Tigers live life in the fast Lane

Published 12:50 pm Monday, October 20, 2008

By By Adam Robinson – Sports Editor
In a battle of undefeated region teams and a pair of top-five ranked teams, the T.R. Miller Tigers claimed an early 28-0 lead over the Straughn Tigers Friday night in Brewton en route to a 49-35 region win. The homecoming victory claimed the class 3A region 1 championship for the Tigers.
T.R. Miller senior Matt Lane had a game to remember as he rushed for 269 yards on the ground on 20 carries and had three touchdowns.
Lane's yardage helped lead T.R. Miller to 416 total yards on the ground and 452 total yards of offense while collecting 24 first downs.
The potent Straughn offense scored 28 points in the fourth quarter which made the score closer than it seemed. The Tigers had a 35-7 first half lead with 17 first downs and 321 total yards of offense to Straughn's six first downs and 104 yards of offense.
T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said the tone of his offense to start the game set up the big win for T.R. Miller.
Riggs' impression that the Tigers set the tone early was confirmed by Straughn head coach Trent Taylor.
T.R. Miller came into the game ranked No. 1 in the state and Straughn came in ranked No. 3. Both teams were undefeated overall and in the region and both supporting high scoring offenses. Even with the high offenses, T.R. Miller Tiger defensive coordinator Chris Baxter said he was proud of his Tiger defense.
T.R. Miller got on the board early and often in the first half. Matt Lane put the Tigers on the board first with a 36-yard touchdown play with 10:37 left to go in the first quarter to give T.R. Miller and early 7-0 after Nick Dorso's PAT. Dorso connected on all seven of his tries on the night.
T.R. Miller took a 14-0 lead with 2:02 left in the first quarter after another Lane touchdown, this one a 13-yard run.
With 10:49 left in the first half, the Tigers of Brewton struck again, this time with a 14-yard run from Cortez Banks to give the Tigers a 21-0 lead.
After the Tigers defense stopped Straughn again, Lane added to his huge numbers and gave Miller a 28-0 lead with 7:43 left in the first half when he scored from 89 yards out.
Lane said the Tigers were mainly going to mix it up, but when they saw the run was going to work they just kept with it.
It was a great night. It was a great homecoming game and a great victory. It is wonderful coming off last season. It is just great.”
While that would be the last of Lane's three touchdowns in the first half, Straughn cut the Tigers lead to 28-7 when Eric Samuel scored from 16-yards outs.
After the Straughn touchdown, Kenneth Fountain added another fist half touchdown for the Tigers at the 1:04 mark as he scored form 1-yard out to give Miller a 35-7 halftime lead.
Miller came out of the second half and got a 22-yard touchdown reception from Wil Riggs to Corey Rilling to go ahead 42-7 with 5:01 left in the third quarter.
After the score form Miller, Straughn out three consecutive scoring drives together, a 21-yard run from Samuels, a 3-yard run from Samuels, and a 32-yard one-handed pass reception from quarterback Ryne Taylor to Jakim Felton to cut the Miller lead to 42-28 with 6:29 left in the fourth quarter.
After the three touchdowns by Straughn, T.R. Miller put the final nail in the coffin for the Tigers of Straughn when Fountain scored his second touchdown of the night with 2:16 left in the game to give Miller a 49-28 lead.
Straughn would add a late touchdown, a 5-yard run form Andrew Stokes to cut the final score to 49-35, but Miller was able to hand on for the 14-point win and stay undefeated at 8-0 and 6-0 in the region while Straughn fell to 7-1 and 5-1 in the region.
Tiger offensive coordinator Eddie Brundidge thanked the offensive line for the Tigers big offensive numbers on the night.
Tiger offensive line coach Daniel Wilson said he was proud of the way his line answered Straughn's challenge on defense.
While he was proud of the win, Riggs said he was not shocked of Trough's 28-point fourth quarter.
T.R. Miller will be back on the road next week when they take on Choctaw County of Butler. Game time is set for 7 p.m.

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