Postseason tune-ups: Tigers get stiff test against state-ranked Trinity
Published 6:02 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
They have a rich tradition, a state championship to its credit and a state ranking this season. While all those things apply to the T.R. Miller Tigers, they also apply to the Tigers' final regular season opponent, the Trinity Presbyterian Wildcats.
The two perennial state title contenders will get a stiff postseason tune-up when they collide at Brewton Municipal Stadium Friday at 7 p.m. in the regular season finale for both teams.
While the Tigers (8-1 overall) will try to bounce back from Friday's stunning 42-35 loss to W.S. Neal, their first setback of the season, Trinity also brings an 8-1 record into the game in a much different way. The Wildcats lost their season opener to Montgomery Academy 20-14, but have since reeled off eight wins in a row to capture the Class 4A Region
2 championship with a 7-0 record.
Trinity, which is ranked ninth in the state in Class 4A, was the last team added to T.R. Miller's schedule during the offseason.
The Wildcats survived several close calls early the season when they knocked off Ashford 27-26 in overtime, Elmore County 16-14 and Andalusia 22-21. The Wildcats have since started to hit their stride, as they have wiped out Alabama Christian, Opp and Bullock County over the past three weeks by a combined margin of 99-29.
T.R. Miller's chances will probably depend on how well it handles Trinity wide receiver Zack Shaw (6-3, 195 lb. jr.). Shaw has hauled in 47 catches for 574 yards with four touchdowns. Shaw is also Trinity's second leading rusher with 276 yards on just 36 carries, a 7.7 yards per carry average.
Trinity uses a two-quarterback rotation of Whit Mitchell (6-1, 165 lb. jr.) and Austin Morris (6-5, 190 lb. jr.). Mitchell has completed 62 percent of his passes (73-for-118) for 634 yards and four touchdowns. It is not just Mitchell's throwing that is one of T.R. Miller's concerns. Mitchell is also Trinity's leading rusher with 336 yards. Meanwhile Morris has completed 51 of 99 passes for 591 yards and five touchdowns. Morris is also a threat to run, as he has picked up 215 yards with three touchdowns.
It is not just Trinity's skill that has Riggs concerned.
Riggs said his team has to put the W.S. Neal loss behind it in a hurry.
The T.R. Miller skipper said another key for his team is to not give the opponent short fields on offense on a consistent basis.