Straughn, Trinity to clash

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, September 17, 2014

0917 spt-Rollin Kinsaul

Straughn’s Rollin Kinsaul (5) tries to get away from a Headland defender last week. The Tigers have a physical challenge this week at home against Trinity Presbyterian. | Memories by Monte Morgan

Tigers play host to Wildcats of Montgomery Friday in region contest

Straughn will be facing a “physical” Trinity Presbyterian football team in region action this Friday night at Tigers Stadium.

The last time these two teams met was in the second round of the 2012 Class 3A state playoffs, where SHS ended up winning 21-7. Both are now in the same class and region in Class 4A, Region 2.

Tigers head football coach Trent Taylor said one of the biggest differences between this year’s Trinity team and the team in 2012 is its style of play on the field.

“The thing that stands out about Trinity is that they’re very physical,” Taylor said. “This year, they get after it on defense. They got after Andalusia, and had it not been for three fourth-down conversions (in the second half for the Bulldogs), that game could’ve been closer.”

Trinity held AHS at 7-6 at halftime two weeks ago before the Bulldogs raked in 27 second-half points to win, 33-15.

Other teams that the Wildcats have played this season include top-ranked Leeds and Class 3A fourth-ranked Dale County. Both of them were losses.

“They’re just a physical football team, which is uncommon for a team that runs their style of offense that they run,” Taylor said. “That’s the one draw back of being in the spread. Usually, you’re not physical defensively as you’d like to be.”

Running the Wildcats’ offense this season is senior quarterback Ben Jones. Jones utilizes his feet and can throw the deep ball when needed. The deep ball is usually caught by senior wide receiver Robert Adams, who Taylor said he remembers two years ago.

“The No. 13 (Adams) was a guy we were scared to death of two years ago as sophomore, so naturally he’s two years more mature, physically and mentally,” he said. “We certainly know already what he’s capable of. They’re not one dimensional.”

With Jones being able to throw the ball well and accurately, it does present a challenge for the Tigers’ secondary.

Taylor said that group of players has gotten better with each game.

“We were not very good in the secondary in the preseason game against Brantley,” he said. “That was evident, but I think those guys take a lot of pride in trying to get better. It’s going to be a great test for them.”

Last week, Straughn bounced back from a week-two 10-7 loss to St. James in region play to beat Headland, 58-15, to improve to 3-1 overall, and 1-1 in the region.

Taylor said that Trinity is not your “typical” 1-3 team.

“Knowing (Trinity head football coach Randy) Ragsdale’s personality and all that they’re disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, they’re still in great shape,” he said. “As far as region standings, they’re 1-1 and we’re 1-1. I don’t think an undefeated team is going to win our region.”

Despite the one-sided win over HHS and the success the Tigers have seen this season, Taylor said he would like to see the players put together a complete practice for once.

“You can say I want to be whatever it is you want to be, but if you sit on your hands and you’re not about doing things that will help you accomplish that goal, then you’re not getting any closer,” the coach said. “I think that’s one thing that this group has really got to come to grips with; and that is we can say this is what we want to do, this is what we want to be, but you can’t show up Friday night and be that unless you do what you need to do Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday to try and get to that point.”

Taylor used the words “status quo” to describe practice since it started on Aug. 4.

“It’s not that we’ve had terrible practices,” he said. “I just think we’ve got to have a better understanding of what it takes. I talked to the kids (Monday) about the status quo.

“We can’t be that,” he said. “We’ve got to be above and beyond what’s the average. We haven’t been that at football practice. There have been times where this drill or that drill have looked good, but it’s got to be for 1 hour and 50 minutes to 2 hours where we’re clicking like we aught to be. We haven’t had that yet.”

Kick off in Straughn is at 7 p.m. Friday.

Injury report: Senior Cadyn Cosby tweaked his knee during last week’s win over Headland. Taylor said he will be ready to go by Friday.