SHS hosts UMS-Wright in top 3 match up

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 21, 2014

The No. 3 ranked Straughn Tigers (10-1) will host the No. 1 ranked UMS-Wright Bulldogs (10-1) tonight in Straughn for the quarterfinals of the class 4A AHSAA football playoffs.


“You don’t really need any extra motivation this time of year,” Straughn head coach Trent Taylor said. “Your motivation is two weeks in front you at this point.”


The Tigers are currently on a nine-game win streak that dates back to Sept. 12 against Headland. The Bulldogs lost in the last game of the regular season to St. Paul’s 35-7.


“They have very good defense. They are probably the best defense we have faced in several years,” Taylor said. “The thing that sticks out the most is that they don’t stay blocked. They get off blocks very well, and all 11 of them fly to the football. They just play with an aggressiveness and tenacity that is not always common in high school. You may have two or three guys on the defensive side that play like that, and they have 11.”


When the Bulldogs are on offense, Taylor said they will rely a lot on the Troy Dixon, but they have other play makers.


“Offensively, of course, everyone knows about the Dixon kid, but they have a sophomore quarterback that has gotten more and more confident as the year goes along. He is a good runner, and his is not scared to take his carries when he needs to. He seems to be really smart with the football,” Taylor said.


Taylor said that this is a great opportunity for the kids and the Tigers’ program to go up against one of the top football programs in the state.


“We played them in 2010 in a great ball game, and we were fortunate enough to come out with the win. I’m sure they haven’t forgotten about it. Like I said you don’t need any extra motivation this time of year.” Taylor said. “I fully expect both teams to play really hard. I feel like we have a good plan in place, both offensively and defensively, and I’m sure UMS feels the same way. It’s just about being able to execute that plan, and not make mistakes that could cost us.”


Taylor said that he expects lots of excitement and intensity from his players Friday night.


“A third-round playoff game at home is nice,” Taylor said. “One thing is we don’t have to get on a bus a travel three and half hours somewhere. It’s good to be at home for a number of reasons, so we are glad to be here.”


Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. in Straughn.