Twitty, George earn weekly honor

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Straughn cornerback Daryl George (left) and linebacker Steven Twitty pose for a picture at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Straughn cornerback Daryl George (left) and linebacker Steven Twitty pose for a picture at practice. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Whether it was making a tackle against a player double his size or deflecting the ball out of a wide receiver’s reach, Straughn’s Steven Twitty and Daryl George can say they did that and a little more for the Tigers last week.

Twitty and George, along with the rest of their defense, held Dale County’s potent offense to 20 points and went on to beat the Warriors 29-20 in the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs. Their play on defense earned them The Star-News’ Player of the Week honors.

Both had the daunting task of defending two important players for DCHS.

Twitty, at 6-foot and 165 pounds, went up against junior fullback Jeffery Whatley, who was a stout 6-foot-2 and 253 pounds.

“He was big,” Twitty said about Whatley. “He had about 100 pounds on me, so I had to hit him low.”

And with a little help to get him down, George added.

SHS head football coach Trent Taylor said the coaches moved Twitty into Nick Stepp’s old spot at outside linebacker when Stepp went down in the first round with a broken leg.

“It’s one of those things where words can’t do it justice,” the coach said about Twitty’s performance. “You almost have to see it on film. I don’t think early in the game that we realized (how big of an impact he was making).

“They ran a toss sweep, and he just did a great job of not allowing the rnning back to get to the edge,” he said.

George, at 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, was thrust into the cornerback position and had to go against 6-foot-2 senior receiver Octavius Cogburn. SHS defensive coordinator John Fussell said of the six or seven films the coaches got on DCHS, there wasn’t one where Cogburn didn’t make a catch.

On one such play, George got some good air on Cogburn and to swat the ball out of the receiver’s reach.

George said he got his leaping ability from his father.

“Really, I know coaches wanted me to go man to man on him a couple times, so I trusted my instincts a lot and just tried to execute and make sure he didn’t get any big plays on me so it wouldn’t hurt the defense,” George said.

Being physical, something that Fussell coaches every day at practice, was also a big key in the win, both defenders said.

Twitty and George and the rest of the Tigers will host Bayside Academy in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs this week.

Twitty is the son of John and Lynn Twitty of the Straughn Community, and George is the son of Daryl and Angela George of Andalusia.