Riggs takes blame for loss to Andalusia
After falling 25-0 to the Andalusia Bulldogs Friday night in their 2015 season opener, T.R. Miller head football coach Jamie Riggs said the loss is his fault.
After seeing weather conditions push the start of the game back to 8:30 p.m., the Tigers were shutout for the first time since a 10-0 loss to Lanett in the second round of the 1987 playoffs as Andalusia rolled to the 25-point win over the Tigers.
The loss dropped TRM to 0-1 to start the season while Andalusia starts 1-0 under first-year head coach Trent Taylor. The shutout loss was the first in 354 games for the Tigers and first under Riggs.
“Obviously we are disappointed in our performance, particularly on offense,” Riggs said. “It is my fault. I did a really poor job of getting us prepared for Andalusia’s defense.
“We were just not prepared for that. I give Andalusia credit, they were well-prepared and have a lot of good depth. I think they will have a good season and win some games this year.”
Riggs said the Tiger defense played really hard and kept them in the game.
“They made some plays and kept us in the game,” he said. “We just never could make that play on offense. We didn’t have the consistent running game that we like to have.
We just have to regroup and take the good things and correct the bad and go play another tough opponent on the road this week. There is no rest for us. We have to be ready to go Friday.”
Despite the loss, Riggs said he was proud of the team and the way they fought through the sloppy conditions.
“I thought we bowed up and really held ourselves during the game,” he said. “We gave ourselves a chance down there in the fourth quarter. Had we been able to execute the pass in the end zone down there, we would have been one touchdown behind.”
Riggs said he knew he was putting an unproven team on the field Friday.
“There is going to be a learning curve there, and I think we played really hard,” he said. “I am pleased by that.
“We have some things to work on. We didn’t block them too well. Hopefully we will do a little better job of that in the future.”
One bright spot for the Tigers was the defensive unit. The defensive Tigers came up with one interception (by Alex Daughtery) and two stops on fourth down. TRM also had a blocked field goal attempt.
“The defense made some good stops, but we are short over there in some places,” he said. “I just thought we bowed up and really played with some courage tonight. They have some really good backs and we didn’t do things as well as we liked, but we have a long season ahead of us.
“We should improve a lot with as many young folks as we have playing this year.”
The Tigers racked up 135 total yards of offense with 60 coming on the ground and 75 in the air. The Tigers had 35 yards rushing in the first half and 25 in the second.
All passing yards came in the first half. TRM had nine total first downs with only three coming in the second half.
The Bulldogs had 297 total yards of offense with 252 coming on the ground and 39 in the air. The Bulldogs had 11 first downs.
Andalusia led TRM 6-0 after one quarter and at the half.
The Bulldogs added six more points in the third quarter before tallying 13 in the fourth.
Ahmaud Taylor led TRM rushing with 77 yards on 13 attempts. Quarterback Caleb Winton went 4-for-15 with one interception.
Chardian Johnson led with three catches for 37 yards while Taylor had one catch for 38 yards.
TRM had three fumbles in the game and lost two.
Andalusia had two fumbles and lost none.