TRM routs CH for homecoming win
Even as he watched his team celebrate its 55-3 Homecoming conquest of winless Cottage Hill Friday night at Brewton Municipal Stadium, T.R. Miller coach Jamie Riggs wasted little time beginning the countdown.
And it doesn’t take long to count to one.
“We’re 6-0 working toward 7-0,” said Riggs of his team, which spent its first week at the No. 2 spot in the Class 3A rankings after moving up a spot in the latest poll. “We really have a tough second half of the schedule and tonight helped us kick it off in the right direction.”
Riggs’ Tigers, who had played tough opponents in consecutive weeks – they had to hang on late to beat Bayside 37-35 two weeks ago, and needed a strong second half to edge Clarke County 19-7 last week – got a bit of a breather with Region 1 foe Cottage Hill, an undermanned team that has faced plenty of adversity this season. Counting Friday’s contest, Cottage Hill dropped to 0-5 and has now been outscored 236-20.
So Friday provided the Tigers (6-0, 4-0) the opportunity to please a large crowd of Homecoming revelers, but to take one more step toward the goal which, in the short term, is simple. “We want to be a good team by the end of October,” said Riggs, alluding to the time of year when teams in playoff contention must be at their very best.
“In some respects, we can only look at one week at a time,” said Riggs. “But what’s funny about a game like football, especially when you’ve got a program that has had some success, you work hard and set your focus only on the next opponent … but you still have to work on those things that will get you the wins and preparation you need for the playoffs.”
Friday’s win certainly took them one step closer. T.R. Miller rushed for 300 yards, while its defense held its opponent under 100 yards on the grown, with 98. TRM was led by a pair of freshmen in the backfield, with Markail Mitchell rushing for 60 yards on eight carries while Tamerick Jenkins added 42 on seven totes. Jenkins also added a 21-yard catch and run for a touchown.
“We really had a good week of practice,” said Riggs. “Again, our defense played strong and we seem to get better at blocking. Those are certainly two key areas for us, and it’s good to see us trying to get better there each week.”
Even though they didn’t possess the ball for the first nearly eight minutes of the game – Cottage Hill took the opening kickoff and reeled off a 15-play drive that finally stalled at their opponent’s 45-yard line – the Tigers needed one play to start an avalanche of points that completely swallowed up the visitors.
Following an 11-yard punt, Dominique Jackson stirred up the crowd in a hurry. After taking a handoff from quarterback Kevin Davis, Jackson burst through the middle of the Cottage Hill line, burst outside and raced down the sidelines some 64 yards for the score.
Three plays later, as Cottage Hill possessed the ball, Kameron Coleman scooped up a fumble and raced untouched 23 yards for a second touchdown less than a minute later. The second of Trey Salter’s five PATs was perfect, and the Tigers led 14-0.
By the time the second quarter moved to the five-minute mark, the Tigers had already tacked on three more touchdowns. McHenry Coleman culminated a six-play, 64-yard drive with a 22 yard run to make it 21-0. Following a Cottage Hill punt that netted zero yards, Jenkins caught a Kevin Davis pass in the flat and rambled 21 yards for the touchdown.
Then, after the ensuing kickoff, Kardarius Jones stepped in front of a Cottage Hill pass and darted 27 yards with the interception to paydirt and, all of a sudden, the lead had ballooned to 35-0 with just over six minutes left in the half.
The Tigers added one more score before the break, when Jalen Jones broke over from the seven-yard line to make it 42-0 by the half.
By the start of the third quarter, the Tigers had put most of its underclassmen in, and watched as they enjoyed some success as well. Sophomore quarterback Jones Manning rolled to his right looking to pass from the Cottage Hill 25, only to scramble and break free on the opposite side and ramble in for the first touchdown of his high school career. Chardian Johnson’s PAT made it 49-0.
The Tigers finally closed out the scoring with 2:35 left in the third quarter when Markail Mitchell bulled his way in from the five.
Cottage Hill’s only points came on a 40-yard field goal by Triston Quick midway through the final quarter.
“We did a lot of things good tonight,” concluded Riggs. I thought we blocked well and handled our game plan well. I saw us doing some of the things we worked on all week to get better and that was encouraging.
“But, again, we’re 6-0 … just looking to become 7-0.”
The Tigers will get that chance next Friday evening, when they travel to Selma to take on Southside Selma. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
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