Riggs recaps TRM’s 2014 season
By Adam Robinson
The T.R. Miller Tigers saw their 2014 season come to an end Friday night in the second round of the class 3A state playoffs as they dropped a 30-28 loss to undefeated Montgomery Academy.
TRM Tiger head coach Jamie Riggs said he thought it was a tough loss and he thought that his team played really well.
“Montgomery Academy obviously has an outstanding team,” Riggs said. “We just ran out of time down there at the end. I thought we really did some excellent things in the game on both sides of the ball. Obviously in a game like that we made a few mistakes and mistakes can cost you. I thought we played really hard. We knew going into the game that we were going to have to play our very best game of the year.”
Riggs said the loss to the Eagles really boiled down to the fact that his Tigers were not able to get MA stopped enough on third downs.
“There were some critical third downs in the game where they eked out a first down,” he said. “I thought that was a factor. Offensively I thought we did some things really well. On defense, they were really a good on defense up front. We had some big plays in the game, but we just had a couple of times down there where we had to punt after failing on third down. The third down issues were real critical in the game for us.”
Despite the loss, Riggs thought his team had a good 2014 season, a season that saw his Tigers go 10-2 overall. The Tigers went 9-1 in the regular season and 5-1 in region play with the lone loss coming to the Opp Bobcats. TRM’s two losses this season were by a combined 11 points.
“We did have a good year,” Riggs said. “Anytime you can win 10 games I would consider it a successful season. We certainly had some things to overcome during the season, but all teams are going to have to do that. I thought we played really courageous for most of the year.”
Riggs said there were some guys on the team that care a lot about the TRM team.
“They really put everything they had to in to it,” he said. “I think they will get a lot out of it as far as their future goes. I really believe. I am really proud of them. Later on, when they look back at the year, they will take some pride in the kind of year that we had. Right now, just everyone is disappointed.”
So how does the 2015 look to shape up for next season?
“We are going to have one of the younger teams that we will have had,” he said. “We will have a whole lot of work to do. Obviously we will gain strength and grow between now and then. We will be very young next year. There will be a lot of opportunities for some younger kids to get some playing time. We have a general nucleus of guys coming back that with some playing time, it will work out well for us, but overall it will be one of our youngest teams that we have had.”
From 1994-2005, T.R. Miller football teams went to the semifinals in 11 out of the 12 years. The lone year was a first round loss in 1999 to Jemison.
From 2006-2014, TRM has lost in the second round in six out of their nine playoff games. Of the nine, the Tigers have lost in the first or second round in seven of those years while only advancing to the semifinals once in 2008.
In their second round losses in 2006, 2009-2012, and 2014 (all road games except in 2006 against Elmore County and 2009 against Luverne), the Tigers lost their games by two points each in 2011 (at Handley, 21-19), 2012, (at Midfield, 22-20) and 2014 (at Montgomery Academy, 30-28).