Miller scores in final seconds for road win
Published 1:34 pm Monday, October 15, 2007
By By Adam Robinson
JACKSON — T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs considered his team outmatched physically Friday night — but not by courage.
Courage may be what his T.R. Miller Tigers dug down deep and found Friday night as they rallied a 26-20 deficit with 3:34 to go to score with 41 seconds left and added an extra point to win 27-26.
Terez Lane punched in the game winning score, and Chris Griffin added the PAT to improve T.R. Miller to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in region play. Jackson fell to 2-5 and 2-3 in region play.
The winning drive was keyed by a 63-yard Cortez Banks pass reception from Wil Riggs that moved the ball down to the Jackson 11-yard line.
On the ensuing Aggie drive after Miller’s touchdown in the fourth, controversy began. After returning the ball to the 39-yard line with 39.1 seconds, Jackson threw an incomplete pass on first down with 30.5 seconds. On second down, after a lengthy scramble by Hare, Hare connected with Besteda for a 6-yard gain while the scoreboard time had 29 seconds to go.
After a lengthy and heated debate about the clock not running, the referees made it 26 seconds left in the game with Jackson at the 33-yard line. After some more controversial plays and penalties, Jackson looked at a fourth- and-long with .6 seconds left, but was tackled by many Tigers as Miller held on for the key region win 27-26.
After alternating punts on their first two offensive series, T.R. Miller moved the ball into Jackson territory, but turned the ball over on downs at the 23-yard line.
After taking over in their own territory, the Aggies took seven plays to move the ball into Miller territory at the 8-yard line, but an interception the end zone by Bradley McCreary ended the Jackson drive as he returned the ball to the 15-yard line and the first quarter ended with a 0-0 tie.
After having to settle for a punt, the Tigers were aided by a personal foul, roughing the kicker that moved the ball to the 35-yard line. After a 5-yard gain on second down moved the ball to the 40-yard line, Cortez Banks went 60 yards for the Tigers first score as Miller took a 6-0 lead after the blocked PAT with 9:43 left in the half.
Jackson running backs Andrew Ezell and Isiah Boykin went 63 yards on eight plays to take the lead 7-6 after the Mitchell PAT with 5:40 left in the half.
Miller added a late touchdown right before the half and took a 12-7 lead in at the half after the failed two-point conversion.
Jackson would then come out at the half hitting on all cylinders as quarterback Rance Hare went 3-for-3 passing on the drive and Jackson went 62 yards on seven plays to take a 14-12 lead with 8:35 left in the third quarter.
Miller returned the favor as they went 71 yards on 11 plays as Seth Holland punched the ball into the end zone from four yards out as Miller took a 20-14 lead into the fourth quarter.
Jackson put together a 10-play, 88-yard drive to tie the game after a 24-yard touchdown run from Ezell and a questionable 2-point conversion on the PAT to tie the game at 20-20.
T.R. Miller then faced a second-and-eight and fumbled giving Jackson the ball at the Miller 30-yard line. Jackson turned the costly Miller fumble into six points when Damien Bracy rushed 9-yards for the score, but a failed PAT made the score 26-20 Jackson with 3:34 left in the game.
Miller then took the kickoff 16-yards to set up shop at the Jackson 31-yard line. After a six yard loss on first down moved the ball to the 25-yard line, banks went 64 yards to the Aggie 11-yard line after a pass from Riggs. After Terez Lane moved the ball to the 8-yard line on first down, he connected with Holland for a 2-yard pass to move it to the 6- yard line. After a couple of rushing plays moved the ball to the three yard line, the Tigers faced a fourth-and-two needing to get the ball to the 1-yard line for a first down. Lane moved it inside the one for the first down and on the next play into the end zone for the game-winning touchdown with 41 seconds left to make it a 27-26 game after the Griffin PAT.
T.R. Miller will look to stay in the playoff hunt Friday as they face Hillcrest for homecoming at 7 p.m. at Brewton Municipal Stadium.