Surprise at Straughn|Tigers lose close region game to Straughn

Published 7:15 am Tuesday, October 20, 2009

By By Justin Schuver
special to the standard

ANDALUSIA — Straughn’s Josh Dewrell scored the game-winning touchdown with 1:42 remaining as the home-standing Tigers upset No. 1 T.R. Miller 28-21.
Straughn’s Riley Watson helped seal the victory when he picked off a Wil Riggs pass with 1:21 left, returning it to the Miller 26.
Straughn (5-3, 5-1 in Class 3A, Region 1) went out to a 14-6 lead at halftime, taking advantage of its ball-control offense to keep Miller’s defense on the field. In the first half, Straughn ran 31 plays for 176 yards while Miller (7-1, 5-1) ran just 15 plays for 75 yards.
Straughn took a 6-0 lead when Dewrell scored from 2 yards out with 6:28 left in the first quarter. The drive included two fourth-down conversions.
On Miller’s next possession, Straughn appeared to have shifted momentum when Drew Jones recovered a fumble on the Miller 41.
But on the very next play, Dewrell threw an interception to Miller’s Terez Lane, who returned it 50 yards to the Straughn 30. Anthony Herbert then scored on a 30-yard touchdown run, but Miller missed the extra point and the score remained tied.
Straughn had a response of its own, putting together an eight-play, 65-yard drive that ended when Eric Samuel ran for a 6-yard touchdown. Samuel also ran for the two-point conversion to put Straughn up 14-6.
Miller tied the game with 6:49 left in the third quarter when Riggs ran for a 20-yard touchdown and then threw a two-point conversion pass to Lane.
Straughn and Miller then exchanged scoring drives — Dewrell ran for a 4-yard touchdown and Riggs threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Kori Jackson.
With the game tied at 21-21 with 5:41 left, Miller elected to try an onside kick following Jackson’s touchdown. The visiting Tigers were flagged for illegal touching, and Straughn got the ball on midfield — setting up Dewrell’s game-winning drive.
Riggs said he felt the onside kick was a risk worth taking.
Riggs added that the next few weeks would show what his team is “made of.”
Miller hosts Choctaw County for homecoming Friday. Game time is 7 p.m.

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