Straughn's John Spivey, Nick Stepp, Johnny Owens, Brennan Head and Taylor Messick, along with the Tigers' defense, put simple goals first and foremost heading into the season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News
Straughn's John Spivey, Nick Stepp, Johnny Owens, Brennan Head and Taylor Messick, along with the Tigers' defense, put simple goals first and foremost heading into the season. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

SHS defenders put goals 1st

Published 12:02am Thursday, November 7, 2013

Winning on third down, getting turnovers and preventing big plays are three goals Straughn’s defense set before the start of the 2013 season.

All three goals have paid off for the Tigers as they have averaged giving up only 14 points per game this season.

SHS will play host to Northside in the first round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A state playoffs on Friday.

Junior defensive end Jon Spivey, senior linebacker Nick Stepp, senior cornerback Brennan Head, senior linebacker Johnny Owens and senior safety Taylor Messick, along with the other six players, have helped lead the Tigers’ defense on the gridiron.

On film, NHS looks to have a good team, the players said.

“They’re very talented offensively,” Stepp said.

Two weeks ago, SHS defeated Opp 49-21, preventing the Bobcats from getting in any sort of rhythm on both sides of the ball.

That same philosophy holds true this week.

“We’ve got to make tackles,” Head added.

Straughn’s only losses this season came to Andalusia in a 12-6 game in week one, and to T.R. Miller about three weeks ago. SHS lost 42-7.

The loss to TRM still stings the team, but everyone has gotten closer together, Stepp said.

“It really opened our eyes a lot,” Messick said. “That we could be beat. We knew we could win, but we didn’t play nearly as capable of how we were playing.”

Stepp said TRM didn’t get Straughn’s best.

Compared to last season when SHS made it all the way to the semifinals, the Tigers find themselves hosting the first round.

It’s always good to play at home, Stepp said.

“We definitely have an advantage here on Friday nights, no matter who we play,” he said.

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