Thomasville too much for Miller

Published 12:50 pm Sunday, October 7, 2007

By By Earl McKenzie
special to the standard

The visiting Thomasville Tigers, ranked No. 4 in 4A football, were too much for the hometown T.R. Miller Tigers and left Brewton with a 42-23 region victory Friday night.
Thomasville improved to 5-1, 4-0 in region play, on the season after losing to powerful 1-A Sweet Water in the season opener. T.R. Miller fell to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in region play.
After trading punts to begin the game, Miller began its second drive on its own 36-yard line. Three plays failed to pick up a first down, but Miller ran a fake punt with Matt Lane taking the short snap and running 38 yards for the initial first down of the game. After an offside penalty on Thomasville, John Mathieu hit Cortez Banks with an 18-yard gain for a first down at the Thomasville five-yard line. Two plays later, Mathieu connected with Terez Lane in the back of the end zone for the first score of the game. Following the conversion by Chris Griffin, Miller led 7-0 with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Thomasville received the kickoff and began its first scoring drive of the game on the 32-yard line. The seven-play drive concluded with a 1-yard run by Roya Campbell with 2:46 left in the opening quarter. The conversion by Jimmie Lewis knotted the score at 7-7.
Following a 17-yard kickoff return by Seth Holland, Miller began its second scoring drive on the 36-yard line. After losing a yard on first down, Mathieu hit Terez Lane with a 16-yard pass to the Thomasville 49. Runs of three yards by Banks and 10 yards by Matt Lane and a 17-yard pass from Mattieu to Bradley McCreary gave the Miller Tigers a first down at the 19 as the first quarter came to an end. After picking up a first down at the eight, the drive stalled and Griffin entered the game to kick a 22-yard field goal and put Miller on top 10-7 with 9:06 remaining in the first half.
An eight-play, 70-yard drive capped by a 14-yard pass from Stephen Rogers to Tysean Thompson gave Thomasville its first lead, which they never relinquished, with 6:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Miller took the following kickoff and began another drive but Mathieu was intercepted by Campbell at the Miller 43. The turnover, the only one of the game for Miller, proved costly as the visitors capitalized with a touchdown five plays later. The score came on a 37-yard run by James White. Lewis' conversion was good, and Thomasville led 21-10 with 3:03 remaining in the half.
The Miller Tigers were held to three downs and a punt on the ensuing possession. Holland's punt was taken by William Buford on the Thomasville 27-yard line. Buford's return to the Miller 27 gave Thomasville excellent field position. On first down, Rogers found Campbell open for a 16-yard gain to the Miller 11. McCreary then stepped in front of a Rogers pass for an interception. Miller ran the remaining time off the clock and trailed 21-10 at the intermission.
Thomasville accepted the second-half kickoff and the teams traded punts on consecutive possessions. Thomasville's second possession netted seven more points. The drive included a 39-yard run by White and was capped by a 29-yard pass from Rogers to Kenneth Sanders. The conversion attempt by Lewis was good and Thomasville led 28-10 with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter.
After failing to gain a first down, Miller once again punted to Thomasville. Holland's punt of 35 yards rolled dead on the Thomasville 31. Eight plays later, Campbell found the end zone on a 12-yard run and, following the conversion by Lewis, Thomasville led 35-10 with 26.6 seconds left in the third period of play.
Following the kickoff, the Miller defense stiffened and held Thomasville to just four yards on three downs. On fourth and six from the 25, Thomasville fumbled the long snap and the Miller punt team tackled the punter on the 15.
TRM needed two plays to cover the 15 yards with Terez Lane gaining 14 up the middle on first down. He then lined up at quarterback and ran the sneak in from the one to cut the lead to 35-23, following the conversion by Griffin.
Any hopes of another miracle comeback, like the Miller team had last season at Thomasville, ended when Delyonte Harris took a handoff and ran 56 yards for the last score of the game. The conversion by Lewis made the final score 42-23.
Banks led the Tiger rushing attack with 56 yards on 16 carries. Matt Lane added 54 yards on eight carries and Terez Lane carried the ball three times for 20 yards.
Matthieu completed eight of 15 passes, had one touchdown and one interception.
Banks also caught three passes for 57 yards. Terez Lane caught two passes for 20 yards and one TD.
White led THS with 129 yards rushing on eight carries and had one TD. Thompson caught six passes for 81 yards and one TD.
T.R. Miller head coach Jamie Riggs said he was "proud of our bunch."
"We played as well as we could," Riggs said. "We just made too many errors and gave up too many good plays. Thomasville is an outstanding team."
"A few grew up tonight," Riggs said of the many underclassmen the Tigers have playing this year. "We never gave up, and that bodes well for the future."
The Tigers will travel to Jackson next week for another region contest.

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