Tigers travel to Clarke County
After posting a 22-6 win over previous undefeated Andalusia Friday night on the road, the T.R. Miller Tigers improved to 3-2 overall with the win and will be back in region play this week in Grove Hill against Clarke County.
T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said going into Friday night’s game over Andalusia he knew his team had to play their best game of the year.
“They were coming in undefeated and they have played such good defense we were concerned about moving the ball on them,” Riggs said. “I really thought one of the big differences in the game was we got off to a good start. We stopped Andalusia early and got the ball and went down and scored. That helps you when you are playing away from home to do that and I thought that was a big issue.”
Riggs said the play of his defense was also another issue in the game in a good way.
“We stopped them several times when they were trying to get in,” Riggs said. “They went from running right at us to start the game to trying to spread us out and run the option. So we had to make an adjustment and I was proud of them and I thought that was the best game they had played all year.”
After starting the season 0-2, the Tigers are now on a three game win streak. T.R. Miller has outscored their opponents 132-13 for an average of 44-4.3.
Riggs said his defense has made the necessary changes after the 0-2 start to the season that has really helped in their recent win streak.
“We knew we had to improve some things after the second week of the year,” Riggs said. “We just made a few changes and changed the way we practiced a little bit. Sometimes you just determine that we are going to do something better and everybody from our coaches to our players were determined that we were going to be a better defensive team and we have made some improvements. We have still have a ways to go in some things, but we certainly have made some improvements.
“Even the other night, Andalusia had a good run and before we were giving up too many long runs and passes and you can’t do that stuff. We did at least manage to get them on the ground and made some tackles. So we have made some improvements.”
As for this Friday, the Tigers travel to 2-3 overall Clarke County and 1-2 in region play.
Riggs said the Bulldogs of Clarke County are one of the fastest teams they have seen.
“They have tremendous speed on both sides of the ball,” Riggs said. “They are particularly fast on defense. They just fly to the ball. We have our work cut out for us just in the issue of the difference in their speed. More than anything else, we are going to have to handle that and if we don’t handle that we will have a lot of problems.”
While the Bulldogs may have a losing record so far, they have played a tough schedule losing to No. 1 Jackson in class 4A and to two of the top teams in class 3A region 1 Trinity and Bayside Academy.
“They have played a really tough schedule and have lost three of those games,” Riggs said. “They are certainly coming on and every time we have ever played them, they really play tough over there (at home). They are so difficult.
“Years ago we pulled out the game late over there and we have lost to them over there a couple of times where they played terrific. We understand what it is going to take to get a victory.”
While earlier in the year, T.R. Miller football was the first team to reach 600 wins in the state of Alabama.
With a win Friday, Riggs will claim his 250th overall coaching victory. Currently Riggs is 249-68 five games into his 25th overall season. Riggs is 237-49 overall at T.R. Miller in 22 seasons.
“I must be old,” Riggs said with a laugh. “You don’t know any young people that have 250 victories. If we do manage to get that at some point, I think it just goes to prove that if you coach long enough, anything can happen.”
Game time Friday night is set for 7 p.m. in Grove Hill.