Straughn must win to keep postseason dreams alive

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 2, 2015


If the Straughn Tigers (1-4, 1-2) are going to make a run at the playoffs, they must find a way to knock off the Montgomery Catholic Knights (3-3, 1-2) in a Class 4A, Region 2 contest tonight in Montgomery.

This will only be the second time the two squads have met on the gridiron, with Straughn winning the first contest in 2014, 46-14.

The similar opponents played this season for Straughn and Montgomery Catholic are St. James and Headland. The Tigers knocked off Headland 25-14, and lost to St. James 16-6. The Knights beat Headland 27-7, and lost to St. James 38-17.

Coming into the game the Tigers are have scored 97 points on the season and have allowed 151. The Knights have scored 171 and have given up 153.

Both teams have first-year head coaches on staff, with Straughn’s Chris Wilson and Montgomery Catholic’s Aubrey Blackwell.

Blackwell spent the previous two seasons as the offensive coordinator down the street at St. James.

It hasn’t been the best start to the season for the Knights, but Blackwell is just two wins away from giving the most wins they have had in a season since 2007.

It will be crucial region game for both teams if either wants a chance to make the playoffs.

As it sits right now, Straughn and Montgomery Catholic are tied for the fifth place in the region and one spot out of the playoffs.

A win for either team doesn’t put them in the playoffs it will just set up the opportunity for them to keep winning. Four or five region wins should be enough for either team to make the playoffs, but both come in to tonight’s game needing to win out in order to get to five wins.

Coming off a 33-14 homecoming victory last week over Holtville, the Knights will look to their fast-paced offense to get them rolling.

For his efforts in last week’s game, Knights’ wide receiver Landon Pritchett is in the running for the Hardee’s Five-Star Athlete of the Week. Pritchett finished last week’s game with 153 yards receiving and two touchdowns. He now has 473 yards receiving and four touchdowns.

Slinging the ball to Pritchett will be senior quarterback Blake Johnson, who has piled up the yardage so far during the 2015 season. Through six games, Johnson has thrown for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns, and has also run in three more touchdowns.

The Knights also present a strong ground attack behind senior running back Michael Collins. Collins has rushed for 678 yards and seven touchdowns.

On defense, the Knights come out in a 4-3 and rely on senior defensive lineman Devin Byrts and senior free safety Gale Keating.