Blocked PAT sends TRM to semifinals

Published 5:32 pm Monday, November 24, 2008

By By Adam Robinson- Sports Editor
That quote never seemed more true for the T.R. Miller Tiger Friday night in Daleville in their quarterfinal game against the Warhawks on a cold Southern night in Alabama.
After three comeback wins this season, two one-point wins and one three-point win, the T.R. Miller Tigers survived a furious Daleville comeback to win 21-20. The Tigers improve to 13-0 and will advance to the class 3A AHSAA state playoffs next week at home against defending 3A state champ Cordova.
Leading 21-7 with 2:31 left in the game after a Kenneth Fountain 17-yard touchdown run, his second touchdown of the night, Daleville used two plays to go 71 yards and cut the Tiger lead to 21-14 after the PAT with 1:58 left in the game.
Needing an onside kick to get the ball back, Daleville kicker Travis Basso executed a perfect onside kick, which was recovered by the Warhawks at the T.R. Miller 45-yard line.
From there, with one timeout, Daleville used five plays and got two big catches from tight end Chris Stone to set up a 1-yard touchdown run from James Tanner to cut the lead to 21-20 with 58 seconds left.
After running a late man onto the field for the game-tying PAT, a bad snap and fumbled snap on the extra point was blocked by T.R. Miller to preserve the 21-20 lead.
Needing another onside kick to have a chance at a field goal or game-wining touchdown, T.R. Miller's Terez Lane recovered the kick at the Tiger 46-yard line and the Tigers ran out the clock for the one-point win, 21-20.
Leading 14-7 at the half, T.R. Miller ran only 20 plays in the second half with three of the plays coming in the victory formation at the end of the game. The Tigers picked up on four first downs in the second half and had only 107 yards of total offense.
Daleville, on the other hand, held the ball to start the second half for 12 plays and finally had to settle for a punt and the Tigers took over with 5:57 left in the third quarter, but was a quick three-and-out.
Daleville had 344 total yards of offense with 267 coming in the air.
T.R. Miller got on the board first in the game and on its first offensive possession of the night.
But on the first play of the night for the Tigers, senior running back Matt Lane was injured after a five-yard gain on first down and was out the remainder of the night. That forced T.R. Miller to go into its deep selection of running corps on the night.
After picking up a first down on a Daleville penalty, the Tigers got on 11-yard reception from Terez Lane and a 21-yard reception from Anthony Herbert to set up a 26-yard pass reception from Wil Riggs to Bradley McCreary to give T.R. Miller a 7-0 lead after Nick Dorso's PAT with 7:51 left in the first quarter.
The Riggs to McCreary duo has connected for five touchdowns in the past four games.
Neither team scored in the remainder of the first quarter, but Daleville put together a five-play scoring drive to open the second quarter and got a 4-yard touchdown from James Tanner and after the PAT, tied the game at 7-7 with 9:59 left in the half.
After alternation punts on their next two possessions, T.R. Miller used a seven play drive and benefited from a 32-yard from Herbert to set up a 1-yard run from Kenneth Fountain with 41.2 seconds left to give T.R. Miller a 14-7 lead at the half.
In the second half, after a 6-minute offensive drive from the Warhawks that moved the ball down to the Tigers 29-yard line, a trio of T.R. Miller defensive players in Mikey Roye, Sam Sharpe, and Malcolm McMillan sacked the Daleville quarterback on third down and forced a punt.
T.R. Miller's Terez Lane returned the punt from his 5-yard line to the Tigers 26-yard line and set up shop with 5:57 left in the third quarter.
Neither team would score in the third quarter as they Tigers led 14-7.
After alternating punts, T.R. Miller seemed to out the final nail in the coffin when Fountain scored to give T.R. Miller a 21-7 lead with 2:31 left in the game, but Daleville scored two touchdowns in one minute but failed to convert the tying PAT and T.R. Miller won 21-20.
The win over Daleville was also special for T.R. Miller Tiger assistant head coach Marc Edge.
Edge was a Daleville assistant from 1990-1998 was head coach from 1998-2000.
T.R. Miller will now host the 3A southern semi-final game Friday night against Cordova.
Cordova, the defending 3A state champion, defeated Gordo 48-40 Friday night at home. Cordova improved to 10-3 on the season with the win.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Brewton Municipal Stadium.

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