TRM hopes to change recent past in playoffs

Published 3:01 pm Wednesday, November 5, 2008

By By Adam Robinson- Sports Editor
The year was 1983. After a 9-1 record for the T.R. Miller Tiger football team did not qualify for the state playoffs.
Now, 25 years later in 2008, T.R. Miller is making their 25th straight year of making the playoffs.
The Tigers will take to the field this Friday night at home in round one of the class 3A state playoffs against Dale County.
T.R. Miller comes into their round one game with a perfect 10-0 record and ranked No. 1 in the class 3A polls.
Dale County finished off their 2008 regular season with a 20-15 loss to Cottonwood while T.R. Miller finished off a prefect regular season with a 10-0 record with a 55-0 win over rival W.S. Neal in the Battle of Murder Creek Friday night in Brewton.
Dale County comes into the game against the Tigers with a 6-4 overall record and finished fourth in region 2 with a 4-3 record.
Before the season started this season for Dale County, Todd Horne, Dale County's head football coach for the past two years and a longtime assistant at G.W. Long prior to that, died from injuries suffered in a two-vehicle wreck in Ozark.
Four other Dale County coaches were also involved in the wreck - Chad McKnight, Phillip Locke, Matt Phillips and Drew Danner.
Horne was a 1988 graduate of Dale County, and had taken over his alma mater's football program in 2006 and guided a struggling Warrior program to a 6-14 record. Last year's team finished 2-8.
Wesley Locke took over the coaching duties after the Dale County loss this season.
Aside from the tragedy, coach Riggs said that region 2 was a tough region this year.
Offensively, Riggs said the Warriors are led by quarterback No. 5 Justin Wesley.
Defensively, Riggs said the Warriors have to really great defensive ends that his team needs to take some concern with.
T.R. Miller is 4-0 against Dale County having last played them in 2005 and 2004 when they were in the same region. T.R. Miller also defeated Dale County in the 2001 playoffs in the third round.
From 2000 until 2005, the T.R. Miller Tiger team reached at least the semi-final rounds of the playoffs winning the state championship crowns in 2000 and 2002. As of recent years after that, the Tigers are just 1-2 in the playoffs going 1-1 in 2006 and 0-1 in the 2007 playoffs.
Riggs said that even though everyone has made the playoffs now, regardless of the seeding, everyone starts out 0-0.
This year's playoffs are the first for Dale County since 2002.
Eight of their 10 games have been decided by two touchdowns or less (5-3 record in those games) … only the Daleville game (35-14) has been a lopsided loss and a 34-12 win over Headland is the only lopsided win.
Trey Watson, is leading rusher (was averaging 76 yards a game two weeks ago). Justin Wesley is quarterback and was averaging 63 passing two weeks ago.
Justin Brown is the top receiver (had 14 recceptions, 281 yards, 3 TDs two weeks ago) and Hightower is the top tackler (9.0 average a game two weeks ago.)
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Brewton Municipal Stadium.