TRM football to travel to Opp Friday for first region game
While the T.R. Miller Tiger football team earned a big 50-18 win over the Escambia County Blue Devils of Atmore Friday night to start the season, Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs expects a different kind of contest this week when his Tigers hit the road to face the Opp Bobcats. It will be the first region game of the season for both teams.
“It is always good to beat Atmore,” Riggs said. “We have played them a lot and it has been a pretty close series over the years. We knew coming into the game that they were young. I thought they had a good plan for us and they certainly caused us some problems with their passing game.”
Riggs said Atmore did a good job of using their skill people.
“Their quarterback is a good player and he did a good job,” Riggs said. “The difference in the game to me was depth. We just had a little bit more depth than they did. It showed in the second quarter down there. Overall, I was pleased with where we were to open the regular season. There are certainly a lot of things to work, but there were some good things too. For the most part, during the course of the night, we ran to the ball pretty good on defense. Offensively, we rushed the ball pretty good. We certainly did not block everyone like we would have liked too but I don’t think too many people do that this time of the year. We are going to get out there this week and get after it and improve on some things.”
As for the Bobcats of Opp, they coming off a 42-6 win over the Elba Tigers in week one.
“I think Opp is going to have the best team they have had in several years,” Riggs said. “I think they have four of the best top-12 players that we have in this region. No. 35 for them (Quantavise Stoudemire) is their big linebacker. They have three good linebackers. No. 35, No. 11 (Ty’Keenan White) and No. 23 (Derek Savage). Those are three of the best players in our region right there. No. 7, Orlando Lacey, won the track meet last year in the 200-meters, he has the ability because he is so fast. They can mess it up and not block some people and because he is so fast, he can get 10-12 yards out of it. They have got some folks. They have a 6-5 defensive tackle who is a good player and we know that.”
Last year in Brewton, T.R. Miller defeated Opp 21-7.
“The second thing we know is in addition of them being well-coached, they are one of the toughest teams in our region,” Riggs said. “They are tough and we knew that going into last year. The third thing is we understand that we have to go play on the road and they are at home which increases their chances in the game. We also know they have a great desire to beat us. This is a game we know they have pointing to and we know we are going to get their best game. It is going to be up to us to respond to that. If we can handle the trip and the crowd and playing on the road and knowing they are going to play every down, and can still find a way to win…that is a good sign.”
Riggs said if his team falls to Opp, the season is not over.
“It is going to be a region loss, but I think whoever wins our region, is going to have a good chance of having one loss this year anyway,” he said.
Riggs, who just started his 25th year at T.R. Miller and 28th overall, comes into the game with Opp with an overall record of 274-75. Riggs went 12-19 with Opp from 1986-1988. One more win will give him 275 overall wins.
“If you have that many wins, you have to be pretty old,” Riggs said. “I don’t know how you can not be old and have that many wins. That is all just about T.R. Miller and the mixture of people we have had involved over the years in administration, to the coaches here and the players here. Without that good mixture it does not work. I have been really fortunate to have a lot of good folks I have been able to work with and the parents.
“That also includes Quarterback Club members. (Opp head coach and former T.R. Miller assistant) Jack Whigham was one of those. I guess it is nice to be old and still be around.”
On its roster, Opp has 16 seniors and 17 juniors.
“Playing this kind of region game early, we are going to have to go out and play at a very high level to win this game,” Riggs said. “We are going to have to be really good from the get-go.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. in Opp.
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