Also back for the Redskins is quarterback Brody Cornelius (5-8, 168 lb. jr.).Cornelius completed 12 of 16 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in last year's game against T.R. Miller.