Upset-minded Tigers head north

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jarvaris Samuel has been a work horse for the Tigers' offense.

Jarvaris Samuel has been a work horse for the Tigers’ offense.

Straughn’s (4-5, 4-3) first playoff contest under new head coach Chris Wilson will come a day sooner than expected when the Tigers take on the Bibb County Choctaws (7-3, 6-0) on Thursday instead of Friday night in Centreville.

With a high chance of severe thunderstorms on Friday night, officials from both schools decided to move the contest to Thursday night.

This will be the first ever meeting between the Tigers and the Choctaws.

The Choctaws earned their way into the 2015 AHSAA Class 4A state playoffs by winning the Region 4 regular season championship.

Two weeks ago, the Choctaws sealed their region title with a 45-15 victory over Oak Grove.

D’Angelo Thompson led the way for the Choctaws in the win, with 194 yards and two touchdowns.

Choctaw quarterback Matt Hiott tossed three touchdown passes in the win, including a 55-yarder to Markise Leverette and a 34-yarder to Juwan Suttle.

The Choctaws also got a defensive score from Quentarius Brooks who returned a recovered fumble 41 yards for the touchdown.

Offensively, the Choctaws are averaging 29.2 pointers per game, and their defense is giving up 24.5 points per game.

Straughn edged their way into the playoffs after they didn’t start the season the way they would have hoped.

After losing four of their first five games of the season, the Tigers rolled out three-consecutive region wins to clinch to fourth and final playoff spot for Region 2.

During the winning streak Straughn defeated Montgomery Catholic 39-0, Ashford 27-0 and Bullock County 45-22.

The winning streak came to and end two weeks ago when the Tigers went up against cross-county rival and No. 4-ranked Andalusia. While the Tigers may have came up on the short end of a 14-13 old fashioned slugfest, they gave the Bulldogs every bit that they could handle.

Offensively, the Tigers are averaging 21.1 points per game, and their defense has is allowing 20.7 points per game. However, over the final four games of the season the Tigers’ defense has stepped up and only allowed 8 points per game. During that span Straughn’s offense has also shown signs of improvement and have averaged 31.2 points per game.

Straughn will rely heavily on the senior leadership of Jarvaris and JuQuan Samuel, Barrett Bush, Malik Parker, Jacob Rogers, Riley Eiland, Shane Jones, Alex Thompson, Dylan Goodson, Jeremy Watson, Jacob Hawkins, Cale Carter and Arthur Benzee.

Kickoff between the Tigers and the Choctaws will be at 7 p.m., Thursday in Centreville.