Straughn hosts Blue Eagles

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 3, 2003

The Straughn Tigers and W.S. Neal Blue Eagles square off in a huge Class 3A, Region 1 high school football game with tons of playoff implications Friday night at Straughn Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Straughn Head Coach Trent Taylor said this Friday night's game against the Blue Eagles is big because a win by the Tigers secures third-place and can result in an even better finish depending on what the other teams in the region do the next two weeks.

"Last week’s win put us in the playoffs," Taylor said. "The next two region games determine where we will be seeded in the playoffs.

"In a region like ours, we're proud to be in but we're not going to just stop with that."

Taylor said the Blue Eagles are playing well under first-year Head Coach Shane Smothers who went to the W.S. Neal after leading McKenzie to the playoffs last season.

What really stands out about the Blue Eagles is the athletic nature of the players, Taylor said.

"In my opinion, they are probably the best-looking team in our region," he said. "They have good-looking players on offense and defense.

"They have great athletes and running back Alphonso Gross will be the best we've faced," he added.

The Tigers and Blue Eagles are currently tied for third in the region with 4-1 records. Straughn is already guaranteed a playoff spot with the top four teams from the region advancing to the postseason.

The Region 1 champion will face the fourth-place team from Region 4 in the first round of the state playoffs. The Region 1 runner-up will face the third-place team from Region 4.

The third-place team and the fourth-place team from Region 1 will play on the road in the first round of the state playoffs against the Region 4 champ and runner-up.