Tigers to have first home game
The year was 1989 and T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs was entering his first season as the Tiger coach. That was the last time the Tigers started off the season winless as they went 0-3 before capturing their first win of the season.
After Friday night’s 27-20 region loss for the Tigers at Bayside Academy, the Tigers find themselves at 0-2 as they welcome the Excel Panthers to Brewton for a first time meeting between the two teams.
Riggs said he was disappointed after the game Friday night against Bayside.
“I was disappointed in the fact that we did not look very prepared for the game,” Riggs said. “I was disappointed in that and obviously I have to do some things better than I have been doing in preparing them. That is my job to prepare. I need to be a little smarter or prepare them differently or something to do that.”
Riggs said in his opinion, the Tigers lost the game in the first half.
“We had really good field position three or four times and were not able to do much with it,” Riggs said. “You can’t do that. We got a couple of turnovers and we were set up well and we just did not do much with it. Yet, when it is all said and done, we still have a tie game at halftime. So, as poorly as we played, we still had a tie score.”
Riggs said in the second half his team gave up long runs and long passes.
“You don’t win games when you do that,” Riggs said. “Also, we were still to inconsistent on offense as well at times. We had way too many long third downs and penalties.
“With all those issues though, we still had a chance to win the game at the end. If we can improve some of those things, it will give us a better chance to win some games down the road.
“A lot of our games this year are going to be close, so we have to find a way to win them.”
As for the winless start to the season, the first since 1989, Riggs said if the team has character and toughness they will be fine.
“If we don’t have that, there is nothing nobody can do to help us,” Riggs said. “I certainly think we have the opportunity to do some things well and win some games down the road and hopefully make the playoffs and make a run in the playoffs. We certainly have had times down through the years where we have lost a couple of regular season games and lost some back-to-back games. So, how our season goes will be dictated by us.
“So we need to do something about this Friday night.”
As for this Friday night, the Tigers welcome the Panthers of Excel to town for their home opener.
Excel is currently 1-1 overall and 0-1 in region play after losing to Washington County last week at home 31-15.
“I know first of all that this is a huge game for them,” Riggs said of Excel. “I understand that they are going to play with some intensity and some emotion the fact that they are playing us and we understand that.
“The second thing about them is that they are really big with some good size linemen.”
Riggs said the Panthers do a good job of running the ball on offense.
“They start to cause you to do a lot of preparation for what they do, but they are a great running team,” Riggs said. “They have a big fullback and a shifty tailback. The quarterback does a good job of handling the ball and running the option.
“They don’t turn the ball over much and they are going to make you beat them.
“On defense, they are just real big and they do a good job I think of particularly limiting their opponents run game. They play very hard and we have our work cut out for us to handle what they do.
“They are going to play better and the best game they have played in awhile. We have to be prepared going in to know how tough this is going to be.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at home for the Tigers at Brewton Municipal Stadium.
Tickets are $6 in advance or $7 at the gate.