TRM gets American Christian Academy in round one of class 3A state playoffs
Coming off a decisive 27-6 win over the No. 6-ranked Sweet Water Bulldogs of class 2A Friday night on the road—a win that capped off a perfect 10-0 regular season— the No. 2-ranked T.R. Miller Tigers enter the playoffs this Friday night at home against the American Christian Academy Patriots.
T.R. Miller Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said the win over a tough playoff team like Sweet Water—a team with numerous state championships— Friday was a good win for his team.
“If you can go on the other side of the state and play a team at their place that has won nine state championships and win, it is hard to complain,” Riggs said. “I thought Sweet Water was a really good team, especially on defense. They posed us a really big challenge. I thought we did a good job of being tough again and handling the situation and getting out to a big lead there. All those things were important. Credit Sweet Water, they are a really good team and it was a really good game. I give credit to our team for going to a place like that and winning the game.”
With the perfect regular season, the 2013 team joined the 1941, 1969, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995, 2004 and 2008 Tiger teams that went undefeated in the regular season. The 2013 is only the third T.R. Miller team to go 10-0 in the regular season.
“We have had an awful lot of good teams here that have not only had good seasons but have went on to win state championships,” Riggs said. “There were some of those teams who did not go undefeated in the regular season. It is really a tough thing to do. Sooner or later you think because of injuries or not playing well one night or something that you are going to falter somewhere. I think it is a nice accomplishment. Later on it is something you can take pride in, but right now we are too busy getting ready for the next season, which is the playoffs.”
This week in round one of the playoffs, T.R. Miller gets the No. 4 seed from region three in American Christian Academy. ACA went 5-5 in the regular season and 4-3 in region play and is coming off a 7-0 win over Central Tuscaloosa. The Patriots are outscoring their opponents 253-190 and went 3-1 in home games this year and 2-4 in road games.
“They are a scary football team,” Riggs said. “They finished fourth in their region but they have played everybody tough. The two best teams up there are Fayette County and Gordo. They played both of them very close games (21-17 against Fayette County and 31-23 against Gordo). That is cause for concern.”
Riggs said ACA has a good quarterback and a good wide receiver.
“Their quarterback is No. 12, Austin Mohlenbrok,” Riggs said. “He is certainly one of the better quarterbacks we have seen this year. He can both run and throw the ball. He has some excellent receivers, one being No. 15, Carter McGill. The thing when I look at them is their toughness and they are extremely well coached. They are really tough on defense with some good linebackers and some good size. I would not call them a normal first round opponent that finished fourth in the region. They are pretty darn tough.”
Riggs said the success to a good playoff run for his team is just not letting anything bother you.
“I think it is more about mental toughness than anything else,” Riggs said. “When you have played this many weeks, everyone is fatigued and has injuries. You have to be able to play on the road and in any types of weather. You can’t let those things bother you. You have to keep improving and playing your very best because if you falter you are done. So for us to do that, we have to have a good mental attitude. We need to prepare and have the energy to play each week. If you can do that, you have a chance.”
Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Brewton Municipal Stadium.
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