Tigers defeat Jaguars in region play

Published 2:16 pm Tuesday, October 23, 2007

By By Earl McKenzie
sports reporter

A large homecoming crowd watched Friday night as the T.R. Miller Tigers knocked off the visiting Hillcrest Jaguars 43-25. The Tigers improved to 5-3 overall and more importantly, 4-2 in region play. The Jaguars fell to 2-6 and 2-4 in area play.
Hillcrest won the coin toss and elected to defer their choice until the second half. TRM took the opening kickoff and started the first possession of the night on the 44-yard line. The Jaguar defense forced the Tigers to punt after making one yard on their first three plays. Seth Holland’s 41-yard punt rolled dead on the Jags 14-yard line.
After gaining one yard on first down, the Jaguars had an errant snap on second down. Freshman quarterback Justin Nared fell on the ball in the end zone for a safety. The Tigers lead 2-0 with nine minutes and 23 seconds remaining in the first half. TRM would never trail during the contest.
Following the free kick by Hillcrest, TRM began its first touchdown drive of the night. Beginning on the Jaguars 43, the Tigers, aided by two pass interference calls, covered the distance in eight plays. The score came on a five-yard run by Cortez Banks. Chris Griffin’s kick gave the Tigers a 9-0 lead with 7:02 showing on the first quarter clock.
The Tiger defense then forced the Jags to punt after netting five yards on three plays. The 20-yard punt set the TRM squad up at midfield. The Tigers used a mix of runs and passes to cover the 50 yards in six plays. The touchdown came on a 19-yard pass from Will Riggs to Holland. The Tigers led 19-0 following Griffin’s kick.
The Jaguars began their next possession on the 20 after Griffin’s kickoff rolled into the end zone for a touchback. Hillcrest picked up two first downs before the TRM defense stiffened and forced a punt from the 40.
The first quarter came to a close with the Tigers in command with a 19-0 lead and with the ball. TRM failed to pick up a first down and dropped into punt formation. Holland’s punt was fumbled and Brandon Jackson recovered for the Tigers at the Jaguar 23.
On first down, Matt Lane ran for 13 yards and a first down at the 10. Holland then covered the remaining 10 yards for the Tigers third touchdown. Griffin was once again good on the kick and TRM held a commanding 23-0 lead.
The ensuing kickoff sailed out of bounds and the Jaguars took possession on the 35-yard line.
The Jags drove the ball to the Tiger 19-yard line in 10 plays but on 4-and-6, a pass play lost seven yards and the Tigers took over on downs.
Banks carried the ball for nine yards on first down. Lane then took the ball around the left side of the line for 65 yards and another Tiger touchdown.
The kick by Griffin increased the TRM lead to 30-0 with 4:21 remaining in the first half.
The Jaguars began their next possession on the 37-yard line. On first down, Nared connected with William Ferguson for a 63-yard scoring strike to cut the Tiger lead to 30-6. The 2-point conversion attempt failed with 3:57 on the clock.
The Tigers answered with a four-play 68-yard drive highlighted by a 59-yard run by Lane to the Jaguar one. Terez Lane scored on a quarterback keeper from the one. The kick by Griffin with 2:02 remaining gave the Tigers a 37-6 lead.
Hillcrest then answered Miller’s score with an 85-yard kickoff return by Malcolm Rudolf. John Dees’ kick trimmed the TRM lead to 37-13 with 1:46 still remaining in the half.
TRM took the kickoff and picked up a couple of first downs and ran the remaining time off the clock. The Tigers went into the locker room leading 37-13.
The Jaguars received the ball to begin the second half and drove from their own 38 to the Tiger 22 before turning the ball over on downs.
TRM then began with the ball on the 22. Once again mixing up the pass and runs, the Tigers drove downfield in nine plays. The Tigers’ final score of the game came on an 18-yard pass from W. Riggs to M. Lane. A fake 2-point conversion try by Griffin failed and the Tigers led 43-13.
Hillcrest failed to pick up a first down on their next three plays but on fourth-and nine from the 38, Ferguson took off on a fake punt and rambled 62 yards for a Jaguar touchdown with 2:29 remaining in the third quarter. Once again, the Jaguars failed to make the 2-point conversion and TRM led 42-19.
Neither team threatened to score on offense the remainder of the game. Hillcrest’s final touchdown came on a bizarre play.
With TRM in possession and in punt formation, the snap was high. Corey Rilling was able to get the kick off under pressure, but the ball did not make it to the line of scrimmage. Hillcrest’s Aaron Dees took the ball on a bounce and ran untouched into the end zone for the final score of the evening with 28 seconds remaining. The Jaguars were once again unable to convert the two-point try and the final score was 43-25.
Matt Lane led the Tiger offense with 166 yards rushing on 10 carries. Banks added 50 yards on eight carries.
W. Riggs completed five of 16 passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns. Holland led the receivers with three catches for 54 yards and one touchdown. He also had one rushing touchdown.
Ferguson led the Jaguars with 62 yards on one carry. Derrick Smith had five carries for 39 yards.
Nared completed 10 of 28 passes for 139 yards and one touchdown.
The Tigers will travel to W.S. Neal next week to face the Blue Eagles in the annual Battle of Murder Creek.

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