Tigers gear up for stiff test with Elmore County
Published 7:46 pm Wednesday, November 15, 2006
By BY BRUCE HIXON – sports editor
Things fell just right for the T.R. Miller Tigers to draw a Greene County team in the opening round of the playoffs that had the worst record of any team in the Class 4A postseason field.
It will get much tougher for T.R. Miller from here on out starting with this Friday's 7 p.m. second-round home game against the Elmore County Panthers.
While the Tigers (10-1) rolled past Greene County 55-28 in the opening round, Elmore County (8-3) advanced with a 28-10 win over Ashford.
The Panthers, who finished runner-up to Cleburne County in Region 3 with a 6-1 mark, field one of the better offensive units T.R. Miller has seen. Elmore County is averaging 32 points a game and has scored at least 30 points five times this season.
Quarterback Matt Worthy (6-0, 185 lb. sr.) is not only the centerpiece of the Panthers' passing attack, but their ground game as well. Worthy has completed 45 of 92 passes for 716 yards with eight touchdowns. Worthy is also Elmore County's second-leading rusher with 372 yards.
Worthy and running back Laron Butler (5-7, 150 lb. soph.) are the only Elmore County rushers with at least 120 yards for the season. Butler has racked up a team-high 756 yards, an average of 6.5 yards per attempt and scored a team-high 13 touchdowns.
Elmore County's receiving game is led by Willie McDowell (6-3, 185 lb. sr). McDowell has caught 24 balls for 397 yards and six touchdowns. Daniel Stanley is the second leading rusher with 12 receptions for 207 yards and three scores.
T.R. Miller recorded its highest scoring game of the season against Greene County where it registered 464 yards of total offense.
The Tigers' offensive output included a four-touchdown night by Justin Gomez. Gomez has scored 19 touchdowns in the last five weeks and has recorded 27 scores for the season.
The T.R. Miller-Elmore County winner will play the Fayette County (10-1)-Andalusia (8-3) winner next week in the quarterfinals. If the Tigers win, they will host Fayette County and travel to Andalusia.