TRM hopes to end round two struggles
Fresh off a 55-20 win over Abbeville in round one of the AHSAA class 3A state playoffs Friday night in Brewton, the No. 7-ranked T.R. Miller Tigers set their sights to round two and a road trip to Midfield.
The Tigers come into the game with a 10-1 record after Friday’s 35-point win. Midfield enters the game with a 7-3 record.
Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said his team starting fast against Abbeville Friday night and can use a good start this Friday in round two.
“In the playoffs, any playoff victory is a good victory,” Riggs said. “So I was pleased. I thought we really came out early and played well. I thought we relaxed a little bit at halftime and gave up a few plays and made a few mistakes. Overall, it was a good victory. Abbeville turned the ball over to us several times in the second quarter and that was something we wanted to do. We wanted to try and create some turnovers. We were able to get some points off those turnovers. They had some injuries and had lost some folks, but they still had some excellent players. I was just glad to get the game won. I thought we did fine.”
As for Midfield this week in round two, the Patriots started the year 2-3, but has since went 5-0 and has only allowed 26 points over that five-game span while scoring 219.
Midfield defeated Gordo on the road in round one 35-14.
The game with T.R. Miller will only be Midfield’s fourth home game this season and are 2-1 in their three games prior.
The two teams have met twice on the field with both games coming in the playoffs. T.R. Miller is 2-0 and won the last meeting against Midfield 28-14 in round two at Midfield.
Midfield’s Courtney Foy (No. 4) was recently named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Offensive Player of the Week
Foy amassed 425 yards – a season-high 280 yards rushing on 17 carries to go with five catches for 145 yards– in a 35-14 victory over Gordo. He scored on runs on 70 and 55 yards, as the Patriots pulled away in the second half.
“Midfield lost two region games earlier in the year and they lost to Wenonah, which is a bigger school, in week one,” Riggs said. “So they have lost some games earlier in the year, but have since went on a good streak here now. During that streak, they certainly improved a good bit offensively. They are doing a good job of blocking and running the ball now. They have that ability to run and throw the ball and are much-improved having shown by the scores they put up. No one has scored many points on them the second half of the year at all. They have been very solid on defense stopping people’s running games and being able to slow people’s passing games.”
Riggs said their win over Gordo Friday night was big and Gordo is a really good team.
“That was a big victory for them to go on the road and get the victory,” Riggs said. “We certainly have a great challenge here. I certainly don’t have any doubt that we are going to have to be better at some things than we have been at any time this year.”
Another thing Riggs and the Tigers will have to be better at their play in round two games as of late.
After making six straight trips to at least the semifinals from 2000-2005 and making 11-out-of-12 trips from 1994-2005, the Tigers have only made it to the semifinals once after the 2005 season.
The Tigers lost in the first round in 1999 and lost in the first round in 2007. In 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2011, the Tigers have lost in the second round. T.R. Miller lost in round two last year to Handley 21-19, Trinity in 2010, Luverne in 2009 and Elmore County in 2006.
“We have certain rules in the playoffs and we cannot violate those rules,” Riggs said of the recent round two games. “It is just a matter of going and playing well and not letting anything bother you. I don’t really think of it that way. I think of it as doing what we are supposed to be doing and winning playoff games. I think we don’t need to let anything bother us on the road and do a good job of handling our trip. This time of the year, we should be playing our best football and I think that is what we need to do. If we do those things, hopefully we will be in the game at the end of the game. That is what you hope for in the playoffs and then we go on and win the game. Last year we were in the game at the end of the game, we just could not find that way to get the lead and win the game. Hopefully this year we have a better concept of that.”
According to the AHSFHS.org Website, T.R. Miller is 11-5 on the road in the second round while Midfield is 2-2 at home in the second round.
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Midfield.