Tigers to fight for 1st round win

Published 10:45 pm Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tonight will be the test to separate the men from the boys as Straughn travels to Slocomb to battle for victory.

Both teams have prolific offenses. Straughn (8-2, 5-2) scores an average of 38.5 points per game and Slocomb (8-2, 6-1) scores an average of 27.1 points.

Straughn coach Trent Taylor said that the Red Tops utilize many aspects on their team to be successful.

“They have two backs that have rushed over 1,000 yards,” Taylor said. “Most teams are lucky if they have one. They’re a Wing-T team, which means there’s a lot of misdirection on the offensive side of the ball.

“Defensively, they have been real stingy,” he said. “They haven’t given up a lot of points all year. Against Daleville, they gave up 30 points that game. For them, their first game of the season was kind of their speed bump in playing 2A Cottonwood and losing to them. Even in that game, they were in that game. In the end, they didn’t make some of their plays.”

Slocomb head coach Jeff Mitchell said his team must make use of the “opportunities” given to them.

“The last two weeks, we’ve left a lot of points on the field,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t score as many as we could have and as many as we should have. We just have to take advantage of those opportunities this week. If we get a chance to put the ball in the end zone, than we need to put it in the end zone.”

Slocomb will be using both running backs Jermaine “Juicy” Williams and Gregory Burdeshaw to help with their scoring.

In order for Straughn to be successful, Taylor said his team must have possession of the ball on offense longer than Slocomb.

“Obviously, the longer we can keep the football on offense, the less time they’re on the field defensively,” Taylor said. “Controlling the ball offensively would be No. 1. Trying to control the ball offensively. If they’re not out there, then they are not scoring.”

Mitchell said he is keeping an eye out for Straughn’s quarterback, Ryne Taylor.

“The quarterback is a very smart kid,” Mitchell said. “He doesn’t make mistakes. He’s thrown 15 touchdown passes compared to three interceptions. So, we’re pretty concerned about him.”

The Red Tops have been to the playoffs six out of the last seven years, according to Mitchell.

“Last year, we were just happy to be in the playoffs,” Mitchell said. “This year, we set a goal at the beginning of the year to host a playoff game and not only to host it, but hopefully to win a playoff game. We’ve worked hard this week and I hope that it pays off (Friday) night.”

Kickoff in Slocomb is at 7 p.m.