RLHS gets ready for Ariton (THROWBACK THURSDAY)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 12, 2015

Otis Nearor was a top player for the 1993 Tigers.

Otis Nearor was a top player for the 1993 Tigers.

Editor’s note: This article is part of our “Throwback Thursday” series. This article is from our Nov. 9, 1993 files.

The 1993 high school football season came to an end Friday night for all Covington County teams except one – Red Level.

By virtue of a Kinston loss to Brantley the second-best record in the area, the Tigers are headed back to the state playoffs for the third straight year.

“We made the playoffs,” Red Level coach Bobby Dye said, “and a whole new season starts Friday. This is the third year in a row the kids have made the playoffs,” Dye said, “and I’m proud of them.”

The Tigers will be heading back to familiar territory for their first round game against Ariton. The Purple Cats destroyed the Tigers 41-0 last year in the first round. But Dye shrugging off any revenge factor for last year’s loss.

“Maybe a little,” he said. “But it goes back to running, blocking and tackling.”

“If you can stop them, good,” Dye said, “if not, they’ll beat the dog out of you.”

One thing that does worry Dye is the play of his defense.

“If we were playing the caliber defense of football we were playing the first four or five ball games, great,” he said. “But we need to get the intensity back.”

Dye said the Tiger defensive unit has lost some of its intensity that it had the first part of the season.

“If we want to advance, we need to change some attitudes,” Dye said. “If not we’ll put the equipment up Friday night.”

But Dye isn’t giving up hope on his team, which has played a tough schedule this season and come out alive.

The Tigers played six playoff-bound team. Three of those are in the next class up, 2A, and three of the six are area champions.

Dye said despite having to wait until the final night of the regular season, he is not surprised that his team has made it to the playoffs.

“I had a feeling at the beginning of the year we had a pretty good ball club,” he said.

Friday night, the Tigers experienced what eight other teams have experienced this year, a loss to Georgiana. Red Level’s was a 39-0 shutout.

“Let’s just sum that game up as an experience, we don’t want that experience again,” Dye said.

Dye had high praise for the Panthers.

“This one of the best-coached teams I have played against,” he said. “They’ve got talent, but you’ve got to head that in the right direction.”

This Friday’s playoff game is set to kick off in Ariton at 7:30 p.m.