Miller falls to Handley's running game

Published 4:42 pm Monday, November 12, 2007

By By Adam Robinson – sports editor
T.R. Miller knew what was coming at them. They knew that to win the game, they would have to stop the run game.
That task seemed a little too much, along with the combination of the struggle of their own run game, as T.R. Miller suffered a 34-14 loss to the Handley Tigers on Friday night in Handley at Wright Field in Roanoke.
Three Handley running backs broke the 100-yard mark and Handley accumulated 29 first downs in the game and held the visiting Tigers of Brewton to only 109 yards rushing and 13 first downs.
With the win, Handley improved to 10-1 and advances to the second round of the playoffs. Miller fell to 5-6 and ended its season.
It was the first win for Handley over T.R. Miller as Miller had won the previous four games, all in Roanoke and in the playoffs. It was also the first losing season for a T.R. Miller team since the 1981 2-8 team.
After taking the opening kickoff to the 31-yard line, Handley set up shop and put together a nine-play, 69-yard drive that ended with a 37-yard touchdown when Darius Finely scored from 37-yards out to give Handley a 7-0 lead after Ladarius Phillips added the PAT with 7:50 left in the first quarter.
After returning the ball to the 44-yard line, T.R. Miller would then fumble on third down as Handley recovered the ball at the Miller 46-yard line.
Handley then added to its lead when Phillips scored from 11 yards out as Handley took a 13-0 lead after the failed PAT with 3:44 to go in the first quarter.
The Tigers then set up shop at the 38-yard line. After picking up nine yards on their first two downs and an illegal procedure call moved the ball back to the 42-yard line, the Tigers faced a fourth and short. After calling on the punt team, Matt Lane took the fake punt 56 yards to the end zone to cut the Handley lead to 13-7 after the Chris Griffin PAT with 2:36 left in the first quarter.
Handley them put together another time-consuming drive as they drove down the field to the Tiger 3-yard line. After no yards on the first down, a Miller penalty moved the ball to the two-yard line. After a 1-yard gain on second down moved the ball to the one, Handley failed to gain on third down and faced a fourth-and-one. Handley tried a quarterback sneak up the middle, but the Miller defense held their ground and took over on downs at their own 1-yard line with 10:11 left in the second quarter.
After a Tiger punt to the 41-yard line, Handley started at the Miller 39-yard line and drove to the Miller 4-yard line, but the Miller defense forced a fumble into the end zone and recovered for a touchback.
After driving to the Handley 12-yard line, the Tigers faced a fourth-and-two, but turned the ball over on downs with 2:48 left before halftime.
Handley then put together a seven-play drive as Phillips scored from the 1-yard line to give Handley a 20-7 lead with 28 seconds left in the half.
T.R. Miller would get the ball to start the second half, but went four and out and was forced to punt.
Handley then added to its lead as Shaquille Trammell scored from 44-yards out to give Handley a 27-7 with 8:09 left in the third quarter.
After having to punt on their next offensive series, the Miller Tiger defense forced another Handley fumble and stopped the Tigers at the Miller 4-yard line.
Miller was unable to get any points on the board after the Handley turnover as Miller turned the ball over on downs with 11:33 left in the fourth.
After exchanging fumbles on their next offensive series, Handley added its last touchdown of the night with a 1-yard touchdown from Roy Whitlow as Whitlow made it a 34-7 game with 6:54 left in the fourth.
T.R. Miller added the last points of the game as quarter Wil Riggs connected with Terez Lane in the passing game to move the ball to the Handley 13-yard line.
On fourth down, Cortez Banks took a reverse and went 13-yards for the Tigers final score to cut the lead to 34-14 late in the fourth.
Handley ran out the clock for the win.
Terez Lane finished as the top offensive player for T.R. Miller with 198 total yards including 180 receiving. Matt Lane finished with 73 yards rushing and one touchdown to lead Miller.
Riggs said his team persevered through the season despite injuries.