Bobcats, Tigers meet in 3A clash of titans

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2015


The Class 3A No. 6 ranked Opp Bobcats (4-1, 2-0) look to bounce back from their first loss of the season and possible secure a No. 1 playoff seed against Region 1 rival and No. 4 ranked T.R. Miller (5-1, 3-0) Friday night in Opp.

“This is an exciting game,” Bobcats’ head coach Brent Hill said. “It’s a good chance for us to rebound, and it’s always exciting to play T.R. Miller.”

This will be the 32nd time the two teams have duked it out with the Tigers holding a narrow edge in the overall series with a record of 18-13. Last season, however, it was the Bobcats who emerged victorious in a 51-42 shootout.

Like last season, this year’s contest will go a long way in determining who takes the top seed in Region 1.

“It’s a huge region game with a lot of implications on how we will be seeded in the playoffs,” Hill said. “They know it, we know it, and the kids are excited about the opportunity.”

The Bobcats suffered their first loss of the 2015 season last week against cross-county rival Andalusia.

“We spent a little bit of time going over and correcting the mistakes that we made in the Andalusia game,” Hill said. “We also looked at the things that we did well.”

T.R. Miller’s lone loss of the season also came at the hand of the Andalusia Bulldogs in a 25-0 shutout in opening game of the year.

Since falling to Andalusia, the Tigers have rolled out five-consecutive victories, including a 42-18 thrashing of Escambia County last week.

Both teams have high-scoring offenses as the Bobcats have scored 167 points and the Tigers have scored 144 points so far this season.

“They are going to do things different than they have done so far on offense,” Hill said. “They started the season running from the I-formation and then the went through a spread phase with some wildcat. I expect to see a mixture of them all this week.”

Hill said that the Bobcats would continue to show multiple fronts on defense in order to counter the different offensive looks that the Tigers present.

Statistically, T.R. Miller’s defense has stepped up since the Andalusia game, and have allowed only 10 points per game over the past five weeks.

“They are a very well coached team,” Hill said. “Their defense is just as sound as their offense. They are a typical T.R. Miller team.”

When the Tigers are on defense, Hill said they will come out in a 3-4 and also run a variation of a 5-2.

“They do a good job on defense,” Hill said. “The don’t see still and the linebackers to a good job at stopping the run. In the secondary, they play safe by backing off the line of scrimmage. They aren’t going to press, but they keep themselves in good position on both sides of the ball.”

Hill said that the Bobcats have enjoyed a successful week of practice, and that the players are excited about the contest with T.R. Miller.

“The kids have been resilient and have had good energy at practice this week,” Hill said. “They all know how big of game it is, and no matter what, it’s always exciting to play T.R. Miller.”

Kickoff between the Bobcats and the Tigers will be at 7 p.m., at Channell-Lee Stadium.