Home game not all good for Miller, Neal
Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – SPORTS EDITOR
Home playoff games this week for T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal football fans are certainly a good thing from a convenience standpoint as compared to what the alternatives could have been.
T.R. Miller could have been looking at about a 150-mile trip to the Georgia border to play Ashford, while W.S. Neal could have had almost a 200-mile trip to Dadeville.
When it comes to the game on the field, road trips for both teams might not have been all bad.
For whatever reason, both the Tigers and Blue Eagles have performed better on the road than they have at home this season.
T.R. Miller's lone loss this season came at home against W.S. Neal while it has a 5-0 record away from home. W.S. Neal is a perfect 6-0 on the road this season as compared to 3-2 at home.
While Riggs said that with some sarcasm, he also said it with a lot of truth. The Tigers' defense has given up an average of only 14.8 points a game in their five road contests, but a robust average of 25.2 points a game at home. Take away the first two home games against Southside-Selma and Monroe County, T.R. Miller has given up an average of 31.3 points a game over its last four home contests.
W.S. Neal's offense is averaging 38.9 points a game overall for the season, but there is also a big disparity how that unit has performed at home and on the road.
The Blue Eagles are averaging a whopping 45.5 points a game on the road, as compared to 31 points a game at home.
T.R. Miller's road-home disparity goes beyond this season. The Tigers have won 16 of their last 17 and 25 of their last 27 games away from home. Both of those setbacks came in playoff semifinal games at Pike County in 2003 and 2005. T.R. Miller has dropped five home games during that time. That list includes Pike County in 2003, Oneonta in 2004, Slocomb and Pike County in 2005 and W.S. Neal this season.
Meanwhile the Blue Eagles are just 7-8 at home over the last three seasons and each of W.S. Neal's biggest wins during that time have been on the road.
The Blue Eagles won at state-ranked Southern Choctaw in 2004, Trinity Presbyterian in 2005 and T.R. Miller this season.