Straughn Tigers ready for Round 2
The 2002 edition of the Straughn Tigers have two options going into Friday night's second-round state playoff game against the Springville Tigers in Springville.
Straughn's options are simple - shutdown the Springville option or end the season.
The Straughn defense will face its third opponent of the season that runs an option offense in the 7 p.m. game on Friday.
Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor said Springville is dedicated to the option attack as proven by film showing the Springville Tigers running option plays on third-and-long situations in the two game tapes he has watched.
Taylor said the option can be frightening.
"They are an option football team and that is scary because it forces you to play assignment football," he said. "We have done a good job against the option. It's not like we've played 11 ballgames and are just now seeing it for the first time."
The Straughn Tigers have faced three option teams this season in Opp, Elba and Pike County and have won two of the three games.
Pike County is the only option-oriented team to defeat Straughn, but they only managed to score 14 points in the game.
Overall, Taylor feels good about his defense against Springville's option attack.
"From what we've seen on the film, the option is their bread and butter," Taylor said. "The three teams we played this year that ran the option, I think we did a good job of defending it.
"Nobody has hurt us with the option," he added.
The Springville option offense is a little bit different in that it uses three types of option plays.
Taylor, however, said the variety of option plays only makes it a little more difficult to prepare for Springville.
"If they were a straight veer wishbone type team it would make it easier to prepare for them," he said.
Springville does rely heavily on the option, but the offense also allows for passing plays and Taylor said Springville quarterback Stephen Yance does a good job.
"They have a lot of skill people," Taylor was quick to point out. "The quarterback is nothing spectacular when you look at him on film, but he does a good job with ball fakes.
"He does not have sprinter speed, from what we can tell on film, but he gets his yards," Taylor added.
Springville's offense will not have too much of an affect on the defensive play calling for the Straughn Tigers.
Taylor said the Straughn defense will still bring pressure and try to get in the offensive backfield to disrupt Springville.
"I don't think it takes anything away as far as blitzing is concerned," Taylor said. "Anything you can do to throw the timing off a little bit would be beneficial."
Springville's defense, Taylor said, is similar to what Straughn's offense has faced in recent weeks.
"They use a 4-4 defense, which is funny because that's what LaFayette and Red level used. So, it's something we've seen the last two games," Taylor said.
He does not expect an easy go on offense, however, for his Straughn Tigers.
"They have good size and good speed on defense," Taylor said. "The two linebackers are very active on every play."
Taylor said the key to the game for Straughn will be containing Springville offensively and holding onto the ball on offense.
Taylor said the Straughn offense cannot have any turnovers and the defense must "contain them offensively because they have a lot of weapons and they use them well."
Another key for Straughn will be to remain calm and patience.
"We have to stick to our gameplan," Taylor said. "I think our short passing game will be effective because they do play off at the line of scrimmage.
"Honestly, when you get to this point in the year, there is not too much you change if you make it this far," Taylor said.
Right now, Taylor said Straughn is having a good time.
"This is just when it's fun," Taylor said. "It's fun to still be playing. There are 16 teams in Class 3A still playing and it's fun to be one of them."