TRM uses second half to down Hillcrest
By Randy Winton
Despite a sluggish first-half start, No. 2 T.R. Miller kicked it in gear in the second half and turned a 21-20 lead at intermission into an eventual 42-20 victory over Hillcrest Friday night in Evergreen.
The two teams traded punches for the first 30 minutes, scoring six touchdowns in lightning-like fashion, but it was only T.R. Miller who had any electricity left for the final two quarters en route to running its record to 5-0, 3-0 in region play. Hillcrest, who won its first game of the season, has now dropped three straight, including a pair of region matchups.
“We toughened up a little bit in the second half,” said TRM coach Jamie Riggs. “They ‘big-played’ us in the first half some, but we took control after halftime and I’m proud to get out of here with the victory.”
While the first quarter resembled a track meet – the game’s first three touchdowns were scored in the first eight minutes of play – the Tigers were up 21-14 when it looked like they stopped Hillcrest deep in TRM territory late in the half. But with five seconds to go before intermission, Hillcrest scored on a five yard pass to close to within 21-20 after the missed PAT.
However, from the first drive of the second half, T.R. Miller took control. Senior quarterback Jones Manning engineered a pair of scoring drives to start the half that covered a total of 19 plays and close to 10 minutes of the third quarter. Hillcrest got a steady dose of ball control, as both McHenry Coleman and Ahmaud Taylor wore down the Jaguars. Taylor scored on a one-yard run with 6:13 left in the third and Derrick Murray plunged over from the one with 13 seconds left to make it 35-20, effectively putting the game away.
Taylor, a junior, rushed for 149 yards on 13 carries, including four touchdowns. His four, added to the five he accumulated last week, gives him nine scores in the last two games. Coleman added a workmanlike 186 yards on 21 grueling carries.
For more details on this game, as well as a preview of next Friday’s T.R. Miller vs. Escambia County game, please see Wednesday’s edition of The Brewton Standard.