TRM football to travel to Clarke County Friday
After three straight weeks of region play, the No. 3-ranked T.R. Miller Tiger football will travel to Grove Hill this week to take on Clarke County in a non-region game.
Clarke County, who moved up to class 4A, comes into the game with T.R. Miller with a 3-1 record. The Bulldogs started their season off with a 30-0 loss to 5A Jackson. Since the opening loss, Clarke County has defeated Escambia County, Monroe County and most recently Hillcrest 20-14 Friday night.
T.R. Miller is currently 4-0 overall after taking down top-10 ranked Bayside Academy Friday night in Daphne 37-35.
Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said, his team’s win over Bayside was a big win.
“You are looking at a team that won all their regular season games last year,” Riggs said. “They won a bunch of games so they are not going to quit. We knew that they were going to bring whatever they had left at us (after we took the 30-7 lead) and they were pretty good at it.”
Riggs said his team helped Bayside out along the way a little bit down there Friday, but his team this year manages to find a way to win.
“It is not always pretty, but I guess that is better than the alternative,” Riggs said. “It is not real pretty all the time, but we do play hard. If you can go to Daphne and win the game, you ought to be happy. There is not a lot of people doing that now. It was very similar to the other games we have played with them. If you want to see a close and exciting game, this seems to be the one you want to see. We have a lot of respect for them and for what they do. I wish them good luck the rest of the year and hope we don’t have to play them again.”
T.R. Miller and Clarke County have met 32 times on the football field with T.R. Miller winning 29 of those meetings.
The Tigers defeated the Bulldogs 14-6 last year in Brewton.
“They are a typical Clarke County football team,” Riggs said. “We have played them numerous of times over the years. They are always very physical and aggressive on defense. They always have good defensive linemen and always have a good linebacker and are always fast in the secondary. None of that has changed.”
On offense, Riggs said Clarke County shows two options to opposing defenses.
“Offensively, they look like their strength is their running back,” Riggs said. “They look like they are trying to get back to a two-back offense and take advantage of that and go away from the spread a little bit even though they still do a little of the spread offense. It makes us have to prepare for both things.”
Another thing that concerns Riggs is playing Grove Hill.
“They always play lights out over there,” he said. “They play terrific in Grove Hill. We have to understand what it is we are going to be in for. They are going to play, by far, the best game they have played all year. We know that going in. Our challenge is to see if we can patch everybody up and go over there and be in the game in the fourth quarter and find a way to win it. They certainly, I think, have one of the best defenses we have seen this year. They gave up a lot of points to Jackson, which I think is no crime. Other than that, they have not given up many points here in the last month. You go back to our history with them, most of the time, we score two touchdowns and it is a really close game. I look for Friday night to be a similar thing.”
The Tigers lost several players due to injury in the win against Bayside last Friday and will be without some players this week and maybe more.
“We hope we will have everyone back within a month,” Riggs said. “Right now, I don’t know exactly, but I do know that Mooney Nalty, Kyle Davis, and Keion Smith will not play this week. Hopefully we will gradually get some of those back here in the next few weeks and next month to be able to help us some. The good news is we will eventually have all of them back with us. Someone else is just going to have to step up and take up their opportunity.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. Friday in Grove Hill.