Straughn faces new challenge in Southside-Selma Friday

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Straughn’s Devin Scott evades defenders during last week’s game. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn will be stepping into new territory this week as the Tigers pay a visit to Southside-Selma on Friday night.

The Tigers are playing the Panthers for the first time in their team’s history.

SHS is coming off of a 36-30 region victory over W.S. Neal, whereas SSHS is coming off of a 20-7 win over Cottage Hill.

Both teams are 1-1, 1-0 in Class 3A, Region 1.

The Panthers have junior quarterback Chris Raymond and freshman quarterback Khamari Gibbs splitting the lead role on offense this season.

“They’ve got tremendous athletes,” SHS head football coach Trent Taylor said. “They’ll throw the ball often. They will certainly be a challenge for our kids in the secondary. We’re probably quicker than we’ve been in a long time, but we’re not real big back there.”

Taylor said the dual threat at QB from Panthers is just that, a “threat.”

“I don’t know if they lose anything from one to the other,” he said. “Both of them have very strong arms. From time to time, they’ll get in a two-tight formation. They kind of pose two different threats.”

Taylor said the Panthers don’t run the option, but will run the ball right at you.

“They just are more right at you in their run game,” he said. “They did run the ball out of their spread formation last week.”

Defensively, SSHS runs an even front and it has a big secondary.

“The thing they do, obviously, is they lock up man in the secondary, which means they play more people in the run,” he said. “They bring those other guys and linebackers and safeties to play the run. They’ll put more men in the box than we’ve got to play.”

When asked what the biggest challenge is in playing a road game, Taylor said it’s the unfamiliarity of the whole situation.

“It’s the first time this team, collectively, has been on the road,” Taylor said. “And, you take the pretty lengthy trip, where you are two-and-a-half-hours on a school bus, which is never fun.

“Obviously, you never know when you’re going on the road,” he said. “There are so many unknowns. When you’re at home, you know your locker room and you know where you’re going to be. This is a place we’ve never been before.”

Kick off at Memorial Stadium in Selma is at 7 p.m. on Friday.