Tigers travel to Bayside Friday
After starting the 2010 season with a 35-34 loss in overtime to county rival Escambia County, the Tigers of T.R. Miller will travel for their region opener this week to Bayside Academy.
Friday’s season opener loss at Escambia County was the first season opening loss for the Tigers since 2007 and just the fourth in 22 seasons for T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs.
“The first game, you never know what is going to occur as every team is different,” Riggs said. “It was obviously a great game. It was one of those games that as many mistakes and things we did poorly, we still had a chance to win down there at the end of the game. I certainly feel good about that.”
Riggs said he was also proud of the comeback made by his team.
“It was a nice comeback but I wish that we had not had to make the comeback,” Riggs said. “We made it with a couple of minutes left in the game to put us back in the game. The bottom line is we did not do a good job of handling their quarterback and he hurt us running and throwing and the other issue, after looking at film, was we did not do a good job on offense in the third quarter.
“That was about it. It was a great game that we came within about six inches of winning, but we did not get it done.”
This week the Tigers head to a return trip back to Bayside Academy where they had to survive late last year and get a 28-24 win.
“I knew that the Atmore game would come down to the end and it did and I think this will it will come down to the end as well,” Riggs said. “I look for this one to be a very good game and a very tight game. The No. 1 thing about Bayside is that they play so hard.
“They really are very, very well coached and they just do not do anything to beat themselves and they do a great job of using all the skill talent they have. We have got to improve some things from last week to have the opportunity to win this game.”
A couple of the skill positions that return from last year are No. 11, quarterback Camp Campbell who passed for 1,110 yards last season and No. 14 Thomas Buchannon who ran for 500 yards and had 500 yards receiving last year.
“All those return, but they have another player who was injured last season and did not play who was their best player, No. 25, Jonathan Walton,” Riggs said. “He is really big and really fast and they use him in the backfield. They use him on defense as well so we know right now that we have our work cut out for us.
“When you get him involved with all those other guys, and what they were doing, you really have some issues and we have to find a way to handle their offense. If we don’t get better, stop their quarterback and tackle, they hold on to the ball a long time, they will control the game.”
Riggs said he hopes for a good crowd for the first region game this week.
“We need a good crowd to help support our guys,” Riggs said. “It is a region game so it is an important game. We use to play in area games where you only had three or four that affected making the playoffs.
“They would be played third or fourth, then fifth or sixth, then seventh or eighth so you had time to build your team. These days you don’t have time to do that with it starting in week two. It is a little different so your team needs to be further along early to be great and make the playoffs. Now you have to be ready to play.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Bayside Academy.