TRM football at home against Bayside Friday night
After two straight weeks of playing on the road, the T.R. Miller Tiger football team will be back home at Brewton Municipal Stadium this week when they face area rival Bayside Academy.
T.R. Miller, the No. 3-ranked team in class 3A as of press time, is currently 3-0 this season after knocking off the Excel Panthers 54-14 Friday night in Excel. The Tigers are 2-0 in region play.
As for the game with the Panthers, Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said anytime you can go on the road against a good region team and come back with a win, it is always good.
“I thought the real difference in the game, particularly in the second quarter, we had some good kicking game plays between some good kickoffs with a couple getting in the end zone,” Riggs said. “Then some would not get in the end zone and they would have to run it and we made some good tackles deep in Excel territory. We had a good punt return later in the game and that lead to us getting the football around midfield and I thought that was the difference in the game. We spent most of the second quarter playing in Excel territory.”
Of T.R. Miller’s nine overall possessions in the game, seven began in Excel territory.
“That is a big deal and the real difference of the game,” Riggs said. “That is the recipe for success if you can do that. Our defense got three-and-outs for us and the offense was able to cash in. That is the way you would like all three phases of the game to work together. Excel is an improved team though. They are a stronger and more physical team than they were last year, no doubt. They are certainly doing some things right over and I think they will certainly be a tough team to deal with later on.”
Bayside is currently 2-1 this season after taking Opp last week 42-14. The Admirals are 2-0 in region play with wins over Excel and the Bobcats last week. The lone loss came in week one to Charles Henderson of Troy—a ranked team in class 4A.
“This might be overall the best Bayside team we have played,” Riggs said. “They certainly are as good as any of the others we have played. No. 1, they are bigger and stronger on defense than a year ago. No. 2, they have the best quarterback we will see this year in No. 7 Hunter Slater. Slater is an outstanding player and does a great job of running their offense. Outside of that, they are very much like the teams we have played with a good offense and defense and a good kicking game.”
Riggs said Bayside does not make a lot of mistakes.
“They don’t miss a lot of blocking schemes and they do not turn the ball over,” Riggs said. “So this is a truly good team. It will be a great test to really know where we are right now.”
Down over the years in the short times the two teams have been playing, there have been some classic games between the Tigers and the Admirals that have gone down to the wire.
The Tigers and the Admirals have squared off five teams with T.R. Miller owning a 3-2 record over Bayside. T.R. Miller won last year 37-35 in Daphne.
T.R. Miller owns wins during the 2008, 2009 and 2012 seasons while falling to Bayside Academy in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011.
Riggs said that other than the Battle of Murder Creek game with W.S. Neal every year, this game could be another rivalry game for his Tigers.
“Part of that is because we have played so many close games,” Riggs said. “Almost all of these games have gone down to the wire and we have to anticipate this is going to be a similar game. You have to be ready to make the plays at the end of the game down there. Going back to the last three or four years, I think we have played down there two years in a row. We won one right at the end of the game and then they went ahead right at the end of the game and we were trying to score late in the game and win in 2010. They beat us in another close game in 2011 with an onside kick and got down there and scored. Last year we got a lead and they came back. It has just been a battle every year. I think if people want to see a good high school football game, this is where it has been the last few years.
“We will need to play the best game of the year so far, so that is what we need to get prepared to do.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Brewton Municipal Stadium on the campus of T.R. Miller High School in Brewton.
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