Tigers try to avoid another Homecoming trap against Jackson
Published 3:38 pm Wednesday, October 11, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
While his immediate focus is this week's game against the Jackson Aggies, T.R. Miller Tigers coach Jamie Riggs can not help but think a little bit about the past.
The past is not last Friday's 28-23 come-from-behind over Class 4A top-ranked Thomasville. Riggs is currently recalling last year's 16-14 Homecoming loss to Slocomb.
Riggs and the Tigers (6-0 overall and 4-0 in region play) will try to make sure Homecoming at Brewton Municipal Stadium does not get spoiled again, this time by Jackson in Friday's 7 p.m. Class 4A Region 1 clash.
The Aggies (3-3 overall and 2-2 in region play) saw their region and postseason blows take a big hit last week when they fell at Escambia County 43-28. That loss for all intent knocked Jackson out of the region championship race and put the Aggies' postseason hopes squarely on the bubble.
Escambia County shredded Jackson's defense for more than 400 yards and more than 300 rushing yards. Escambia County quarterback Michael Thomas ran for 181 yards and threw for another 120. Blue Devils running back DeMarcus Johnson also hit triple digits rushing with 120 yards.
Riggs said his team should expect the kind of performance Jackson had two weeks earlier against Thomasville. In that game, Jackson forced Thomasville into three turnovers and trailed just 20-18 with a minute left before it lost 27-18.
Jackson's best weapon is probably its passing game with quarterback Kent Meyer (6-2, 171 lb. jr.) and wide receiver DeMarcus Besteda (6-3, 190 lb. sr.). Meyer threw for more than 1,000 yards as a freshman, but missed most of last season with an injury. He has since reestablished himself as a dangerous passer. Meanwhile Besteda is drawing considerable Division I interest.
Jackson uses three main running backs with fullback Richard Howard (5-11, 175 lb. jr.) and tailbacks Andrew Ezell (5-10, 170 lb. jr.) and Terrance Roper (5-10, 180 lb. sr.).
Another weapon Jackson has is kicker J.D. Mitchell. In fact, Mitchell booted a 24-yard field goal two weeks ago to lift Jackson past Clarke County.
T.R. Miller can wrap up a playoff spot with a victory this week. The Tigers can wrap up the region championship if they win two of their final three games. Even if T.R. Miller stumbles and drops one of it final three region games, it owns the head-to-head tiebreaker against its two closest pursuers, Thomasville and Escambia County, who both sit one game behind.