Miller has first losing season in 25 years

Published 5:14 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2007

By By Adam Robinson – sports editor
For the first time in 25 years, the T.R. Miller Tigers suffered a losing season this year. The Tigers ended their season with a 34-14 loss to the Handley Tigers Friday night in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
T.R. Miller opened up its season with a 36-7 loss to Clarke County at home and then alternated wins and losses for a couple games before winning back-to-back games against Monroe County and Straughn. The Tigers then lost to Thomasville before winning back-to-back games against Jackson and Hillcrest and then losing three in a row to end the season.
T.R. Miller will lose 13 seniors from this year's team.
T.R. Miller had three linemen who started the year seniors - Fred Samuel, Sam Pendergrass and Wes McLellan - who will be missed. Brandon Andrews will be missed at the wide out and defensive back position, as he was a first-year player for the Tigers.
Chris Griffin was the Tigers' kicker, and Will Waters had a great year at tight end and linebacker, Riggs said. “Will really made a lot of progress from last year,” Riggs said. “Seth Holland had a great year for us. Seth did a good job punting for us and we moved him to secondary during the season as he made some plays and helped us out there. He made some big plays on offense for us and was very valuable for us.”
Luis Baragan, Blake Crosby, Josh Fox, Justin Gardner and Burt Smith helped out on defense and added some depth, Riggs said.
While the Tigers lose 13 seniors, most of the skill people will be returning next year. Seth Holland, who was the leading receiver for the Tigers with 310 yards and three touchdowns, will be the only leading offensive player that will not return. Holland, the Tigers' punter, averaged 33.8 yards a kick.
Two of the top running backs for the Tigers will be back next year, Matt Lane and Cortez Banks.
Lane had 841 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior, and Banks had 540 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore.
Both quarterbacks will be back next year, John Mathieu and Wil Riggs. Mathieu, who was sidelined with an injury most the year, had 520 yards passing with one touchdown, and Riggs had 838 yards and seven touchdowns.
After losing Holland in the receiving corps, Terez Lane returns next year. Lane had 268 yards and one touchdown receiving as a sophomore.
T.R. Miller scored 166 points in region play for an average of 23.7 while giving up 129 for an average of 18.4. Miller scored 237 points overall and gave up 239 for an average of 21.5-21.7.
Scheduling is a mystery right now for not only the Tigers, but all teams, as reclassification takes place this year. Classes are based on enrollment. Miller may slip to 3A and that will affect region and non-region games.
If the Tigers fall to 3A, the Battle of Murder Creek will be in week 10 if Neal stays 4A because it won't be a region game.

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