Tigers go for region championship, number one seed, home playoff game
Published 4:31 pm Wednesday, October 18, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
While their games as of late have not been short on excitement, the T.R. Miller Tigers would like a lot less suspense when it comes to their playoff status.
T.R. Miller knows it will have a spot in the postseason field. The Tigers (7-0 overall and 5-0 in Class 4A Region 1) locked up a playoff spot Friday when they came from behind in the fourth quarter to nip Jackson 38-34.
The rest of the formula is pretty simple too. All T.R. Miller has to do to clinch the region championship, a number one seed and a first-round home playoff game is win one of its final two games (this Friday at Hillcrest-Evergreen or next week at home against W.S. Neal) or have second place Thomasville lose one of its final two games. Considering Thomasville's final two games are against region second division teams Monroe County and Southside-Selma, it would be in the Tigers' best interest to take care of their own business.
Many may consider winning the region championship now just a formality since the Tigers and Hillcrest are at opposite ends of the spectrum. While T.R. Miller is unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the state, Hillcrest is 0-7 overall, 0-5 in region play and has been outscored 281-86. The Jaguars are coming off a 47-20 drubbing at W.S. Neal Friday.
If there is a small ray of sunshine that has fallen the Jaguars' way the last couple of weeks, it has been an improved offense. Hillcrest scored just 46 points its first five games, but has since put up 20 points in its last two games against Southside-Selma and W.S. Neal.
The Jaguars went their first five games with eighth grader Justin Nared at quarterback. Hillcrest moved running back Derrick Page (6-0, 172 lb. sr.), who was last year's quarterback, to signal caller against Southside-Selma. Page threw a costly interception that was returned 51 yards late in the game that snapped a 20-20 tie in a 28-20 loss. Last week Nared was reinserted back at quarterback and Page went back to running back.
him at running back, quarterback and wide receiver. We
need to do a good job of
picking up where he is at on the field.”
If the Tigers face Nared at quarterback, Riggs said he is not the usual eighth grader.
Regardless of who the Jaguars use as signal caller, T.R. Miller will need to improve its rush defense that allowed 295 yards rushing against Jackson. Jackson running back Andrew Ezell accounted for 257 yards of those yards on 26 carries. Page and sophomore Derek Smith figure to test the Tigers backfield.
The T.R. Miller coach said his team is in a similar situation to the one when it faced a then winless Straughn team in week five.
season. They probably feel
they don't have anything to lose.”