Taking care of business

Published 2:18 pm Monday, October 2, 2006

By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
One could argue the T.R. Miller Tigers' 42-19 road win over the Straughn Tigers Friday was more like a B team game.
After all, the T.R. Miller underclassmen and reserve units were on the field by the midway point of the second quarter. On top of that, they were playing a Straughn team that is dominated by underclassmen this season.
The visiting and second-ranked Tigers (5-0) avoided looking ahead to this coming week's game at Thomasville where it will meet the top-ranked team in Class 4A in a game that will go a long way in deciding the Region 1 championship.
T.R. Miller steamrolled its way to a 35-0 lead by just past the halfway point of the second quarter against a Straughn team that fell to 0-5 on the season and outscored 220-56. The visiting Tigers accomplished that task mostly by a ground game that racked up 315 yards.
It took just over two minutes for T.R. Miller to take a lead it never relinquished when Travis Holland scored the first of his two touchdowns on an eight-yard run. Baxley Raines hit the first of his four extra points to make it 7-0.
Straughn, which actually outrushed the Tigers by seven yards and had 366 total yards, tried to answer on its following series. The host Tigers drove from their own 20 to the T.R. Miller 19-yard line where they were stopped on downs.
The visiting Tigers were able to convert that score into seven points when Andrew Chavers scored his first touchdown of the season on a seven-yard pass from Raines. Raines' PAT knocked the lead up to 14-0.
T.R. Miller's defense forced Straughn into three first half fumbles. Will Waters and Terrence Walker each had a recovery and a host of Tigers came out of the pile on the third turnover.
The first of those miscues set up a 31-yard touchdown run by Justin Gomez with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. Another PAT by Raines made it 21-0.
The Tigers struck again with 8:58 left in the first half when Keyara Matthews scored on a 10-yard run. Raines finished a perfect night in the PAT department to make it 28-0.
Less than four minutes later the visiting Tigers were back in the endzone when Jamal Middleton, who rushed for 102 yards on just four carries, zigzagged across the field for a 59-yard touchdown run. This time Joseph Schultz joined in the scoring act, as he tacked on the conversion to make it 35-0 with 5:14 left in the half.
With many T.R. Miller substitutions already in the game, Straughn was able to get on the board late in the first half when Josh Bulger capped off a nine-play, 70-yard match with a one-yard touchdown plunge. Jason Morgan's PAT kick was deflected and fell short, which left the score 35-6 with 2:03 left in the half.
Straughn also began the second half with a successful drive, as it went 76 yards over 11 plays. The host Tigers converted three third downs along the way before Ryne Taylor hit Seth Kinsaul for a 20-yard touchdown strike. Morgan's kick again fell short, which left it 35-12.
T.R. Miller's starting offensive unit returned long enough to regain some of the lost momentum, as the Tigers went 78 yards on just six plays. Runs of 23 yards by Tanner Shehan and 26 yards by Rashad Taylor set up an 11-yard touchdown run by Travis Holland. Schultz's PAT made it 42-12 with 3:48 left in the third quarter.
Straughn picked up its final score of the game with 5:04 left in the fourth quarter when it went 77 yards over eight plays, as Andrew Stokes scored on a 20-yard run. Morgan connected for the PAT to make it 42-19.
Friday's showdown at Thomasville kicks off at 7 p.m. Thomasville also improved to 5-0 Friday with a 55-8 win over Choctaw County.

Email newsletter signup